What will happen to the Republican Party as time moves along and they lose more and more ground among the public on issues like same-sex marriage, LGBT rights and abortion? That is a serious question, and there is a war going on between the Social Conservatives and the Fiscal Conservatives within the party. Recently, former Senator Rick Santorum claimed that embracing same-sex marriage would doom the GOP, but his former rival for the GOP Nomination for the Presidency Fred Karger has a different view.
In an interview with Joseph Cotto, Karger believes that the only way in which the GOP will survive is if they embrace equality. Of course, someone from the Santorum wing of the party would point out that he would say that because he’s gay.
During the interview, Karger noted that the GOP is slowly coming around to supporting LGBT rights. He also noted that the electoral landscape is changing saying that “We are coming off electoral victories for marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington just last November. The Oregon Republican Party stripped anti-gay language from its 2012 party platform in a shift toward the political center. Illinois’ GOP Chairman Pat Brady recently came out for marriage equality. Illinois will soon have a legislative vote on the issue. I live for the day when the Republican National Committee helps lead the way toward equality for all Americans just as our first Republican president did 150 years ago.”
Of course, Karger noted the reality facing the Party. He stated that “The problem that the Party is now facing is that so many reasonable, mainstream Republicans have left the Party that the primaries are now dominated by the far right.” While Karger noted that in relation to the Religious Right, but the Party is now dominated by not only the Religious Right, but radical fiscal conservatives.
Karger did praise the libertarianism that has been brought into the GOP by Ron Paul, unfortunately he failed to note that this has not been continued by Paul’s son Rand who has come out in opposition to same-sex marriage.
During the interview, this interaction occurred:
Cotto: Many believe that if the Republican Party becomes more socially tolerant, it could lose some elections as fundamentalist Christian voters might stay home. However, tolerance does seem necessary if the support of younger voters is wanted. What do you think about this seeming problem?
Karger: Republican leaders got a loud wakeup call last November 6th with the trouncing that Mitt Romney took against a weakened President Obama. Change is happening albeit all too slowly for many of us. Party leaders and elected officials will have to alter their ways. We cannot afford to drive away an entire generation of younger voters if we expect to survive as a political party.