Now that the election is over, pundits are preoccupied with the question of what went wrong for Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan.
My take on the electoral season just past is that the Republican Party chose a path that deliberately excludes too many mainstream voters and too many minorities. By letting the right wing hijack their party, Republican strategists failed to recognize the realities inherent in a highly diverse populace.
More of the same is not the right solution for re-energizing and re-focusing the Grand Old Party. Instead of signing a pledge with Grover Norquist and other powerful lobbyists, who have a failed vision for America, intelligent and patriotic lawmakers and governors serving under the banner of the Republican Party must begin to seek more inclusive, more thoughtful solutions to the problems that continue to plague our mature, post-industrial society. If that means reaching across the aisle, then reach they must.
The past is only relevant to the degree that our understanding of it informs decisions about our future. We can't go forward with policies that would take us back to what was, in the eyes of some folks, a simpler time. The global economy and the emergence of healthy new economies around the world should offer opportunities for America's can-do spirit. We should not fear this changing reality, but embrace it.
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