So the Republicans Want Advice?
This Should Be Fun
(c) 2013 by Tom King
Apparently the Republicans have decided to seek the advice of their constituents to find out what went wrong in 2012. They've set up a website to mine the opinions of the (hopefully) mostly conservative folk who take the time to visit the site. It's not open to general comments. That's probably wise. It would generate tons of useless angry essays that would be totally unquantifiable. I suspect the site is designed as more of a safety valve, designed to boil off Republican frustration at being led up another rabbit hole by the party's clueless leadership.
The site links you to a survey, designed, no doubt to generate all sorts of nice statistics to be used by the leadership to justify itself or to be buried if it embarrasses them. The site claims, "The Growth & Opportunity Project is reaching out to hundreds of individuals including RNC Members, grassroots activists, donors, elected officials, community leaders and other important partners to help the Republican Party form a solid path going forward." The word "forward" is, ironically, a hyperlink to a shady credit score monitoring service. You have to wonder if they were intentionally being ironic. The survey, after all, could turn out to be a kind of "creditability score" for the GOP leadership and one that is not likely to be taken seriously if it turns out badly for the RNC.
I took the survey and I'm not sure it's going to tell them anything useful that will help them win elections. Let me outline some steps I think the RNC needs to take to overcome its malaise:
- Get in touch with the party's conservative base. Without them the party becomes Democrat Lite and has little drawing power with the undecided voter.
- Get over the idea that independent voters are necessarily moderates. A lot of them describe themselves as conservatives.
- Spend more time at the grassroots level with real people. Ronald Reagan had a talent for reaching over the heads of the "important" people and clasping hands with real Americans. It's why we voted for him in such large numbers.
- Quit with the "taking turns" approach when choosing presidential candidates. To the base it looks like the primaries are rigged so that the RNC's current "golden boy" gets the nod. How else do you explain Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney? We need a real, principled conservative and we need for you to quit throwing them to the media hounds.
- Develop some courage. Ronald Reagan said outrageous things that country club Republicans thought were terrible politics. They worked because they were clear, courageous and true. Quit thinking like the Democrats that people can be manipulated to do what you want them to. Recognize that free will exists and challenge America to choose it's future. Recent campaigns have seemed more about who could trick people into voting them power, rather than about challenging Americans to choose their future.
- Quit courting the media. They are not on your side. Make news by doing the right thing. Americans will applaud you no matter what the media does. Remember Ronald Reagan. The media hated him,but Americans ignored them and cheered him on. Quit looking over your shoulder when you do anything to see if the media is following you. Make them play catch-up to you.
- Include persons of faith and don't be ashamed to do so. "God bless America" is not yet out of fashion. Old-fashioned patriotism is a powerful thing.
- Don't assume that just because the media says George W. Bush was a failure that he was. He got re-elected didn't he. Remember when he stood on the rubble of the World Trade Center and said, "I hear you and those who did this are going to hear you!" We need that kind of fiery patriotism. America is sick and tired of slick politicians with plastic hair and a slick patter.
- Find people out there with a clean record, solid conservative values and the ability to talk clearly and elevate them within the party. Screw political experience. Search for wisdom. Don't be ashamed of them and don't let the media define them. Remember, they called Ronald Reagan a "failed B-actor". I didn't matter. He was a good man, well-spoken and wise. Surely you can find someone out there who hasn't been swimming in the political muck.
If the RNC doesn't do something real soon, the party WILL lose its base and very soon.
Just one man's opinion