Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No hand wringing, no mea culpas

In what seemed almost anti-climatic, Barack Hussein Obama became the president-elect just a few short hours ago. It was fairly evident to most observers long before (days) Pennsylvania fell that it was a fate' complete. The American public bought Barack Hussein Obama's message of change and hope and now he and a highly Democratic congress will have to deliver. Our guess is that two years from now, the American public will strongly express their views on what the president-elect and company have accomplished.

For conservatives (presumably that means Republicans) there will be lots of chest pounding, mea culpas, what-ifs and self-introspection to figure out what went wrong. They will spend several months doing this and trying to figure out what they must do to change the dynamics in the future. Some like Rich Galen (see Mullingshttp://www.mullings.com/) may suggest that the Republicans will have to see what they need to do to broaden their base. That's not necessary.

The reason that Republicans were defeated this year as they were in 2006 is that the public no longer understood what they stand for. It certainly isn't, as displayed by their performance, fiscal conservatism. It certainly is, as displayed by their performance, the ability to mind the store as displayed by the economic tsunami they watched overcome them, their nation and the world (as a result) by their negligence and inability to anticipate. And it certainly isn't by their nomination of man twenty-five years older than his opponent, a man more than a generation older than the average voting populace. And it certainly isn't by their inability or their candidate's inability to provide meaningful and tangible solutions to a populace who has watched for eight years as they perceived their country going in the wrong direction, led by a well-meaning but inarticulate president who failed to communicate with his countrymen.

Party officials don't have to look much farther to understand what went wrong.

What conservatives, and hopefully Republicans, do need to do is articulate what they stand for and then actually stand for it. They don't need to change what they stand for to attract more voters. That's how they got to where they are are. The public didn't recognize the difference!

Barry Goldwater stood for conservatism but failed to convince a public enthralled by a dynamic and youthful man offering much hope. But out of that movement came Ronald Reagan, who stood for conservative principles, who articulated a need for a strong defense, who related to Democrats and blue-collar workers and who stood for moral values. And while he was certainly a generation older than his opponent he was able to capitalize on his opponent's failure as the new president-elect capitalized on Bush's failures and tied those to John Sydney McCain.

In 1994, Republicans offered a real agenda for change that the American public bought into and for a while those newly elected Republicans seemed to stand for much of the same values that President Reagan had articulated. But within a few years, they became comfortable with their power, afraid to pursue much of what they had promised, and simply forgot what they stood for.

Republicans can forget the hand-wringing and soul searching. For the next two years they need to play the part of the loyal opposition and stand up for conservative fiscal and moral issues and articulate them against what will be an overpowering swing to the left.

Two years from now the American public will have an opportunity to evaluate where Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have led them. If Republicans join them in the process they will be indistinguishable from them. If they stand up for what they believe in and articulate it, they will offer the public a choice which may make a lot more sense to them by that point in time.

As conservatives we'd rather fail fighting for what we believe our vision of America should be than become what we claim to oppose simply to win.

Oh, and by the way, the sun will rise this morning and we will still be fortunate enough to live in the greatest country on God's green earth. Let's work to keep it.

You might check out the column today by Tony Blankly for a somewhat supportive thought: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_tony_blankley/to_conservatives_who_are_thinking_about_tomorrow


Anonymous said...

We have unfortunately found that "packaging" of the message and pereception thereof have become nearly important as the message itself! Without the former, the message can easily get lost, or, as has been experienced recently, mangled and mis-represented by the elitist media!

The Watchman said...

Unfortunately we are already starting to see "change we can believe in." Just look at the reaction of the stock market to Obama's election...down ten percent in two days.

As Republicans, we should just keep referring back to Obama's campaign slogan "change we can believe in" when noting the economic bad news that's sure to come from Obama's election.

I predict in two years we'll see a dramatic shift away from the policies of liberals.

Jim B said...

Your post on why the Rs lost the election and what the R/Conservatives have to do in the future, was absolutely brilliant. I mean it.

I could not tell someone what a Republican is or what they stand for these days.

I can, however, tell them what a true Conservative is and what we stand for.

As Rush says, Conservativeism wins everytime it is tried. The problem is, the "Big Tent Blue Bloods" got hold of the party this time.

We do not need to "expand the base". We just need to make it clear who we are and what we stand for. Then, the voters will come flocking to the RIGHT side.

Keep up the good work.