First, out of courtesy, I congratulate President Barack Obama and his supporters, many of whom are my friends, on his re-election.
However, I feel less than joyous. In fact, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s loss is downright painful to me.
It is painful not because two personalities failed to carry the day. It is painful for two primary reasons.
First, it’s painful because conservatives lost their ideal for America and I am not entirely sure if it is ever coming back. In a time of rising poverty, high unemployment, anemic economic growth for more than 2 years, significant loss of net household income, and massive unsustainable national debt, Americans signed on for more of the same. The era of big government just received a second curtain call and she’s coming back bigger and better than ever. Our ideal for America is liberty. Liberty is the freedom of the individual to create a destiny of his own design; liberty only flourishes when government is limited and plays its proper role. What we have now is bigger government as Obamacare takes hold and as the administration makes good on its promise to incur even more national debt and deficits. This is out of control government spending. This is what Europe did under its Euro-Socialist agenda and it is now broken. This just doesn’t work folks and the United States now approaches the point of fiscal collapse.
Second, it’s painful because the conservative message, while shared by more than the 58,163,977 people on Election Day (48%) who voted for Governor Romney, fails to resonate far enough beyond the Republican’s core group of whites to win elections in the future. President Obama won support from 80% of the black, Latino, and other nonwhite voters while Governor Romney received support from 57% of the white vote. It is equally worth noting that President Obama won 63% of total voters aged 18 to 34. He received 61,170,405 votes or 50.5% of the popular vote. The president’s share of the nonwhite vote is staggering and portends a real extinction problem for the GOP as these nonwhite and youthful segments grow and as the US becomes a minority-majority nation.
How can the GOP ensure a future for the Party and for conservatism? It’s not that Republicans must gravitate toward the center and compromise their values; we must not change our message or pander to blacks or Latinos, young or old, for votes to win elections-that wouldn’t work anyway. Republicans must not and cannot accept the Left’s platform on issues such as same-sex marriage, amnesty or abortion to get votes. The GOP did something similar once before in the 19th Century (Lily-White Movement) where they compromised to get more southern votes into the Party. That was the first major blow to the post-Reconstruction Negro and the Party has yet to recover.
Republicans must “relate” and connect to the electorate beyond its core base with innovative outreach. Relating and connecting means presenting the message in ways that are familiar, in ways that identify with those you are attempting to inspire. Specifically, the faces and the language the GOP uses must evolve. Traditional campaigning is a dinosaur. No one wants to buy a Pinto today no matter how good the seller says the engine is. The GOP’s messengers are typically white men who perpetuate the awful GOP stereotype and fail to relate or connect to the electorate which is ever growing and changing. It’s a new world out there folks; keep up. The new political world has swag (like Obama) and the Republican Party comes up short.
Let’s face it, the presidential election is a popularity contest and not a competition of substantive ideas. Remember, Hope and Change? It sold because of the packaging and not because of the substance. There was none. Sad but true.
Moreover, Governor Romney received approx. 800,000 fewer votes than Sen. John McCain in 2008. The president received 8 million less than he did in 2008 and he still won. In one of the worse economies in recent history and the assumption that conservatives would turn out in record numbers for the Republican ticket, how could the president still win with 8 million less voters? Nonwhites. If you’re going to win elections, you now have to win a competing share of Latinos, nonwhites, and blacks to a lesser degree.
Republicans have to embrace and elect true and uncompromising conservatives; Republicans must stick to their principles while rebranding and repackaging the message in order to relate to the growing and changing electorate. Example: funding national Spanish Talk Radio and otherwise expanding conservative media choices.