So by now I’m sure you all have seen the headlines about New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the finance media billionaire-turned-New York City Mayor, having re-registered his political party affiliation. Bloomberg, a lifelong Democrat, only registered as a Republican shortly before his first race for NY City mayor back in the early 2000’s. It comes as no surprise that he’s leaving, especially if he’s planning on running for President.
What really got me thinking this morning whilst on the treadmill at the gym is why can’t Republicans connect with urban voters. I mean, we all know that urban centers are generally more liberal, but does it always have to be that way? It was recently that we had twin Republican Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mayor Richard Riordan leading the vast bastions of liberal-ness in New York City and Los Angeles, respectively. While I would never characterize either these men as hard-core conservatives, the conservative credentials they did have really shined. Both were tough on crime…really cleaned up some scummy areas of their cities. They brought down taxes and promoted private sector investments in some of their most downtrodden neighborhoods. They brought jobs to their communities. Invested in art and culture, and promoted local civic democracy – people making decisions for the betterment of their local communities.
So what happened? Is the Republican Party so focused on social issues like gays, abortion and stem cell research that they’re loosing a HUGE swath of voters? People in Ohio care about security, health care, and jobs…so do people in California. What do we have to do to help bridge this divide? I just refuse to accept the fact that EVERYBODY who lives in an urban center loves big government, lives off the public dole, and supports a lackluster education, health, and social network.
And what disturbs me more about the future of our Party is knowing that our American population is increasingly moving to urban centers…not away from them. The Republican Party is either going to adapt to developing a serious urban policy for our candidates, or risk permanent losses in these areas.