With the US election over and Barack Obama back in the Oval Office, a shellshocked Republican Party is wondering how they could possibly lose to that horrible socialist. Questions are being asked and fingers are being pointed, mostly at anywhere but themselves of course.
Romney garnered about 58% of the white vote, but lost badly to Obama amongst minorities. Approximately 69% of Hispanics voted for Obama, as did 93% of Blacks and 74% of Asians. So unsurprisingly, Republican figures like Mike Huckabee were making noises about how they badly need to reach out to minorities, and Hispanics in particular. Even Sean Hannity, Fox News' most aggressive hardline conservative, has "evolved" in his thoughts on immigrants. Of course, had Romney won, Hannity would be ranting about illegals like always.
It's not just racial groups that went solidly for the Democrats. While 53% of married women voted for Romney, 68% of single women backed Obama. And according to one poll, 90% of voters who identified as gay voted for Obama as well.
"The country is divided." That's what you will hear from those on the Republican side as they survey the damage. And to a point they are right. What most of them will fail to grasp, however, is who is responsible for dividing it. They'll say Obama. But if you have been paying attention, it's easy to see how they've been the architects of their own downfall. For all the talk of Obama running a negative campaign, the Right's negative campaign began years ago. Here are some reminders of what's been going on the past 4 years:
Deriding Obama as an "affirmative action President", who assumed the office based on a rigged system and politically correct white guilt and couldn't get there on his own merits.
The long-running hysteria over "Black Liberation Theology", and the refusal to grasp why some African-Americans might have mixed feelings about their nation's "glorious" history.
The interminable speculation about Obama's birth certificate, as well as about his academic records, implying that he couldn't have become president of the Harvard Law Review without doing something dodgy . Glenn Beck's claim that Obama is racist against white people.
Is it any wonder that many black voters doubled down on their support for the first African-American President?
Then let's throw these things into the mix:
Arizona's Republican governor introducing the SB1070 Act to combat illegal immigration, which was widely denounced as a draconian exercise in racial profiling of Hispanics. Mitt Romney arguing for "self-deportation". The Republican Party's long-standing opposition to a path for citizenship for illegal aliens.
Republican hysteria about the mosque being built near ground zero in New York City. Michelle Bachmann and friends dreaming up conspiracy theories about Muslims infiltrating the government. The continual conjecture that Obama is a Muslim, with frequent references to his middle name "Hussein" by Republican-aligned figures, and the implication that being a Muslim is intrinsically a bad thing.
The Republican stance on gay issues is likewise a loser for them. It's one thing to oppose gay marriage; but there are lots of leading GOP figures who fervently believe that being gay is merely a "lifestyle choice", that homosexuality can be cured, and that there is a gay agenda to destroy the traditional family.
Add to that Romney's comments about the "47%", echoed by Fox News vilifying the poor as "moochers" and calls from around the GOP to raise taxes on lower income Americans while lowering them for the wealthiest.
So which side is dividing America, again?
The Repubs are in trouble long-term if they can't modernise. It's worth noting that the conservative parties of the other Anglosphere nations (Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand) would probably be branded socialists by Republicans in the US, as they have far more progressive views on sexuality, gender, abortion and health care.
One of their biggest problems is Fox News. The most popular cable news station in the country, it provides the news that conservatives want to hear, as opposed to actual news. This means that a large percentage of the population exists inside an echo chamber and don't realise that they are being left behind by not just the rest of the country, but the rest of the world.