Anyone still unsure what kind of thinking has led to the GOP decline in recent years? Don't be confused any longer. Contrary to what Democrats, the media, and liberal Republicans like to try to convince themselves it is not because the GOP is too right wing. The exact opposite is true. The GOP has abandoned its social and economic principles in favor of political expediency. The social and economic moderates and liberals in the Republican party that have gained power over the last decade have destroyed the party.
I have no problem with moderate or liberal political views in theory. However, it seems much of the Republican establishment has erroneously come to the conclusion that the best way to beat Democrats is to run as Democrats lite. Many are not principled moderates they merely believe it is a advantageous political posture. A former McCain strategist, Steve Schmidt, recently had the delusional self-confidence to offer his advice on how the GOP should right its course. his suggestion? Abandon religion.
Essentially Schmidt is advocating continuing the McCain strategy of disillusioning and disrespecting the core of the party base. I can only imagine he is advocating the strategy because it worked so well for McCain. Oh no wait, McCain lost and did so in a disconcerting fashion, losing states he had no business losing. McCain has even admitted that he would have done much worse without Palin on the ticket. No doubt Palin's conservative Christian cred helped shore up much of McCain's eroding support from the Christian community.
For starters, I am coniunously baffled by McCain advisors and strategists who somehow think that their disasterous campaign gives them the credibility to offer suggests on fixing a party that they are largely responsible for destroying. Secondly, I am dumbfounded that they don't even have the minimal wisdom needed to see the error of their ways and admit that that ostracizing the conservative base of their party was a bad decision. What arrogance and foolishness.
To address the substance of Schmidt's argument, it has numerous flaws. For starters, the argument is completeley devoid of principle. He argues that the GOP should abandon religion and social conservatism not because he believes it it the right thing to do but because he thinks it is politically advantageous. That alone is enough for me to tkae his advice very cynically. However, his political arguments are weak enough to leave no surpise why the campaign he assisted faired as poorly as it did. For starters he argues that young people are much more socially liberal than older generations so we need to become socially liberal to appeal to them. Perhaps when your decision making is devoid of morals, that somehow seems smart, but to the average conservative that sounds like classic Washington blindness.
Politicians should be more than mere representatives of there electorates. If that is all we required then why have a republican form of Government? Representation is not merely more efficient, it is more effective than mob rule. This is because the ordeal Politician in a Republic is not merely a conduit for his electorate but a leader. Leadership involves convincing people to follow you because what you are doing is right. Leaders do not follow the crowd because it will make them popular. That is why Bill Clinton was a poor leader, he couldnt decide where to go on vacation without taking a public opinion poll. He had few true principles merely ambition.
If social conservatism is wrong, then by all means the GOP should abandon it. However, if it is right, then the GOP should educate the American public about why it matters. Why is it better to raise a child in a home with a Mom and a Dad? Why is it dangerous and immoral to undermine the value of life through euthanasia and abortion? The GOP should be answering these questions eloquently and unequivocally rather than shying away from them. Governor Huckabee is great example of the right way to stand up for what is right. And I have personally watched him win over a room full of radical angry liberals while doing so.
The idea that the people should abdicate there morals because of political expediency is hard enough to swallow. But when Schmidt basis his logic on faulty assessments of the country it is even worse. The push for gay rights, abortion rights, and other social issues in this country has been anything but a public movement. It has been driven by radical activists and judges and has created widespread anger and frustration and the general electorate, something that Republicans would be smart to capitalize on if anything. States across the country have popularly voted defense of marriage acts including democratic states such as California which has had to do so twice now.
Schmidt and his ilk are a perfect example of the disconnect between Washington and the American people that has so infuriated the average Americans and given rise to activism such as the Tea Parties. He carelessly assumes that Republicans are more interested in the health of the party than in principle. What a delusional belief. The last several elections have proven if nothing else, that Republicans have little party loyalty and are mostly concerned with issues. Until the Republican party rids itself of cancerous influences such as Schmidt it will not rebuild itself. Also, make no mistake about it, even though Schmidt is advocating economic conservatism at the expense of social conservatism, the reverse point of view has been just if not more detrimental. The economic moderates who are staunch social conservatives, such as President Bush, have done just as much if not more damage to the GOP. In order to rebuild the GOP must not compromise its values, it needs to embrace them, because America is still a conservative country, it just hasn't had anyone conservative to vote for in a long time.
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