Now that the election is over, and our collective asses are in a sling, (though fewer than half of the electorate realizes it) our side of the isle is currently contemplating what went wrong. Unfortunately for the powers that be, no one has bothered to ask me.
This is not rocket science. What went wrong was a short list of bad decisions and poor leadership. Too many people trying to please too many people. Our strategy was dead on arrival.
First, let me say that I do not blame the Obama camp for our loss. They did as anyone interested in victory would. They played to win, and they did. We can sit around and complain about media bias and dirty tricks till the cows come home, but in the end, we were more interested in getting votes that winning an election. Yes, there is a difference.
Rather than waste time dwelling on our mistakes, I would like to move forward with the "Roadhouse plan to whoop some liberal hineys in 2012". Those not interested in saving our country from socialism should just go ahead and click on outta here now.
1. Stop taking the "black vote" for granted. We've been doing this for decades. It's no wonder blacks vote overwhelmingly Democrat. We can no longer write off an entire population of Americans and then cry when they vote for the other guy. The anti-gay marriage referendum in California should have been a clue to Republicans everywhere. The black community came out in force to elect Barak Obama, as is their right. When they did, they also took the opportunity to vote against gay marriage. I see that as evidence that there could be conservative gold in dem dar hills. Apparently, the Republican leadership has always assumed that blacks must be liberal because they always vote Democrat. That seems to be a tad short-sighted and seriously presumptuous if you ask me.
Be they liberal or conservative, they are Americans like you and me. They are entitled to the same opportunity to hear the other side of the story as anyone else. But rather than go to them, we brag about our "big tent" and wait for them to come to us. This is no longer an option.
If we are truly a "big tent" party, we need to go them and show their community what we have to offer. We have a superior product, but no one knows it because we're not there giving the demonstrations and making the pitch. Instead, the competition displays their wares in the black community everyday with no one else there to offer "the Pepsi challenge".
Will we be accused of pandering? Maybe, but we won't be accused of ignoring an entire community. Should we got to black communities because they are "black" communities? No. We should go there because they are American communities that are usually just written off for no real good reason. From now on, if our future campaigns do not include rallies, appearances and scheduled debates in the most urban of urban sections of major cities, then we deserve to lose.
2. Make education the catalyst for a real conservative agenda. This dovetails well with engaging the black community. For decades, Americans have been telling us that our education system is failing us, especially but not limited to the urban areas of the nation. This election was proof positive of exactly that. From prestigious colleges to inner city public schools, our education system is churning out ignorant, un-informed children by the thousands...maybe millions. These children then grow up to be citizens, and voters.
Think about it. If a diploma today was worth the paper it was printed on, then more than half of the voting electorate would NOT be so quick to accept socialism as a viable form of government. These people don't even recognize socialism, let alone fear it as they should. Lessons learned from history are virtually non-existant now. When half the electorate believes that raising taxes is good for the economy, you know you have a problem.
As a party, we should be calling out those guilty of destroying our schools. And we should be doing it in a very loud and public way. Which brings me to the next part of the plan to save the Republican party.
3. Be aggressive. Once, we were trusted with the keys to the castle, and we blew it. We squandered the public trust and fell for the stupid ideas of "compassionate conservatism" and bi-partisanship. First of all, conservatism is compassionate by definition. It needs no qualifier. And bi-partisanship is a myth that only Republicans fall for. Like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, our party never fails to reach a hand across the isle, only to pull back a bloody stump. Our unwillingness to see the opposition for what they are - the OPPOSITION, has done more to destroy our party than any scandal or attack add ever could.
We need to stop trying to work with the other party, and start putting them on the defensive for a change. Sure, we don't have the luxury of help from the media, but then again, what have we done lately that's news worthy? Did we demand investigations or hold hearings when Democrats are found to have done something shady? No. We don't even mention it in most cases. Democrats can leak intelligence secrets to the media, and denigrate our troops on the Senate floor, but what do we do? We sit on our hands and let it happen rather than give these "statesmen" a verbal beat-down.
4. Stop feeling guilty. The Republican party acts as if the first thing we do as part of our morning routine is to try to convince people that we're not some sort of monsters. By doing this, we just end up looking weak and spineless. What do we need to feel guilty about? Is it our doctrine that says it's OK to kill babies? Is it our doctrine that demands we give constitutional rights to terrorists from other countries? Is it our doctrine that says a law abiding citizen does not have the right to protect their family? Is it our doctrine that seeks to make doing business harder in America? Are we the ones who constantly want to raise taxes on everyone?
You see, that's the whole point. If Republicans would just stick with the conservative ideology that the party was founded on, we wouldn't be wandering around like a bunch of lost children right now. Would it be a cakewalk? No. But it would give us direction, unity and a definable identity. When it was decided that our principals were going to be defined by whatever is popular on any particular week according to any particular poll, we pretty much sealed the party's fate. That reminds me.
5. Enough with polls and focus groups! In times of crises, people do not need popularity contests sanctioned by people with hidden agendas and designed to have specific outcomes. They need people of character and principal. They need a rock, not a mound of clay. Our leadership should not need a poll or focus group to know right from wrong. Right and wrong are not opinion based paradigms. That brings us to...
6. Stop pandering. I don't care who you are or where you're from, you are never going to make everyone happy. So don't try. The right decision is not always popular and not always easy. But that doesn't mean it isn't the right decision. A legitimate candidate should be able to stand in front of the Congressional Black Caucus and explain why affirmative action is racist. A legitimate candidate should be able to stand in front of a women's group and explain why a woman does NOT have the right to kill her baby. Where is the candidate who can stand in front of a group of auto workers and tell them how unions have ruined the American auto business? Maybe there is no such person, but we should be actively trying to find or groom such a guy/gal.
Over the next four years, how Republicans react to the liberal agenda that's coming down the road will decide whether they are going to ever be relevant again. If we lose again in 2012, it will probably be because of our reluctance to stand up for our own principals. Will we nominate a conservative "rock" or another lump of clay?