WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Republican Party's inside-the-Beltway leadership has placed itself at odds with grassroots members after issuing a new report suggesting the GOP soften its stance on redefining marriage and immigration reform.
“We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too,” says the 100-page report of the GOP's “Growth and Opportunity Project.”
“We must recruit more candidates who come from minority communities,” it says. “But it is not just tone that counts. Policy always matters.”
Many read the report as an invitation to give up the party's defense of marriage.
“When it comes to social issues, the Party must in fact and deed be inclusive and welcoming,” the report states. “If we are not, we will limit our ability to attract young people and others, including many women, who agree with us on some but not all issues.”
The GOP's post-election manifesto, which is already being dubbed the “autopsy report,” couches its abandonment of marriage in terms of chasing the youth vote.
“Younger voters are increasingly put off by the GOP,” it states. “For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.”
“If our Party is not welcoming and inclusive,” the report warns, “young people and increasingly other voters will continue to tune us out.”
Social conservatives warn this will prove a death sentence for politicians who adopt its provisions.
“Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has decided that the way for his party to win over voters is to parrot the Left's policies,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. By courting young voters, he said, “Priebus would be betting the future of the GOP on a bloc who barely votes, while alienating the millions of social conservatives who do.”
Perkins called the report's designation as an “autopsy” an “apt name, considering where its recommendations would lead.”
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Only 23 percent of registered Republicans support redefining marriage, according to recent polls. Although the 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, says he stills believes in traditional marriage, he chose to avoid the issue and campaign only on economic issues. As a result, an estimated three-to-six million Republican voters stayed home in 2012.
That fact was not lost on the conservative movement's most influential spokesman.
Rush Limbaugh said on his syndicated radio program Monday, “If the party makes [gay “marriage”] something official that they support, they’re not going to pull the homosexual activist voters away from the Democrat Party, but they are going to cause their base to stay home and throw their hands up in utter frustration.”
Limbaugh and grassroots Republicans similarly reject the GOP establishment's call to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.
“We are not a policy committee,” the report states, “but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform” – politicians' preferred term for legalization of millions of immigrants who crossed the border without authorization. “If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”
That core constituency repulsed two efforts from the George W. Bush administration to enact amnesty.
Other suggested reforms would limit the number of debates between presidential hopefuls and shorten the primary season, substantially favoring candidates with more money or name recognition.