We Don't Know Why We Lost Because We Don't Know Who We Are
Theories abound regarding the Republican implosion on November 6th. If you are an avid reader, you no doubt have read the gamut of postulation. We've seen the far right conclude we need to move further right. The Rockefeller wing (yes, it is much smaller, but it's still there) says we need to slide to the left! The mainstream media and the left (if you can separate the two) have pretty much just written us off as irrelevant. To date, I don't think anyone has it quite right, so I now attempt to crack the code. Some of you may not like it.
We must send loud, clear, and relevant messages to all Americans (and I mean everyone -- when we say "big tent", we need to mean it) that ours is the logical party for them to support. In particular, we need to proactively reach out to young voters, Jewish-Americans, Americans of Hispanic heritage, women, and our gay and lesbian communities. The message is very simple; our policies will help you prosper, and our politics are the best way to give you the foundation you need to succeed.
We also need to completely rebuild our ground-game. Over 1,000,000 people who voted for McCain didn't even bother to show up for Governor Romney in what was arguably the most important election in a lifetime. The grassroots are dormant. They need to be awakened and the message revamped. This means we must embrace technology as never before.
So let's look at these aforementioned topics.
Let's face it; young peoples' hearts still rule their brains. It has ever been and so it forever will be. It is natural for them to attach themselves to the soft bigotry of low Democrat expectations. We can change that. Theirs is the generation that should be most receptive to our ideas about economic restoration. After all, they have a lifetime of gainful employment ahead of them. They are like the coal miner's daughter. They may be ignorant, but they ain't stupidhe GOP needs to develop a proactive approach toward winning the youth vote.
The Jewish Vote
The preponderance of Jewish-Americans who still pull the lever for democrat candidates is mindboggling. The closest I can come to identifying the reason for this alarming disconnect from reality is that many Jews, given their history of persecution, have a natural predisposition toward the downtrodden and less fortunate. There has thusly developed a generational trend toward supporting the party most likely to promote taxpayer-funded policies designed to have the federal government become responsible for those who cannot or will not fend for themselves.
The facts (the Republicans' historically stronger support for the state of Israel, and our far more bullish approach to private sector led economic growth in the U.S.) would lead one to believe the vast majority of Jewish-Americans would lean right. The GOP needs to engage this group of Americans now, and work harder than ever before to develop a common ground.
America's Hispanic-Americans are largely a hardworking, loyal, family-oriented people. Why on earth shouldn't they be Republicans? They aren't because the Democrats have seized the opportunity to wrestle them from our grasp, as we have been far too busy blathering xenophobic nonsense to anyone who will listen. George W. Bush promoted a sensible immigration policy and was (Bush)whacked by his own party. My solution is called the COAL (Chance of a Lifetime) program, and I first suggested it two years ago in a blog posted on my website.
Within our female electorate there reside both single and highly educated blocs. (These are not necessarily mutually exclusive!) It is from within these two groups that we find the largest gathering of single-issue voters. That's right. It matters not that we are on a fiscal cliff. Iran's nuclear proliferation is on the mental back burner. Bengazi be damned. This group is voting for a woman's right to choose. Full stop. Ridiculous, you say? Think again.
This is the most vexing of all election topics. Here is the problem. Republicans have the moral high ground. The fact that totalitarian and social-democrat regimes have become philosophical partners and globally embraced abortion as an acceptable norm in (totalitarians in the name of population control and the liberal progressives in the name of lifestyle choice) society is one of humankind's greatest transgressions. It is sanctioned holocaust of an unparalleled scope. But the progressives in the west have hijacked the issue and women in increasingly large numbers believe that their own bodies come first. They can choose whether the human inside them lives or dies. Not only can they choose, but they have managed to rationalize the choice in a way that does not create a moral dilemma for them. They are living the Sandra Fluke dream.
So here is where it gets tricky. We have a law. No one being honest with himself or herself would argue that Roe v. Wade is sound law. It isn't. But it is the law, and has been for nearly forty years. Do you want to see the inside of the White House again? Do you agree there we must first and foremost confront our huge economic and overseas issues? Would you prefer your chosen president being the one to nominate Supreme Court justices? If the answer is yes, then eliminate the A word from the debate. Remove the litmus test, and leave it out of the platform. It is killing the party. Leave the moral high ground outside the tent. We can't make the tent bigger if what we are building on the inside is too small to house our expansion.
Gay and Lesbian
Let's also get out of peoples' bedrooms. Personally, I think marriage is between a man and a woman. It's hard for me to see how God had other plans. But those are my personal beliefs, and I do not presuppose to impose my will on other consenting adults. If we claim to be the party of less government, how on earth can we support positions in support of having federally elected officials impose their will on our citizens? Fellow Republicans, we can't have it both ways. We can't lobby for government support only in situations where we want our views to prevail. That is what democrats do. Either you want the government in your life, or you don't. We want gay Americans to see our party as the party of economic hope. Keep your eyes on the prize.
The democrats have embraced it, and used social media to reach out to millions of Americans who have historically been disengaged. The Republicans treat technology like kids eating green vegetables. It's not what they want to eat, but they are told it's good for them. No! Technology is a weapon, and he with the best and biggest weapons wins! The GOP needs to develop a sophisticated approach to managing future campaigns that takes advantage of the rich lodes of data (and funds) that can be extracted from the technology platform.
Address these issues while continuing to be the party of big economic ideas and consistent foreign policy (walk softly but always carry the big stick), and we will win elections across the country. Ignore these issues, and do so at our peril.
We have to be smart, and adapt to the changing landscape. I pray we have the courage to do so. Most importantly, if we come together and move in lockstep, we will have taken the biggest step of all; once again, we will know who we are.