Time To Double-Down, Not Sell Out
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
While this year’s election was a mixed bag for the GOP overall, many are still mourning Mitt Romney’s loss in the presidential election, and the jury is still out on how the Republican Party will react as they look toward strategies for winning in 2014 and 2016.
One of the most interesting perspectives is coming from those GOP strategists and commentators who still think that the Republican Party needs to moderate even more in order to win elections…and when I say that this perspective is interesting, I mean that it is interesting that any Republican would be stupid enough to believe that the strategy that lost us the last two presidential elections might somehow morph into a win the next time around.
In 2008 and 2012, the GOP ran two of the most moderate big-name Republicans in the nation, and both times we lost. In fact, the only reason John McCain and Mitt Romney were able to get the enthusiasm they got from conservatives was through their conservative running mates…but as evidenced both times, even the right running mate can’t push a neoconservative moderate candidate over the edge.
The simple truth is that if the GOP continues to become more moderate, a split in the Republican Party will soon become an inevitability. Conservatism started gaining some valuable momentum with the advent of the Tea Party and the resulting conservative victories in 2010, which showed that conservatism can win elections, but the Republican Party will start driving the conservative base away if they continue to push the narrative that conservatism is a losing ideology.
Truth be told, if the GOP moves much further to the left when choosing presidential candidates, the party may as well just start endorsing the Democrat. There won’t be enough differences between the two parties to motivate anyone to vote Republican, and the GOP will quickly fall into obscurity as conservatives start looking for better options in other parties.
Conservatism is the soul of the Republican Party. One of the things that has made Ronald Reagan such an icon of the Republican Party is the fact that even though he had previously been a Democrat, he had spent years making the argument not for the Republican Party, but for conservative policies and ideology…and it’s almost like today’s GOP wants to find a candidate with the eloquence of Reagan even while they refuse to stand by candidates that have a Reaganesque history of standing up for conservatism.
There are a lot of ideas and strategies that could help the Republican Party move forward – things like reaching out to minorities and giving the lie to the Democrats’ fabricated “war on women” campaign. But even above and beyond that, the GOP needs to shake off the lie that America’s current economic struggles were brought on by the policies of George W. Bush. Evidence from the exit polls was quite startling. Americans overwhelmingly blame Bush for the economy, which is proof positive that Obama’s blame-shifting campaign has been much more effective than most Republicans thought.
Republicans need to broadcast the truth: The Bush economy was a booming economy, with low gas prices and low unemployment, despite the setbacks America faced after 9/11. It wasn’t until the Democrats took control of both Houses of Congress and started pushing omnibus bills and attaching huge earmarks and bad legislation to war funding bills, among many other things, that the economy started its downturn, and Senator Barack Obama was one of many Democrats in Congress with a share in that blame.
We can’t allow the Democrats to continue to characterize the Republican House as the “do-nothing” Congress any longer, either. Republicans in the House have been extremely productive, producing bill after bill to try and help the US economy and grow jobs in the US, yet every time they have been stopped by the do-nothing Senate, which hasn’t even taken the basic step of passing a budget in the past three years.
The next two years need to be filled with an all-out campaign by Republicans to get out the truth: not only was the Democratic Party responsible for the economic downturn in 2008, they are responsible for the “fiscal cliff” and the fact that our economic recovery has been sluggish, if it exists at all.
It’s time for the GOP neocons to get on board with the rest of the party and realize that real conservatism hasn’t existed in Washington in a long time. George W. Bush was a great wartime president, but his big-government “compassionate” conservatism didn’t help the conservative cause over the long-run, as evidenced by the Left’s ability to continue to blame him for our continuing economic hardships.
And we don’t just need to stand for conservatism when it comes to the fight for the White House. There are a lot of justified calls to get John Boehner out of the position of Speaker of the House, especially in light of the current “fiscal cliff” talks. Boehner has a history of talking a big game, then folding once the pressure’s on. Each and every time the government has gotten into these types of “fiscal cliff” talks, Boehner has caved to the Democrats’ agenda, coming away with only a few meaningless token GOP victories to save face.
If the Republican Party continues to move to the Left, a schism is inevitable – it is just a question of how long it will take for the GOP to piss off conservatives enough that they will join the Libertarian or Constitution parties. A split in the GOP would mean Democratic dominance for decades to come…so if the Republican Party higher-ups know what is good for them, they will abandon this “moderation” nonsense and make the GOP America’s conservative party once again. It will do the Republican Party absolutely no good to sell out its soul in exchange for a few votes that will never materialize.