PHILADELPHIA- All it takes is one look at the crowd at the Democratic National Convention to register how diverse the party has become. Welcome to the age of big tent Democratic inclusiveness, where the red carpet is rolled out for all people, regardless of their background.
On the floor of the convention, a warm embrace of once disenfranchised groups is ever present. One hears speech after speech infused with messages of inclusivity. Signs advertising the victory of tolerance over discrimination are fervently waved by people from every color of the kaleidoscope. There’s little doubt that an open, tolerant party could ultimately solidify Donald Trump’s defeat.
“There were so few Black people at the RNC in Cleveland that a comedian compared finding Black people to catching Pokemon,” said Keisha Carter Brown, a Georgia-based political strategist. “If the Republican don’t expand their reach as a party, they’re going to die.”
The Republican Party has a serious diversity deficit, and the party’s lack of inroads among minorities should alarm conservatives everywhere. The White House will probably will be out of reach of Republican candidates unless new outreach efforts to minority ethnic groups are successful.
“Republicans are drawing themselves safe districts by gerrymandering, but that strategy will only help them with Congress–and eventually their luck will run out on them,” Carter Brown said. “The demographics just aren’t there for a nationwide Republican Party unless they make some major changes.
You might have seen Paul Ryan’s selfie with scores of Republican interns, who were over-whelmingly White. The Democratic Party responded with a selfie of their extremely diverse group of interns. This public twitter war has fed the longstanding perception that non-White people are not welcome in the Republican Party. A View that must change if the party is to survive much longer.
In the age of Donald Trump, the diversity of the Republican base is abysmal. The Grand Ole’ Party appeal to huge swaths of the population has been decimated by Trump’s rhetoric. While there are some figures in the party loudly calling for more inclusiveness, a generation of writing off urban areas and ethnic groups means that the Republican demographic is increasingly shrinking. In a country that is quickly becoming non-White, the party must change in the near future or risk becoming irrelevant.
In some ways, the stakes are high for the entire country. If Republicans don’t get their act together and gain supporters from non-White demographics, American democracy runs the risk of becoming a one-party system, where Democrats will rule without meaningful opposition. For many people of diverse political persuasions, one-party rule is a frightening proposition.
Building a more inclusive Republican Party will take some time, and many efforts will not pay immediate dividends. There’s little doubt that changing the perception of the party will be a monumental task
“There is a perceived glass ceiling for minorities in Republican Party,” Carter Brown said “Republicans can change this reputation by getting young people involved at the grassroots level–that’s ultimately the future of the party,” said Carter Brown. “You plant the seeds for the future. This is something I know all-too-well: I was 9 when I got started, and now I’m a lifelong Democrat.”
David is the Editor of Bold. He's especially passionate about millennial economic empowerment. A former local news reporter, David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
It was like this 8 years ago when Pres. Obama was elected into office. Where have you been?