Much has been said about how Governor Romney lost the election. I do not personally believe it was his fault; I believe Mr. Romney is a great man who had the potential — despite our ideological differences —to at least start a turnaround of this country. I believe there were some aspects of his campaign that were poorly run (Project ORCA, anyone?) but that we should have had a viable shot at winning. Indeed, in the week before, no less than Dick Morris and Michael Barone were predicting a landslide for him. Perhaps this was intentional; perhaps there were genuinely misled. Either way, in the next four years, the GOP has a few problems to remedy if it wants to be competitive.
We can blame the MSM, but the fact of the matter is that the media is going to slant left until we get enough conservatives and libertarians in the media to drag it back to the center. Since the 1960s, college academia has trended left, because those of us on the right were too busy out in the “real world”, and the media followed right along with it. This is a consequence of our own making. We let them take over our universities and even our high schools. Thankfully, between Twitter, Facebook and citizen bloggers, a conservative wave is starting to happen, but many of these bloggers will never have the press credentials or ability to get where the MSM is.
The challenge between now and 2016 is to not allow the media to drive the message like they did this election cycle. Benghazi is already fading from the headlines, buried under the Petraus-Allen “scandals” (after having been a teenager through the Clinton era, though, this hardly tips my scandal meter).
Hurricane Sandy has turned into a photo op for Mr. Obama, while Chris Christie appears on SNL and pretends to be oblivious to how his gushing over the president hurt Mr. Romney. “Fast and Furious” barely registers a blip on anyone’s radar, and while I’m grateful Mr. Obama hasn’t actually come out and supported Hamas in its incessant rocket attacks on Israel, it would be nice if he could bother to muster up some enthusiastic support for our ally, Israel.
Why, if so many conservatives/libertarians are blogging and tweeting as much as they can, are these issues still not getting attention? Because the average American voter is more concerned about Snooki and Honey Boo Boo than they are about what the president and his administration is doing, and the average GOP talking head is appearing on Fox & Friends or Hannity, while the average liberal representative is appearing on The View.
We like to think of American voters as informed and concerned. But if it’s one thing the last two presidential election cycles have proven, they aren’t, and if we can’t beat the left at their game, we might as well join them (on some levels). Would it kill our candidates to go on The View, even if those old broads are openly hostile, or maybe do a guest appearance on SNL or The Daily Show?
But the biggest problem facing the GOP is the ideological rift. Within a week after the election, the two favorite scapegoats seemed to be the libertarians and the social conservatives. I have news for Karl Rove & Co.: the libertarians, like it or not, are the future of the party. We should be trying to include them in the party as they have a lot more in common with the right than the left.
Please understand, I’m not speaking of the liberal anarchists that like to call themselves libertarians because it’s the cool thing to do right now when they’re not running off to join the OWS crowd. I’m talking about the libertarians who believe in the Constitution, small federal government, and free markets. These sound like conservative principles, right? So why not make a spot for them in the party? We’ll work out the smaller ideological problems later, but as big as Ron Paul has been in attracting the youth vote, why not let him work some of that magic and bring younger people into the party as well? I personally think he would be a great RNC Chair.
This is not the Republican party of our fathers. We can’t keep taking voters for granted, assuming that because there is no viable third party in the United States that they won’t get fed up and leave. By the same token, we must be better at getting our message out to the voters. We can assume that because Barack Obama won this election that it just must be because people wanted free stuff — and that would be wrong. There are around 169 million registered voters in the United States, and only around 123 million turned out to vote on Election Day. Even allowing for voter fraud and the missing military ballots, that leaves a lot of people who didn’t care and could have been reached.
We face a choice in the next few years. We can keep doing the same old thing and hope that Barack Obama is so abysmally bad (as he promises to be) that the Democrats won’t win another election for the next 20 years after 2016. Or we can actually look at what they’re doing right, improve upon it, and start taking the country back in 2014. I say it’s worth making a few changes.