Skip to comments.A Lesson Learned
Posted on 11/08/2012 5:36:48 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
The Republican partys brutal defeat in yesterdays presidential and Senate races offers at least one clear, abiding lesson: Republicans cant win without making their case.
For all of the worthiness of his campaign, which (to his great credit) was so much more honorable, classy, truthful, and responsible than the presidents and the extraordinary effort that he devoted to it after so many other Republicans refused to enter the contest during their nations time of need the unfortunate fact is that Mitt Romney too often didnt prosecute the case. He didnt really make the case on Obamacare (and especially on the federal individual mandate), on Libya, on our debt crisis (hitting it only intermittently), or on this presidents demonstrated willingness to circumvent the rule of law to achieve his desired ends (recess appointments when the Senate was in session, the steady stream of flagrant actions by this administrations Department of Health and Human Services, the ongoing actions of its Justice Department, the presidents unilateral decrees gutting welfare reform and asserting that regardless of what the law says young illegals are hereafter free to stay in this country, etc.). How much did the majority of Americans, who primarily get their news from the mainstream press corps or The Daily Show, have any of these concerns on their minds as they entered the polling booth?
As a result, an election that should have been about Obamacare wasnt really about Obamacare and a president who might well be further outside of the American ideological mainstream than any other president to date, amazingly came off looking (again!) like a moderate. To make matters even worse (and more unjust), the president portrayed Romney as the extremist. The lesson should be clear: When Republicans dont fight, they simply allow liberal Democrats to appear to be centrists.
After decades, however, of entrusting subsequent generations education to our left-of-center public schools, its not enough for Republicans simply to prosecute the case against specific policies or even specific violations of our legal forms. Republicans also need to make the broader case. They need to make the case on behalf of our founding ideas of limited government and respect for God-given, unalienable rights. They need to paint the picture of the dangers of funneling almost unfathomable amounts of power and money into Washington, D.C. where such power is exercised (and such money is spent) by elites eager to pass rules governing nearly every conceivable action that every individual American might ever conceive of undertaking. To put it simply, Republicans need to make the case against coercion, and on behalf of liberty and they shouldnt shy away from using those words.
Certainly, Republicans need to balance principle with prudence. For example, a more nuanced position on illegal immigration, like the one that Newt Gingrich took in the GOP primaries, would almost certainly have served the party better than the position taken by Romney. In general, however, Republicans dont need to be any more or less "extreme"; they need to be more assertive. If they continue not to make their case, theyll continue to be at the mercy of the educational system, the press corps, and the winds of fate.
Its no accident that the only recent Republican who made any real headway in changing the nations course was willing to make the case on behalf of that change. Yes, from Reagan back to Lincoln, the great Republicans havent been afraid to give voice to Americas timeless ideals or to use the language of the Founding in doing so. The Republicans of today and tomorrow will either need to follow their laudable example, or else get used to nights like last night.
RINOs do not win presidential elections. I wish the GOP would learn that lesson.
NO ONE wins an election, unless they make a good case for your support and vote.
Yes, they do. Eisenhower, Nixon, and both Bushes were RINOs. Reagan was the exception.
I've been writing on the topic of this article for ten years, actually developing explanations for the mechanics of how liberty works versus why government control fails. It really isn't hard to explain to people why a bureaucrat listing an endangered species has a motive to KEEP it endangered. It isn't hard to show that paying somebody to grow more is cheaper and quicker. It isn't hard to show how expensive is a massive bureaucracy of cops, prison guards, psychologists, interpreters, clerks, lawyers, and judges just to maintain a criminal justice system that thrives on the children of immoral parents and educators. If all we do is shout "Liberty, God, Morality..." we have not informed the voter as to how we intend to see to it that many of society's ills are cured. Instead, the MSM will fill in those memes with their usual "solutions." We must have those instructive libertarian sound-bites on the tip of our tongues for the little media time we get.
That IS the problem of MAKING conservatives out of voters, people who will reliably go to the polls to save themselves from what at first seem like easy coercive "solutions": "just pass a law that makes them do it..." To me, it is absolutely shocking the degree to which the political glitterati have ignored this fundamental necessity. I have offered candidates my assistance for nearly a decade to deaf ears. They all want to run away from doing the homework it takes to be facile in each of the issues. It is a steady, tedious, and detailed process of learning examples and refining the language of delivery, but that homework MUST be done.
Conservatives cannot win by catering to voters; we win by teaching voters to be conservatives. Reagan did that, that's why he won.
This election proves your contention wrong.
This is a good run-down: The GE Years: What Made Reagan Reagan [Newt said this book explained Ronald Reagan's leadership]
I knew about that and it was precisely what I was implying. What Reagan did is what Sarah Palin refused to do, for which I will ever hold her in disregard until she fixes it. Instead of getting the education she so obviously needed, she went on the speaking circuit repeating the same tired platitudes until most of America was tired of her. It is simply not enough for a candidate to blather blandishments about liberty, THEY MUST EXPRESS COMMAND OF THE CONTENT BY EXPERIENCE.
No, this election proves the contention right.
The guy who said “Vote for me - I’ll give you free stuff” won.