The most widely offered explanation for Mitt Romney's defeat is that the Republican Party is disproportionately composed of -- aging -- white males.
That is, alas, true.
But the real question is what Republicans should do with this truth.
There are two responses.
The nearly universal response -- meaning the response offered by the liberal media and liberal academics (and some Republicans) -- is that the Republican Party needs to rethink its positions, moving away from conservatism and toward the political center.
The other response is for conservatives and the Republican Party to embark on a massive campaign to influence, and ultimately change, the values of those groups that voted Democrat.
The Democratic Party, and the left generally, have done a magnificent job in identifying conservative values as white male values. One reason for their success is that they dominate virtually every lever of influence -- the high schools and universities, television, newspapers, movies, pop culture and everything else except talk radio. Another is that they really believe that conservative values are nothing more than white male -- especially aging white male -- values. Remember, leftism has its own trinity -- the prism through which it perceives the world -- race, gender and class. In this case the race is white; the gender is male; and the class is rich.
As a result of this identification, there is no debate over whether the minorities' (and single women's) values are correct or whether the values of the white males are correct. The left has successfully forestalled any such national discussion by simply reducing conservative values to the dying fulminations of a former ruling class.
In the words of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, "Mitt Romney is the president of white male America."
This identification seems to be working. But it's intellectually dishonest. Aging white males are as important to the left as they are to the right.
In a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, liberal Harvard professor Benjamin M. Friedman strongly criticized the Tea Party. After citing "surveys showing that Tea Party members are 'predominantly white, male, older, more college-educated and better off economically than typical Americans,'" he noted parenthetically "they sound like, say, readers of The New York Review of Books."
Come to think of it, these people who make up the tea party also sound like the people who attend classical music concerts, who endow concert halls, museums, hospitals, and universities, and fund left-wing causes (George Soros, for example).