Conservatives here in America and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt are two very different groups.  But there is a lesson to be learned from the revolution which happened in Egypt this week.

Mohammed Morsi’s government failed because it wasn’t inclusive enough.  When running for office, Morsi promised to include women and Christians in his administration, to be respectful of minority rights.  The Muslim Brotherhood claimed that they were realistic and did not have any delusions about being able to set up a fundamentalist religious state in Egypt.  With these promises, they convinced even some moderate Egyptians to vote for them.

Once they got into office, it was a different story, and they wasted no time trying to build a society based on sharia law.  But a new generation of Egyptians doesn’t want a traditional Islamic state forced on them, and we saw the results of that yesterday.

Republicans in this country face a similar dilemma.  They have to at least pretend to be inclusive and accepting of women, immigrants, minorities and non-Christians.  They know that if they don’t, they may never win a national election again.  But when they’re in office, they seemingly can’t help themselves.  They instantly focus on limiting women’s rights, making voting difficult for their fellow Americans–and trying to build a society based on religious law.

The new world we live in is a small and shrinking one.  We are part of a global economy and a global communication system.  We interact with people of different cultures and faiths on a regular basis.

Any political party or group which only appeals to one race, one religion, one tradition is already turning itself into a dinosaur, and if it’s not careful, it may go extinct.  Republicans–take note.

After the Republicans got their butts kicked in the election, they were supposed to search their souls and re-examine their message, or so we were told.  After all, a lot of voters had clearly found that message unattractive.  But while the GOP leadership has made some noises about changing course, that’s not the reaction I’ve seen so far from the conservative rank and file.  Rather than ask “Why don’t the voters like us?” they’ve been busy discussing the many reasons why they don’t like the voters.  Or voting, for that matter–at least, not too much of it.

Women were understandably repulsed by the bizarro Republican stances on issues like rape and contraceptives.  So now I’m hearing the familiar chorus of voices suggesting that perhaps, just perhaps, it had been better if we had never given women the right to vote.  And this chorus includes some Tea Party women, who think their fellow females are simply not smart enough to vote correctly.  As far as I know, nobody’s been so dumb as to make the same type of comment about African-Americans and their voting rights, but Paul Ryan did mention those pesky “urban districts” and their high turnout this year.  You can bet that there are Republicans in local governments right now working on figuring out how to make voting even more difficult in those districts by 2016.  And speaking of urban areas, there are lawmakers in places like Ohio trying to change the way electoral votes are apportioned, so that they are divvied up one per congressional district, as opposed to winner take all for the state.  This would benefit more conservative rural areas and strip the cities of their population advantage.  As one angry Glenn Beck fan declared on The Blaze, “We gotta stop letting the blind masses in the cities control our fate!”

Well, it’s easy to see the direction this is going, and it’s not one of deep reflection.  Other lovely right-wing responses to the election results have been “Young people are too stupid to vote!  Let’s raise the voting age back to 21” and “Stop letting all the immigrants in!”  And, of course:  “They’re Takers who want gifts!”  Not a single “Hmmmm, why is it that Americans are not excited about voting for us?”  I suppose that only benefits my side, but it would be nice to have a decent opposition party–it would give me more options.  However, that kind of change would take some soul-searching.