Earlier this week I got into a little snit with some conservatives on the What Jeff Thinks Blog and I thought it deserved further consideration here.
My basic premise is that the Republican party is fast becoming a marginalized, geographically-based (deep south) niche party. Polls on a broad spectrum of issues from stem cell research, the war in Iraq, global warming, the use of torture, attitudes toward gays, (short of gay marriage), attitudes towards minorities, the economy, tax fairness all favor the stand of the Democratic party and liberals in general. This trend is also being demonstrated in dollars raised for the 2008 election. Democratic candidates from President down to dog catcher are far outraising Republican candidates and it looks like Democrats will have a decidedly large money advantage for 2008. First time that has happened in a long time.
It’s not only the issues but voting blocs as well that favor Democrats. Young voters are increasingly coming home to the Democratic party. Even though young voters don’t make up a huge part of the electorate, as was demonstrated in the early 1980’s with Ronald Reagan, once a party loses the youth vote, they’ve lost a whole generation of voters. Growing minority factions of the population are also rejecting the Republican message and look for the Democrats to capture huge swaths of the Hispanic and African American electorate. Even the Evangelical vote is becoming splintered, with 2004 probably the high water mark for Christians voting decidedly with one party.
No where is this trend more identifiable than with the issue of Global Warming. By now most of not all credible scientists believe that some sort of global warming is occurring and that it is created by man and not caused by a naturally occurring global weather cycle. Most Republicans are still hung up on Al Gore being the person most identifiable with the issue of Global Warming and continue to stick their fingers in their ears and shout anyone down with AL GORE INVENTED THE INTERNET, THEREFORE GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT TRUE!! They insist on pointing to some 40 errors in the movie Inconvenient Truth, ignoring the fact that that means there are literally 100’s of other facts presented in the movie that are indisputable. The American population is fast leaving the Republican party behind on this issue.
However, there may be hope for the Republicans. Governor Tim Pawlenty is a politician that I don’t care for. However I have to acknowledge that he is an extremely smart and savvy politician. He can take issues that he knows may not be palatable to the general population and describe them in a way that sound reasonable. The fact that T-Paw is starting to embrace the Global Warming issue, going so far as scheduling a visit to the polar ice cap with adventurer Will Steger, shows that he understands that Global Warming is an issue that will impact us all, conservative, liberal, independent. It will be interested to see when his Republican brethren follow. I won’t be holding my breath.