The people have spoken.
By now you’ve heard about the U.S. Presidential Election outcome and are deep into the day-after analysis. It is my hope that regardless of what party we belong to, we recognize the blessing it is to live in a country where an election of free people takes place.
One issue that I feel compelled to address is the one that this Presidential Election cycle will be known for: the demographic tidal wave of change that has altered the composition and soul of our electorate and how the leading parties’ understanding and ability to leverage that change impacted the results. The GOP, in particular, has been slow to recognize this shift and respond accordingly.
Consider that despite a high unemployment rate, slow economic recovery, and rising national debt, President Obama received overwhelming support (historic) by Hispanics, African Americans, young Americans and unmarried women—groups highly impacted by those economic factors. The President and his team understood how to appeal to these groups, and the root of that appeal is genuine inclusion in both mindset and behavior.
As referenced in this blog article, Analysis: A demographic tidal wave brings Obama a tight but decisive victory: “The portion of nonwhite voters in the electorate has tripled over the last four decades to 28% on Tuesday. The Democratic incumbent led among African Americans by 93 percent to 7 percent – the best performance by a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.”
The GOP, in order to be competitive, will have to find a way to re-orient itself to appeal to a broader population, with intentional, reciprocal relationships that identify and leverage their shared values and goals, rather than trading on assumption and judgment. This is possible without compromising ideals, but the effort to appeal to a broader constituency is the only option for the viability of the “Big Tent” party. And governing with that broader appeal in mind is the clear path forward.
For years we’ve discussed how the demographic shift in the USA would change the business and political landscapes. That hour is upon us; it’s time our elected officials, corporate leaders, and Boards of Directors to understand that as well.