There is a reason the GOP is often called the “stupid party.” Although every poll finds the public firmly on the center-right side of the political spectrum, the GOP has become expert at alienating voters on issues they ought to command. On Thursday, the Republican State Leadership Committee, tasked with electing Republicans to state office, announced via press release that it was launching a program with a set quota of recruiting 200 minority candidates for office. Yes, the GOP wants to help its standing with minorities by establishing a racial quota system.
The newly announced quota builds on an effort the RSLC launched for the 2012 cycle, the Future Majority Caucus. Under the program, the RSLC committed to recruiting 100 Hispanics and 150 women to run for office as Republicans. It isn’t clear why only Hispanics and women were targeted and not other minority groups.
The effort “exceeded” its goals and support 125 Hispanic and 185 female candidates for office. The organization spent $5 million to support these campaigns, which can be significant amount in many states. The result was a net increase of ONE hispanic Republican office-holder across the country.
The organization sent a strategy memo along with its press release that lays out its new metrics for the 2014 cycle:
Identify 200 new diverse candidates of all backgrounds. This reflects a doubling of our goals from last cycle when we initiated the project.
FMP looks to not only to recruit and encourage these candidates to run–we will help them win. Our goal is to elect 75 new candidates of diverse ethnicities across the country.
Invest at least $6 million for the 2013-2014 election cycle.
Obviously, the Republican party needs to do a better job of outreach to all Americans, including minorities. The party’s message of individual liberty and personal freedom ought to resonate with every voter, regardless of race or ethnicity. The party’s challenges with minorities isn’t due to its message, but rather the fact that it simply doesn’t engage them in any meaningful way.
Recruiting the best candidates who can deliver the GOP message effectively is the way to win elections. Simply assigning a numerical quota to a party’s preferred candidates panders to the left’s identity politics. Announcing to the world the use of a quota system also confirms the media’s message that the Republican party has a problem appealing to minorities.
The Republican establishment acts like they need to somehow mitigate the conservatives principles underlying the party. They should embrace them instead, rather than trying to rearranging the messengers. The public, of all races, will embrace those ideas.