politics | November 27, 2012

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Beliefs—Not Tone—Impedes Republican Success

"At the end of the day, the Republican Party's problem extends far beyond packaging," Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in a new article. In light of President Obama's decisive—but not spectacular—victory over Mitt Romney's Republicans, Coates assesses where he believes the losing party went wrong this past election. "The Republican Party," he argues,"doesn't have a 'tone problem.' It has a 'problem problem.'" As he explains, it wasn't the way that the party addressed their beliefs that was the issue—it was their beliefs themselves. Rather than looking at the election only in terms of the ballot results, he says the policy changes made and platform ideologies presented are far more telling of what is going on in each party.

"There is a great deal of talk about 'appealing to Hispanics' and 'appealing to women'" among the Republicans as of late," Coates notes. However, without an overhaul of the ingrained beliefs that the party holds, no amount of "appeal" to these groups will do much good in terms of swaying votes. While the demeanor of the party leader does play a part in how we assess which side to align with, "parties are more than the politicians that front them," he writes. Holding on to outdated beliefs that voters don't agree with will still lose you an election—regardless of who is presenting these ideals, or how they are presented.

As a writer and editor for The Atlantic, Coates candidly shares his well-worded and thoughtful insights on politics, culture and society. Not only that, but his blog at the media outlet was named as one of the best in the world by Time magazine last year. His first full-length memoir, The Beautiful Struggle, was greeted with critical acclaim and he is currently writing a novel about an interracial family in pre-Civil War Virginia. On stage, Coates tackles notions of race both presently and in a historical context. Drawing on his vast body of work, he customizes his talks to each audience to present a cohesive and compelling dialogue about our society and the people within it.

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science | November 26, 2012