GOP: How To Become A Majority Party
Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal looks at the fall of the Republican Party in non-southern states. The statistics are astounding and very scary for conservatives and libertarians who make up the base of the GOP. Here are a few:
- Since the 1972 presidential election, Republicans have beaten Democrats in the South 53-46, but have lost severely in non-Southern states 56-42.
- In the past five elections, the GOP has only won an average of 21.1% of the electoral college votes from non-Southern states.
I believe they must stick to their conservative principles and provide a true alternative to the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. Being moderate on key differences between the two parties will just further erode support for the GOP and cause it to lose control of its current strongholds. What Republicans need to do to win is find a better way to message to a vast majority of Americans. Party in-fighting is necessary at times, but it doesn't help the American people understand clearly where you stand on major issues, which is crucial when you are the opposition to the President.
It is critical that Republicans stand strong against Obama on issues that assault conservative principles, otherwise their is no need for a second party. Americans like the tw0-party system, since they are able to "change" control in Washington when the country is headed in the wrong direction. That's how Obama became president. He had no ideas on policy, but rather just said that the voters needed to "Throw the Bums Out."
Well I got news for everybody...President Obama may become one of those Bums. Republicans need to oppose him on crucial issues facing this nation, such as nationalized health care and massive government spending. America is a center-right country, and none of these things jive with "Independents" or "Moderates"
Most independents are voters who don't care much about politics and just get engaged around election time. They don't follow issues closely and just choose the side that most other people are choosing. It is imperative that a party builds support from its grassroots base and then pushes its message to a broader audience. That's what President Obama did by reaching out to the anti-war left, which is a small percentage of this country, but a decently sized component of the Democratic Party.
I think that Republicans should rally around a true conservative such as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who did a great job in rallying the GOP base after being selected by John McCain as his vice presidential nominee. Without Palin, McCain would have had results against to Barack Obama similar to Barry Goldwater in 1964 running against Lyndon Johnson. Some say she can't win in the Northeast and Midwest, but that's nonsense. 2012 will be a referendum of Barack Obama's presidency, so the GOP just needs a candidate who can provide a difference to his agenda. Palin may have been too green as a VP choice, but remember she was thrown into the race with roughly two months till election day. Now Gov. Palin will have to go throw a year gauntlet of policy debates before the Iowa primary. That will make her battle tested and dangerous.
Remember the media said the same things about Ronald Reagan. He was just a stupid Hollywood actor...he was too conservative...he was out of the mainstream. You know why they attacked him in this way? Because they were afraid he could win and he did win...beating incumbent Jimmy Carter by 10 points in 1980.
Palin can do the same thing to President Obama. She is just the candidate that can appeal to midwest voters who are going through tough times with the demise of the American car industry. She can even appeal to Wall Street moderates who will eventually tire of Obama's hands-on approach to big business. Suburbanites will get annoyed over high inflation rates and President Obama's weakness on national defense issues, so they will be looking for a candidate who restores American exceptionalism in economics and defense.
Times are tough for the GOP and the party needs to be built from the bottom up. It is important for the party to have success in the New Jersey and Virginia governor races in 2009 and the Congressional races in 2010. When things aren't going well for an individual, business, or political party, it is important for them to go back to the core principles that once made them great. They need to look back and figure out what their greatest success has been, then try to put together the pieces to achieve it once again. That means for the GOP going back to the Ronald Reagan strategy. That strategy entails finding a charismatic leader who delivers a strong message in a way that the majority of the country can identify with it. Governor Palin is that leader and Republicans must rally around her as their leader.