Democrats Are Far Better Losers Than We Are
Nobody immediately throws his loser candidate under the bus. No Christian or religious-minded Democrats write articles, talking about how the party needs to abandon their socialist, atheistic base. And to top it all off, nobody -- and I mean nobody -- gets up there and talks about how the Democrats need to abandon their party's core principles in order to appeal to moderates and independents.
It must be awesome to be a loser Democrat! It's like wrecking the family car and getting your allowance raised.
You don't believe me? Think I'm being too flippant? Let's take a stroll down Memory Lane, shall we?
Democrats were once told that the American people rejected their social agenda as well. Remember the Values Voter revolution in 2002? Democrats lost seats in both chambers and were categorically rejected by a whole host of people who were voting on issues like prayer, gay marriage, abortion, family issues, etc.
And how did the left react to that? Did they organize a circular firing squad and begin the discussion about how they could rid themselves of half their party? Not even close. Instead, they doubled down on their leftward trend. Two years after being resoundingly drubbed by people voting their values, they nominated a far-left Northeastern Brahman for president and, at their 2004 DNC convention, began the "coming out" process for the most liberal president in the last eighty years -- that, of course, being Barack Obama.
Obama also, incidentally, ran for re-election with the most radical pro-abortion platform in the history of the DNC. Now, you would think that this "doubling down" on liberalism in the face of such rejection by the voters would be the closest thing to political suicide a party could do, right?
Wrong. In fact, within two years of the 2004 DNC, the Democrats seized control of both houses of Congress, and within four years, they completed the trifecta by seizing the White House while running a candidate who stood for everything the 2002 values voters opposed.
What about how liberals treat their candidates after swinging and missing on the big stage? Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Petty helped throw a party for Al Gore after his embarrassing failed recount bid in 2000. Here was a guy who was the sitting vice president in a time of peace and prosperity, with the entire American media establishment at his disposal, and he couldn't beat George W. Bush, one of the most inarticulate candidates to ever run for president.
An abject failure by anybody's reckoning, and they threw a party for him!
Mitt Romney had none of those advantages, and less than two weeks after his demise, would-be 2016 Republican candidates like Bobby Jindal are accusing Romney of having "divided the country."
What's the obvious message from this little bit of history? It's simply this: despite the fact that we Conservatives have infinitely superior ideas, and that Republicans are the only party in America with time-tested and crisis-proven answers to what ails this country, we are also the only one of the two parties that doubts itself.
The left has no ideological conscience. When they lose, it's never their ideas that lose. They'll blame it on Fox News, the vast right-wing conspiracy, racism, voter suppression, and of course George W. Bush.
But they never -- in any substantive way -- question the philosophical basis of what they believe.
That's what we have to become.
Instead, before the votes are even counted, the GOP back-biting and the recriminations kick in at full steam. "Why are we losing young people? How can we change our message to get more Hispanics?" And of course, "We can't win elections anymore with these radical religious right-wingers."
In fact, Sarah Westwood, a sophomore at George Washington University, wrote in the Wall Street Journal about how the GOP needs to reach out more to young people. I loved the article until she said this:
Republicans don't have a future unless they break up with the religious right and the gay-bashing, Bible-thumping fringe that gives the party such a bad rap with every young voter. By fighting to legally ban abortion, the party undercuts the potential to paint itself as a rebel against the governmental-control machine.
Embracing a more liberal social agenda doesn't require anyone to abandon her own personal values; it's possible to keep faith and the party too. But the evangelical set essentially hijacked the Republican Party in the 1970s; now we need to take it back.
I'll forgive Ms. Westwood her youth; maybe she's just not aware that the establishment Republican Party she thinks was so great was mired in post-Watergate hell in the mid-seventies, when Evangelicals switched over to the Republican Party, as well as a permanent minority in the U.S. House. She may also not be aware that it was primarily Evangelicals who won three straight presidential elections for the GOP and returned the U.S. House to the Republicans for the first time in 40 years.
So I'll let that pass.
But I won't forgive her lack of recent history. In the last two presidential cycles we have run the two most moderate Republicans in recent memory, and we've lost youth votes, in addition to Hispanic votes and...well, pretty much everybody else, too.
And given how the Democrats parlayed their disaster in 2002 by doubling down on what they believed, instead of abandoning it, and using that momentum to seize control of all three branches of government...maybe it's we conservatives who should be getting rid of our establishment, instead of the other way around.
Dylan Gwinn can be reached on Twitter at @themightygwinn.