"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Myths From an Election Night Loss and How to Save the Republican Party

With the election lost, many folks are asking how to save the Republican Party. To which I wonder what exactly they're trying to save. I am not interested in saving the Republican Party. I'm interested in saving America and the ideals that it was founded on - classical liberalism, individual liberty, and all those lofty principles that no longer seem to matter a majority of voters.

I do believe the Republican Party is still the best vehicle to advance these causes, but only because Democrats have abandoned them for a cradle-to-grave nanny state of centralized bureaucracy. When I hear Democrats advising Republicans to be more moderate to save the Republican Party, I hear only their desire to destroy conservatism. That's not a solution. That's suicide. America needs conservatism to survive, because as Margaret Thatcher correctly stated, "the facts of life are conservative." Just ask Greece.

America, like Greece, will live as a failed state if we abandon the principles that made this nation free and prosperous. Our unprecedented prosperity over two centuries is a result of economic freedom and personal liberty that promised fortune for those who worked hard, saved, invested wisely, and lived within their means. The proof of its success is not just in GDP, but in the choice of millions of immigrants to leave the old world for new opportunities and risk everything to come to these shores.

Unfortunately, the new generation wants it all now without the work or responsibility required of adults. In raising the millennials, we have created an On Demand Generation which spends money blindly on leisure and entertainment while demanding others pick up the tab for their necessities - college, housing, health care, and yes, even condoms. It seems everyone loves the sex, but nobody wants to pay for the consequences (so that's what the hippies meant by "free love"). These are adults behaving like children - putting off adulthood until 27 or however long President Obama says you can stay on your parent's health insurance.

I don't point this out to be overly pious or judgmental, certainly we are all at fault for contributing to the current state of our society, but it does end poorly in the long run. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. The future members of society which we are now enabling will only think of themselves when austerity measures are enacted as they must be to avoid bankruptcy at some point. Look no further than Europe to see what the future holds. Our On Demand Generation will riot, burn, and destroy civilization when their demands to keep spending recklessly to support their habits aren't met. Turns out there is no virtue in instant gratification after all.

What's most telling about this election is how Mitt Romney won the vote of those over the age of 35, but overwhelmingly lost the vote of the under 35 crowd. Here you have the bulk of the OD Generation voting for feel-good freebies at the expense of freedom and refusing to look at the credit card balance for which all of this stuff has to be paid. The fact that its borrowed money at high interest never seems to cross their mind until the bank shows up to take it all back, and then the bank or the so-called rich must be the bad guy. In twenty years, the foolish who voted for this fiscally insolvent path will get the bill and look to blame someone else for the mess they inherited. It would be fodder for great satire if the consequences weren't so serious.

You will hear a lot of stupid talk over the next few weeks about saving the Republican Party as if its the Republican Party that needs saving rather than the future of our nation. And almost all the conclusions will be wrong.

Romney wasn't hurt by the pro-Life cause. Last time I checked, just over half of the electorate considered themselves pro-Life and pro-choice Republicans like Scott Brown and Linda McMahon lost their senate races just as badly as foot-in-mouth candidate Republican Richard Murdock. If anything, the lesson learned is the NRSC should pay to put their senatorial candidates through media bootcamp.

It wasn't a firm stance on illegal immigration that cost the Republicans, either. In Texas, Ted Cruz advocated a stronger border and stricter enforcement of the law all the way to an easy victory while Hispanic Congressman Quico Conseco lost supporting some form of the DREAM Act.

For all the talk of the tea party dragging the Republicans too far to the right, there is scant evidence that this is the case. The tea party remains mostly concerned about fiscal issues and the trillion dollar deficits run up by the Obama administration. This was hardly talked about over the election cycle and that was to the detriment of Republicans. We heard far too much about tax rates and wonkish tax policy. Romney also failed to talk enough about freedom and the virtues of being a nation of individuals who have choices and opportunity. These are the principles that elections are won on. The choice isn't between freebies or not having freebies. It's between freebies or freedom.

Where Republicans ran boring establishment types, they got trounced - see George Allen and Tommy Thompson. Fresh faces like Ted Cruz and two years ago, Marco Rubio, were both the result of tea party efforts and the milquetoast Republicans they defeated in their primaries are evidence that the tea party is reinvigorating the party and moving conservatism in the right direction.

Lastly, it wouldn't hurt for old, white Republicans who look like they just arrived for their TV interview from the country club nursing home to cede the media spotlight to a younger, fresher generation of conservative spokespeople. No, there's nothing wrong with being old or white, but when you have a branding problem as the "old white party", it might be time to stop sending Dick Armey and John Sununu out there every day. Sure, Democrats sent out Bill Clinton, but he's our first black president. They don't send out Jimmy Carter.

In the states that mattered, the Romney Ryan ticket came about 400,000 votes short of the presidency. That's not the beat-down that many media pundits are acting like occurred on Election Night. But it is a wake-up call. If not to Republicans, at least to conservatives.


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