Thursday, November 22, 2012

What went wrong?

Barack Obama is not popular. With the economy as bad off as it is he should have been pretty easy to defeat, and the wind seemed to be at our backs but much to our horror election night went down with the GOP on a national level in defeat. On an individual state basis though we actually shored up some pretty significant wins but that will be another blog. It is a tradition of the GOP to tear itself apart 24-7 anyway, but things get worse upon losing a major election.

The polls are confusing as well, we lost because we were too moderate, we lost because we were too partisan, we lost because we were too conservative, or extreme, we lost because they couldn’t tell the difference between us and the Democrats, we lost because we were not conservative enough. Our reasons for our losses vary dependant upon the poll and the people being asked.

Mitt Romney is your classic GOP moderate, and God bless him for the fine and adult manner in which he ran his campaign. Romney is a decent and honorable man with whom I disagree with on occasion, but I cannot deny he was the adult in the race. But if there is one complaint I have is the third debate, where I started to sense we may actually loose. Romney, to my horror, spent the whole night agreeing with Obama and ceding to him on point after point despite the fact that he had Obama dead to rights on his disastrous foreign policy. The Democrats cannot cry wolf (racism) out of the fact that they screwed up Bengazi and badly and four Americans died needlessly because somebody (likely Obama or someone close to him) told those who could have responded to the situation to stand down, and somebody (likely Obama or someone close to him) blamed a You Tube video no one ever saw rather than taking responsibility for the mess they made. Romney had all the goods, he could have beaten Obama as badly in the third debate as he did in the first but chose not to, and I don’t know why.

Then Hurricane Sandy hit, and the fact that we Republicans need to face is this. To the media all problems of the world are our fault, so while we had hoped Sandy would be Obama’s Katrina we should have known that the media wouldn’t spin it that way. After all, $4.00 a gallon 6 years ago-Bush’s fault, $4.00 a gallon now? Not Obama’s fault! Instead the media spun this like Obama had gone in and singlehandedly saved everyone from their misery, never mind that at the time of this writing there are still some cities back east without power… But the media has stopped talking about it. If you think the media's positive spin on Obama's lackluster response to Sandy didn't impact the election you are fooling yourself. All Obama did was a few photo ops before flying off to the next campaign ralley, but the media treated it as if Jesus himself had arrived in New Jersey and to my horror so did Republican Chris Christi.

Romney was demeaned by the media for gaffes that never happened, mistakes that were never made, they were caught red handed by Fox and the Blaze re-editing video to make things appear as they were not, such as Romney’s Wauwau’s comments. Romney was never given a fair shot by the media, even though he didn’t run on social issues, he was falsely accused of wanting to take away contraception, a ridiculous allegation which to my horror Romney never addressed.

Understanding what went wrong won’t be accomplished ideologically, the demographic break downs are almost what they always are, with a one or two point shift here and there toward or away from the Democrats. As much whining about the Latino vote has gone on in reality after we passed the first Amnesty bill in the 80s we went from 37% support down to 30% in the following election cycle, this cycle we were down to 27% so I don’t think its Amnesty or lack thereof that’s the problem.
If we're going to focus on Demographics as the problem then I think the problem is we don’t go out and ask Latinos what the problem is! Neither do the Democrats though. They just scream “racist” and whip people up into a frenzy with ludicrous and immature charges which do nothing if not shut down adult conversations.  Eventually Latinos and Blacks and young unmarried women will realize the Democrats are just crying wolf and they will stop voting altogether. At which point if we are willing to go out and talk to them we might win thier hearts and more importantly thier minds, but forget outreach, let’s try including them!

The GOP club I belong to had a Jewish prayer last month. Our speaker (also Jewish) said that if we want the Jewish voter that, right there, having a Hebrew prayer to begin our meeting (incidentally one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard, it was almost like a song, it was wonderful) was a great way to start winning over Jewish voters (a demographic that shifted to Republicans by 10 points this year by the way.) And it’s all about going a step beyond, giving voice to those demographics within our party and encouraging them to be themselves and welcoming them with open arms and encouraging their participation.

Inclusion, not outreach will fix our demographics problem. Outreach has been going on, and it’s not working. We have to do more than Spanish advertisements. We need to do more than Robocalls. We need to invite people to our activities, to our groups and associations, we need to make friends. It is a fact that on social issues Blacks and Latinos are more conservative, the idea that a rising tide floats all boats (JFK) is not a hard one for economic liberals to adapt once they understand how economic liberty can work for them, the conversion process isn’t as hard as one might think.

I’m a convert, first from economic liberalism to conservatism, now to economic libertarianism. The conversion was easy for me, I got a job and the conversion was when I saw my first pay check and saw what they took in taxes. At the time I could have lived decently off my minimum wage if no taxes had been taken, but I was single and at the time I had no deductions and therefore no shield from the tax monster. I became conservative really quick. I became Libertarian when I began to see how the money that is taken from me is wasted on vote buying and other little gimmicks the Democrats used. Forget Romney’s gift buying comments, I’ve been accusing the Democrats of reviving Andrew Jackson’s “Spoils System” for about ten years now because it’s the truth and we should never shirk from exposing it! Once people understand how their money is being taken from them and how it’s being wasted, once they see how the war on poverty has only made poverty worse in America (13% rate then 16% now and quickly worsening) once they see that Liberal policis and Liberal Unions cost us the products we love and enjoy with their petty regulations and strikes (I sure will miss the Hostess cup cake) I think the Demographics will naturally gravitate toward us so long as we are including them, not just dropping a flier in their mail box. But you see someone has to tell them why these companies are shutting down and that won't happen if all they're hearing is Democrats scream "racist!" At some point we have to acknowledge the Democrat campaign consists of two things, scream "racist" and promise people spoils. Once the various Demographics out there understand that it is THIER MONEY being used to facilitate this "Vote for Vengence" philosophy They will come to us so long as we are making sure to include them.

In the mean time we need to stop self-analyzing and start reaching out to and including people of all demos. We weren’t too Moderate. Conservative Icon Allen West lost. We weren’t too extreme, moderates like Mitt Romney, Mary Bono and Scott Brown lost. At the end of the day 3 million fewer Republicans voted for Romney than voted for McCain, and that happened because these voters, regardless of their demos, did not feel engaged. Had they been, Romney would have won. We need to be reaching out to and including everyone. Period.

It’s time we stop beating each other up, no more witch hunts against the Tea Party, and no more Tea Party purges of the moderates. I have cautioned before only a unified Conservative forum can defeat the unified Left. We cannot unify if we are at each other’s throats.

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