I have not been able to bring myself to write anything of substance on the Romney/GOP loss last November, but reading and listening to some of the “messaging” from right-leaning “leaders” and media is changing that.
Hearing the British Airways flight attendant announce the winner of the US Presidential race that early morning just prior to landing in London was heartrending for me. Not because I was such a staunch Romney supporter (while I did come around to getting behind him, I was not in favor of him as the GOP candidate as I wrote here, here, here and elsewhere), but because I was sure that if Obama won reelection he would continue his destructive policies that would lead to the eventual abolition (literally) of our Constitutional Republic. These fears are being born out.
This past weekend I listened to several speakers at the National Review Summit. While a couple of them gave me a glimmer of hope that the GOP and the conservatives/tea party could start to come together, most either didn’t speak of a base reconciliation or gave hints that what was really needed was to rid the GOP of “those far-right wackos who can’t see the absolute requirement that the GOP move further to the ‘Center’ (read Democrat-Lite).”
However, the one bell many kept ringing was “we need to get better at ‘messaging’ … at learning how to reach out to those that we weren’t able to reach prior to last election.” Another was the need for improving technology tools and better use of social media. While it’s true that Obama won partly because of his campaign’s mastery of database technology, it is also true that many traditional GOP voters stayed home rather than vote for a technocrat without a unifying message. 100,000 voters in key states would have made the difference.
Romney is likely one of the most decent men to have run for the office of the President. I am sure he would have been a very capable President. But he was a manager; he knew how to manage people and things and finances. He also changed his positions on important issues, depending on who’s vote he was courting. Lastly, he didn’t inspire … he wasn’t a leader.
And without an ability to inspire voters who were on the fence or just not sure he could (would?) deliver on so many of his campaign promises, many voters just stayed home. And thereby giving the small victory to Obama.
The GOP doesn’t need new messages, new technology, nor new ways to benefit from social media in order to win. Would any of that help? Sure, any little bit helps, but don’t get distracted by shiny new things. What the GOP really needs is three important things: 1) LEADERSHIP and someone with a positive vision for the future of America to LEAD, 2) stop with bashing the conservative base of the party, and 3) stop trying to emulate the Democrats (Move Left Young Man, Move Left!).
A leader doesn’t have to know the details of every mundane policy fact, every minute geopolitical issue, or have every statistic on the American economy at his fingertip. But a leader does have to set an inclusive vision for the country which will raise the aspirations of the average citizen … at least those who actually want real liberty to regain a foothold, grow and thrive. I’m not implying that a leader doesn’t have to be competent; were that so … Obama!
Until 2008, America had never had a president as divisive as Obama. By his words and action he demonstrates that he is not president for all Americans (he isn’t my president … my president would never refer to the opposition as “the enemy“) and doesn’t demonstrate the qualities of leader of the American people. The GOP is either going to choose a real leader come 2016 or fade into the dustbin of history.
The second thing the GOP is going to have to do is quit tearing down people and groups in their base and those within the party who they disagree with (think Sarah Palin). It is amazing that many of those who participated in the Tea Party movement haven’t thrown up their hands in frustration and began a new conservative party. However, most are intelligent enough to recognize that such a move would be like cutting off their nose to spite their face. Just look at the Libertarian Party for goodness sake!
Regardless, if the GOP intelligentsia continues ripping their base they will soon become the Whig Party and what’s left of the conservative base will have to start a new party. Before we get that far, I am holding out hope that some of the rising stars recently sent to Washington … Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Tim Scott, Mike Lee, Rand Paul … all in the Senate, and in the House there are too many to list here, but Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Jason Chaffetz of Utah jump to my mind as representative of what’s available … are beginning to impact the old elephants trying to inhibit change.
And that brings us to my last point … why does the old GOP guard think the way to attract voters to the Right is to act more like the Left? Sunday Sen Corker (RINO-TN) gushed all over Hillary Clinton and her testimony before the Senate last week. McCain and his fellow RINO henchman Lindsey Graham are just buddy-buddies with Chuck Schumer over something McCain has panted over for years … Comprehensive Immigration Reform (#Shamnesty).
If the old guard wants to move further Left … let them all go join the Democrats! Good riddance!!!