Recently, there have been a lot of speculations both on the left and on the right about the impending demise of conservatism and the GOP. The GOP itself has even gone so far as to issue reports and pronouncements manifesting the intent to eject social conservatives and their ideology from the GOP. To be certain, the GOP suffered a terrible defeat in 2012 that it should not have suffered given the abject failures of the Obama administration. However the reasons for that defeat were multi-fold and they have to be addressed one by one.
The first is that the GOP demonstrated its intent to eject conservatism by pushing hard and sometimes using questionable ethics to ensure the selection of a ‘moderate’ Republican, Mitt Romney, as its presidential candidate. The party base saw this process and the steps along it as the rejection of the GOP core values and many stayed home on Election Day to show their displeasure. Others simply were not inspired enough by the candidate himself to overcome even such mild deterrents as the weather to show up at the poles. The bottom line was that the GOP failed to turn out its base on Election Day and that crucial failure cost the party the election. To remedy this, the GOP will need to stay demonstrably true to its conservative core values instead of attempting to pander to the ‘moderate’ middle which is often much more easily swayed by the left. If the Republican Party appears hypocritical about its own core ideology, how can it possibly hope to sell it to others? Conservative ideology was not the problem, but rather how that ideology was handled, which brings us to the second reason for the GOP’s election defeat.
The GOP showed an abject lack of understanding and expertise in online communications, polling and social media technologies while the Democrat party excelled in these same areas. These shortcomings caused missed opportunities which were exploited by the Democrats along the road to election victory. The GOP really has no choice but to become true experts in using the latest communication and social media technology in the service of marketing (yes marketing) the party’s ideology.
Another issue for the GOP was their lackluster advertising campaign. Like it or not advertising sells everything from cars to razors to political ideologies in this country. The best products have sometimes failed without good advertising while mediocre ones have won the market because of it, and the combinations of good products and good advertising have dominated. The Democrats hired the best adverting houses on Madison Avenue to design and run their presidential ad campaign while the GOP ad campaign appeared amateurish, did not respond to nor did it properly attack the other side and failed to connect the GOP candidate with voters. The GOP must hire and use the world’s best marketing, advertising and PR experts, and not settle for broken down, old, used car salesmen in the next election!
Another serious issue for the GOP was the paucity of its outreach effort toward younger generations and minorities. There is really no excuse for this lack of effort because when meaningful outreach has taken place, the GOP has always succeeded in winning over these groups. The black community is especially overlooked in GOP outreach efforts leaving many black conservatives wondering where they should focus their energies. The GOP must expend whatever time and money that it takes to reach out and expand the room within its tent to include young people and minorities. Yes, conservatives of all stripes can in fact get along which brings us to the last point.
During the primaries the infighting within various factions of the GOP was horrendous and vicious and it did not stop when the primaries ended! The GOP simply must stop the infighting if it hopes to win elections! There needs to be more trust and understanding among the various factions. Just because a faction’s particular area of emphasis isn’t the only focus of the GOP, doesn’t mean the factions can’t band together and make common cause to wrest the control of the country away from destructive socialists! For libertarians, this means that while The GOP will embrace them into the ranks, the party will not consent to eject social conservatives nor trivialize and sideline their issues! It is an absolute myth that social issues are losers for the GOP! They are and can remain a powerful weapon in the hands of the GOP. Republicans must not let the other side trick them into abandoning that weapon! Instead of infighting, the factions should instead focus on having each other’s flanks against the other side. A unified and well prepared GOP can win America back and begin to rebuild what has been lost to the ravages of socialism.