obama01_16773717

Five Lessons The GOP Needs To Learn From The Catastrophic Re-Election of President Obama

On Wednesday morning, half of America woke up to the grim realization that Barack Obama is still President and will be for another four years. Despite months of frantic and tireless work, the Republican Party came up short of ousting the President, and to top it all off, they not only failed to gain a majority in the Senate, but instead lost three Senate seats. This means that the near future of government in America is four more years of political stalemate – if we’re lucky. If we’re not, it’ll mean an aggressive assault on the civil liberties of American citizens and a dramatic extension of government dependency and the welfare state.

Unfortunately, the blame for this massive failure falls squarely on the shoulders of the Republican Party itself, primarily GOP leadership that should have known better. These leaders refused to take a warning from history and plugged their ears to the voices of the loud and dedicated mass of citizens known as the grassroots. Indeed, the party repeatedly turned a cold shoulder on these activists, who tend to be zealous social conservatives or libertarians concerned about their eroding civil liberties. The GOP failed to realize that these grassroots supporters form the base of the party. They are the momentum and they are passionate because of ideas. The GOP failed to elect a suitable candidate to represent these ideas. Consequently, they lost.

People didn’t come out for Romney like they were supposed to. Although most of the talking heads are not discussing this fact, well over 2 million American voters voted for someone other than Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. That’s around 1.8%. To make matters worse, preliminary reports are suggesting that voter turnout was considerably lower this year than in 2008. And Romney received less votes than John McCain got four years ago – over 2.5 million less. In short, a lot of people who voted for McCain in 2008 didn’t vote for Romney this year. And way too many Republicans didn’t turn out at all.

Let’s hope that this costly defeat won’t be wasted, but will serve to transform the Republican Party into a mighty and dynamic force for the future – and an honorable one. If this is to happen, there are five things the party needs to learn:

1. Moderate, big-money candidates rarely excite the base enough to beat suave, charismatic, liberal candidates. Remember Bob Dole? John McCain? The Republican base cherishes some basic principles of conservatism. Nominate a candidate who violates these or fails to display his dedication to them, and you automatically lose an important percentage of voters. Even when the stakes are high, and even when the Democratic candidate is as polarizing and disliked as President Obama.

2. Play fair. The fraud that occurred at the RNC, at various state conventions, and during the primary elections/caucuses in states like Maine and Iowa, put a serious kink in Romney’s electability among droves of Republicans. People don’t want to vote for someone whom they suspect is dishonest and mercenary. If you cannot win your own party’s nomination ethically, you should not expect them to come flocking to your aid in a general election.

3. Don’t sacrifice ideals for the myth of electability. Electability is determined at the ballot box. It cannot be decided in advance by political analysts. Indeed, talking about it usually helps to shape it – for better or for worse. Republican voters in this election were pressured from the beginning of the primary season to vote for Romney because he was “the only electable candidate,” and “the only one who can defeat Obama.” This fear-mongering refrain did much to boost Romney’s numbers in the polls and edge out more popular candidates. But now that the big election is over, we see that all the talk about electability only served to land us with a lousy and uninspiring candidate who didn’t beat Obama. Conservative voters would have done better to heed the advice of former President John Quincy Adams:

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

4. Don’t nominate a candidate who is ashamed of conservative values. Unfortunately, Romney made it very evident that he never wholeheartedly embraced the principles upon which conservatism rests. He utilized a few of our talking points, and slipped in some of our stats and arguments when the time seemed opportune, but his policies were not based on the formal principles of liberty. They were based on political expediency. Although the examples of this are numerous, a representative is the ad campaign he ran in the swing states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia, touting his “balanced” stance on abortion. It’s also interesting to note that during his debates with President Obama, he warred on the turf of the welfare state and not on the groundwork of liberty. Rather than referencing the constitution to show that President Obama’s policies were entirely contrary to U.S. law, he seemed determined to demonstrate that he didn’t want to do nearly as many conservative things as the Democrats said he did.

Additionally, Romney did not address the authoritarian nature of Obama’s presidency, the numerous executive orders that the president has signed, the wildly unpopular National Defense Authorization Act, the drone wars, the Federal Reserve, or inflation. Most liberty-loving voters are uber-concerned about these issues, and they took his silence on them as a signal that he intended to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor – a wise call on their part, perhaps.

5. Nobody owes you their vote. You must respect them and earn it.
After souring the mood of much of the voting bloc, the GOP tried to rouse the base by acting like conservatives had no choice but to vote for Romney, ridiculing anyone who considered a third-party vote. This served to further alienate many voters who were already leaning towards leaving their Republican affiliation altogether and going completely independent. The party bosses will have to fight hard to recover these voters for 2016. Perhaps they should start by clothing themselves with a little humility and apologizing to the values voters they left behind in their mad dash for the White House.

From the notorious RNC Power Grab in August to the nomination of the liberal-leaning Mitt Romney, in the months leading up the 2012 elections, GOP party bigs repeatedly conveyed to grassroots supporters the message that the philosophical principles of conservatism are not important to the Republican Party. The only thing that mattered was to win, to defeat Barack Obama, to put anyone else in his place. Unfortunately, in order to bring about this objective they cheated, lied and engaged in shockingly unethical behaviors. Now that their pragmatic scheme has failed utterly, it’s only fair that the so-called ‘idealistic’ conservatives should be invited back in to rebuild the languishing party on a solid foundation of ideology – if they’ll come.

Bryana Johnson | @_Bryana_Johnson

Related News

16 Responses

Leave a Reply
  1. SHOCKED AT STUPIDITY ON THIS SITE...
    Jun 20, 2013 - 12:31 AM

    I CAN NOT BELIEVE THE STUPIDITY OF THIS SITE. YOU ARE SO FAR OFF BASE AND SIMPLY WRONG. I LOVE HOW OTHER COUNTRIES (CANADA, AUSTRALIA ) SEEM TO KNOW SO MUCH MORE ABOUT AMERICAS EVENTS THAN WE DO. YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON AND ONLY SEE REPORTS FROM LIBTARDS AS YOU SEEM TO BE. YOU SHOULD DO MORE RESEARCH AND START COVERING YOUR OWN BUTTS BECAUSE AS THE US FALLS SO DO YOU! LOOK UP GEORGE SORO’S ON BBC AND SEE OBAMA AND HIS VISION NOT ONLY FOR THE US BUT FOR THE WORLD…DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND STOP THE ” KNOW IT ALL BS” STOP BLAMING CONSERVATIVES THAT ARE TRYING TO PROTECT ALL OF OUR RIGHTS AND FIGHTING SO HARD TO PRESERVE THE COUNTRY THAT “WE KNOW AND LOVE” STOP HATING AND JOIN THE CAUSE OR AT LEAST GET ONE OF YOUR FACTS RIGHT. SHAME ON THE LOT OF YOU!!! AND THE YOUNG HATER THAT WRITES THESE OH SO FAR OFF BASE ARTICLES, YOU ARE SOOOOO MISGUIDED AND JADED. NO WONDER YOU HAVE THAT JOB.

    Reply
  2. Bob
    Apr 30, 2013 - 06:47 PM

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The republicans need to ensure (real) votes are actually tallied. As long as the electronic fraud votes are only counted by Democrats and the companies they own and control, no (true) conservative will ever again sit in the White House.

    Reply
  3. Clay
    Jan 22, 2013 - 03:27 AM

    After 4 years in the service 67-71, over 30 years as an executive with a Fortune 500 company, retirement at 56, I now realize what the professor who wrote “verbose” on my B+ paper meant. When you can’t win the Female, Hispanic, Black, Asian, Post Graduate, under 35, or Moderate vote, the problem is not how do we nominate a true Consevative. I voted Republican my entire life until the 2008 election. The Republican Party has gone off the tracks and can’t seem to find it’s way back to reality. Reality is where most of us live. Sarah Palin as next in line to the office of the President of the United States……you lost me there. Comgressman that would threaten the Full Faith and Credit of he United States of America…..you’ve got to be kidding. Intelligence is not a bad thing. From an old white male living in a house that is much too big, in an overwhelmingly Red Southern State, driving imported European autos, and playing golf on a regular basis with other old white males. Come up out of your foxhole and look around.

    Reply
  4. Bruce
    Nov 29, 2012 - 12:54 PM

    Hey guys
    I’m an observer from affar…Australia.

    It looks to me like conservative america is completely out of touch with the rest of the planet. Why so? Like Australia, America is increasingly made up of “world citizens” , not just white guys with a sense of entitlement and born to rule mentality. America’s values are increasingly influenced by the globalization of everything. Millennial kids who will be voting in the next election are not informed by there parents or television, but by their friends and information sources on the Internet. They are also more ethnically and socially diverse than Americans at this last election. Ignore them at your peril GOP.

    Republicans remind people outside of America as a kind of white Taliban. More interested in restricting the hard won social rights of ordinary citizens than the general prosperity of society. Even conservatives in Australia were hoping that Obama was elected so we would not have to be dragged into more pointless Republican ‘wars about nothing’.

    Australia has had Obamacare for 40 years, like most other civilized democracies, we have little public debt, and we were just voted the second luckiest place on earth to be born. I believe you can gauge the success of a society by the prospects of the most downtrodden. Despite its rhetoric, America is a disaster for those born into poverty, with no prospect of decent education or health care.

    Watching America being humiliated by al Qaida and being goaded into ruining their economy with exessive defense spending makes most of the world dread another republican government. The millennial kids aren’t stupid. They have better access to a variety of information than any previous generation. They know which party is more likely to pursue harmonious relationships with the rest of the planet, and promote policies they actually care about like global warning and gay rights…..not how to make rich white guys richer.

    Reply
  5. Chelle
    Nov 09, 2012 - 06:55 PM

    Sigh…this is some of the worst advice.

    1) The GOP actually needs to move back moderate, not conservative. Obama picked up the liberal and the moderate vote. Saying that the party should just stay in its current nature will result with more and more moderate Republican to move to the Democrats.

    2) The GOP actually needs to stick with its limited government – not just limited government that benefits the power majority. If you guys really believe in limited government, stop messing around with abortion and gay marriage. Keep both legal.

    3) Obama didn’t win because people thought he was better for the economy. People thought Romney would of actually been better. However, with the conservative focus on limiting the rights of women and gays, people were more concern that outlawing abortion was the main proirity of the party, not the economy. The economy will right itself – it takes a while for Supreme Court justices to cycle out. That was a major factor.

    4) Actually address the concerns of the minority. Obama didn’t get the black vote because he’s black – he addressed issues that concerned them. Same with Hispanic, women, etc.

    5) Transparncy, which you did touch on. However, it was a major issue that Romney and Ryan would not list details on their plans and instead kept saying they would work across the aisle to develop them. People aren’t stupid – they know Obama was putting out bills and they know the House was blocking them.

    Bottom line is, Romney played the game the GOP wanted. The GOP just can’t adjust to changing times. A moderate Romney (like when he was governor) and a conservative running mate would of been a threat. Instead, they presented a conservative Romney and an extreme conservative Ryan.

    The moderates and minorities (including women) saw nothing in Romney/Ryan for them. In fact, they just saw the same old scapegoating they always get.

    Reply
    • Chelle
      Nov 09, 2012 - 06:57 PM

      Also, stop with the melodrama like “catastrophic.”

      Reply
  6. valerie
    Nov 09, 2012 - 06:43 PM

    Sorry for the typos. For some reason I cannot see everything that I type…);
    But you get the idea…Have a great day !

    Reply
  7. valerie
    Nov 09, 2012 - 06:41 PM

    `I I admire and respect this young author. Passion for who you are and what you do is the first battle in any movement. It excites me to hear what young voters think about politics, especially since I am a Mom to 2 twenty somethings.
    As a 59 year old I naturally have a different perspective on things, but there are areas of agreement, and that
    s a good place to start. Alot of second guessing and recriminations will result from our failure to recapture the White House AND lose seats in the Senate in a time of fiscal calamity and broken promises. I’m impressed that we have avoided excess name calling and finger pointing thus far, but it may come.
    The Republican party has much work and soul searching ahead of it. Being a party of many parts, it is going to be difficult to find common ground in some areas. Everyone will want to have his way. I see this over and over again. I feel hopeful that we will hammer out a cogent and thoughtful plan. We have to do that.
    My biggest disagreement, and it disappoints me that we have such diverging views,is with Bryan’s assessment of Mitt Romney. I firmly believe he is as close to ideal as any candidate was. Yes money plays a role, but had another candidates broken through, I a convinced the money would have been forthcoming. Governor Romney talked about issues that candidates have avoided:defunding Planned Parenthood, defunding PBS,retooling entitlement reforms and social security. I would say those things are very conservative. He had a strong record of uniting and as Governor, he embraced strong women in leadership positions. He became a pro life Governor and was an effective leader.
    BrDavid and Nancy French are the founders of “Evangelicals for Mitt.” I encourage people to read their blog at the French Revolution. They can be found on Facebook also. These are 2 wonderful and conservative people who love Governor Romney. Through their efforts, more evangelicals voted for Mitt Romney than for McCain or Bush. That speaks volume. I regret Mitt ROmney is not at the helm. America has missed out.
    Thank you Bryana for caring enough to write this article. Being interested and caring is where it all begins.

    Reply
  8. Southern Republican
    Nov 09, 2012 - 03:59 PM

    You hit the nail on the head Bryana. I agree 100%.

    Reply
  9. Jim Prokop
    Nov 08, 2012 - 07:19 PM

    Bryana/Patrick: You both have it wrong. Electability IS important; if you don’t believe me go back and do a little research about Richard Nixon & William F. Buckley as well. Nixon clearly knew that nearly all elections were won somewhere in the middle. The hard facts are these: There are not enough hard-core (so-called conservatives) to elect anyone. The figures run to about 1/3 of the electorate, nationally. (Some states in the south are the exception- but the south is NOT America-sorry.) So, moderates and independents are needed to win a NATIONAL and in many case a STATE election. This is not rocket-science. What your party needs to do is tell the evangelical and whack-nut community to piss-off and call-them-out every time they open their mouths with foolishness. Yes, it will cost some support in the short run but these clowns have nowhere else to go and will either return to the party contrite or get out of politics. Moderates and independents will then be attracted back into the party. The Republican party here in my state Washington literally threw the old John Birch Society out of the party back in the late 60’s and elected a 3 term Governor. This is the key to success nationally for the Republicans. Let the wacko’s and Southerners and racists find a new home or better yet piss-off.

    Reply
    • Southern Republican
      Nov 09, 2012 - 03:58 PM

      Southerners? Double check the red sea on the electoral map. You seem to be living in a world of blue.

      Reply
      • Jim Prokop
        Nov 10, 2012 - 01:34 AM

        Yes, I do live in a blue state and appreciate it. I, also, enjoy living in the Blue Pacific Northwest where there are few evangelicals and religion plays a small part in most politics as well as life in general. The other-side of the coin is that I live in an area of the state that is as Red as most of the south. So I know where I speak….and by the way I have visited the south and my son lived there for a year and left for the Blue left coast as soon as he could. Valerie sorry to anger you…just telling it as I see it.

      • Clay
        Jan 22, 2013 - 03:40 AM

        A Red Sea of “Fly Over” country with few electoral votes. Look at a map from space of the USA at night……the lights are out in the Red States. The Red Sea is a Dead Sea when it come to electing a President. Disclaimer: I live in Texas…it’s Red…

    • valerie
      Nov 09, 2012 - 06:47 PM

      Did you have to end your post that way? You had me up until that point..Good grief we have got to get along.
      But that brings up this point and plays into what you said –yesterday a called to Rush said he stayed home because Romney is a moderate. He wants to teach the party a lesson-moderates need to be cleansed from the party…This will doom us, but he doesn’t get it. Rush asked if he would be able to live with himself after helping to reelect Barack Obama. His answer-YES.

      Reply
      • Ceecee
        Jan 21, 2013 - 06:10 PM

        In the intrest of rating, Rush has ACTORS call into his show. Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. Just saying…

  10. Patrick
    Nov 08, 2012 - 12:43 PM

    This is encouraging to see. I’m glad that yourself and several other conservative writers are calling out the GOP establishment for incorrectly riding the “electability” train. It has cost us once again. Will we learn from this election moving forward? I doubt it but I’ve been wrong before.

    -Patrick

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyrıght 2014 THE COLLEGE CONSERVATIVE.

Facebook

Twitter