Post-election season, a raging whirlwind of questions pertaining to the path the Republican Party ought to take has surfaced. Is a new direction really necessary, or is an improved strategy the key? Should the GOP abandon its namesake by incorporating liberal ideals in an effort to pander? Where should we go from here?

Contrary to what Leftist pundits would have you believe, however, Republicans made gains at the state level. Nationally, the GOP maintained control of the popular body of Congress, and increased its control of governorships and legislative chambers. In Michigan, the GOP held onto power of Lansing, keeping an advantage in the State House (thus paving the way for Right to Work legislation) and on the Supreme Court, Michiganders rejected measures that sought to drastically alter its Constitution, namely a proposed amendment which would have enshrined collective bargaining rights for government-sector unions. Not all was lost on Election Day, but we must double-down on our efforts to educate – not pander to – the public en masse.

RINOs – Republicans in name only, who seek to turn the GOP into a watered-down version of the Democrat Party – have time and time again failed to lead to electoral success. John McCain got trounced last presidential cycle. Mitt Romney is not entirely at fault, although some issue planks could have been better articulated, such as the campaign’s lackluster response to the disgraceful ObamaCare Court ruling.

A common-sense conservative approach is in order. The soft, we-are-not-as-bad-as-the-other-side tactic is a losing one. Strategically speaking, it is rather simple: focus on traditional values, i.e. legitimate fiscal restraint and respect for the freedom of the individual. Spending must stop, all human life must be protected by the law, and activist judges should not dictate their skewed interpretation of the natural law. Genuine conservatism will be given an opportunity to govern – it is only a matter of when.

Historically, these principles win elections. Is it any wonder why, when big-government policies are publicized for what they are, Leftists run as budget hawks? The most recent mid-term elections prove the point. Albeit contradictory to their agenda, Congressional Democrat candidates masqueraded as fiscally responsible lawmakers, even though they were responsible for fiscally insane legislation like ObamaCare and stimulus package. Fortunately voters saw through the lie. Under a second Obama administration, the Left cannot hide from their actions, let alone pretend they are something they are not: conservative politicians.

The bumpy road toward rejuvenation begins now. Speaker John Boehner and his U. S. House colleagues would be making a terrible blunder, philosophically and politically, if they were to give in to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s wish to raise taxes on Americans writ large. Republicans must stay true to their constituents by preventing any further tax increases. Americans are already saddled with debilitating debt and can ill afford to pay even more for Washington shenanigans.

Nick Kowalski | Michigan State University | @NKowalski