March 20, 2013 Leave a comment
When Americans hear conservative plans they tend to support them by clear majorities. Especially so when those plans are lined up against liberal proposals. However, when voters hear that Republicans support those conservative plans suddenly voters are turned off. The problem the Republicans face heading into the 2014 and 2016 elections isn’t conservative political positions. The problem they face is that people don’t like and don’t trust the party. Of course, the party is interpreting the 2012 election all wrong. They want to move the party to the left when in reality they need to be rehabing their image while coordinating a response to the left-wing press.
In the last two elections the GOP nominated candidates who weren’t conservative. John McCain has always been more comfortable being the “reasonable” compromiser as he sides with Democrats over conservative Republicans. Mitt Romney ran for Governor of Massachusetts as a progressive Republican and largely governed like one. He was never comfortable articulating conservative positions and when pressed often retreated to his liberal foundation. From the defeat of two moderate to liberal Republicans the GOP has decided the party needs to move even further left. They apparently learned nothing.
The answer to the GOP’s woes isn’t to provide illegals with amnesty, give up on the right to life issue or support homosexual marriage. The answer doesn’t lie in abandoning social policy or the legion of Christian conservative voters who have been responsible for GOP victories for most of the last three decades. The answer lies in sticking with conservative principles because the country remains a center right country. The political end of this problem ought to be easy but with the GOP nothing can ever be easy because the progressives who run the party don’t really like the conservatives. They just use us to further their own power, which they don’t have on any real level in government because moderate to liberal candidates couldn’t beat Obama.
The GOP’s biggest problem is messaging. It isn’t so much the people who deliver the message, Sarah Palin aside, that is the problem. The problem is that our candidates and ideas are under relentless attack from the liberal media. Just look at the sequestration debate last month. The country supported the cuts but the media presented the cuts as catastrophic and they presented the Republicans as mean, evil and hateful. During the second Presidential debate last year Candy Crowley shut down the Benghazi issue and may have won the election for Obama by declaring the President right and Romney wrong. That she was wrong is an after thought, the damage had already been done.
Fair or not there isn’t much we can do about the media. They’re going to present Mitt Romney as Thurston Howell III and John Kerry as a man of the people even though Kerry has double the assets of Romney. What the Republicans need to do is figure out a way around this. It begins by sticking to principles despite the media’s relentless attacks. The reason why people believed Crowley rather than Romney is because Romney wasn’t trustworthy in the first place. Why wasn’t he trustworthy? Because no one believed he was a conservative, no one believed that he truly believed anything he said. Switching positions on homosexual marriage like Sen. Portman just because your kid says he’s gay isn’t the way to go. It suggests that one doesn’t have a base morality or a base belief and thus are subject to whatever will please others.
Despite the party being a mess we have a number of potential 2016 Presidential candidates who seem to have a basic moral core and can articulate their positions without pandering. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio in particular demonstrate these qualities. Even when they disagree, their positions are long standing and as such they clearly aren’t pandering for votes. Those guys and a number of others need to be the face of the party. We need to get rid of the consultants and liberal party leadership that gave us McCain and Romney. Their liberals failed, the answer for the future isn’t to listen to these losers and move left. The answer is to stick with our conservative principles because the country still agrees with us while at the same time rehabing the Party image. We can do this but not if the party moves left.