PJTV’s excellent video entitled “Obama Wins, America Loses: The Road Ahead,” is well worth watching. Bill Whittle and friends raise important issues about the future of the nation and the Republican Party. Their conclusions merit serious attention if there is any hope of taking the nation back from those who would turn it into a socialist state.
Neither the PJTV discussion nor this post is intended as an entrant to the blame game that is currently in its first of many innings to come. Mitt Romney is an inherently decent man and proved to be a knowledgeable and articulate campaigner. The issue is what lessons can be learned from the 2012 election. Or more precisely, how can enough members of the 49% who voted for more government be persuaded to choose candidates who champion the opposite view?
Already the anti-Tea Party branch of the Republican Party is claiming the conservative message needs to be muted. One wonders why sounding more like Democrats is supposed to be a winner. Why would anyone vote for an imitation when they can have the real thing?
Arthur C. Brooks warned in his book “The Road to Freedom.” that the 2012 election could not undo nearly a century of bad policies inaugurated by Woodrow Wilson and augmented, most notably, by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. The battle between free enterprise and big government, Brooks writes, can only be won by making the case that the free enterprise side is morally superior to the statism and redistributionist policies of the Democrats. “If we reject the idea of opportunity and meritocratic fairness, we will get a system in which outcomes really are just based on luck and political power.” A system in which politically favored companies like Solyndra receive billions of tax dollars and jobs are lost not created. A system in which favored interest groups reap the benefits of government largess and laws are selectively enforced. Romney would have had no difficulty providing Obama administration examples and doing so would have had the added advantage of bringing before the public issues the MSM, protective of the president, buried.
Brooks, like the PJTV panelists, argues for appealing to American core values. Values shared by many within the demographic groups now sheltering in Obama’s tent. People who, more often than not, are culturally conservative and who believe in the dignity of work. The point being that dependency is not a condition that most people aspire to reach. Those who do are beyond the powers of persuasive discourse.
During the campaign, the conventional wisdom was that winning independents and those who may have voted for Obama in 2008, but were not hardcore leftists, required Mitt Romney to sound more moderate. That explains the “me, tooism ” of the last debate. It struck this blogger as off message and Romney seemed uncomfortable espousing it, not to mention the cognitive dissidence with the later assertion that he was the candidate of change.
Promising to “reach across the aisle” was supposed to garner votes because “people are tired of Washington gridlock.” But many conservatives perceive “reach across the aisle” as code for “go along to get along.” It’s what liberal Republicans (whom the MSM always calls “moderates”) say when they abandon the principals they were elected to defend.
Would articulating basic principles and illustrating them with a more aggressive attack on Obama’s record (including Benghazi) have made a difference in the outcome of the election? We’ll never know the answer to that question. What we do know is that the leftist tide dividing Americans into warring groups based on ethnicity, gender and class must be defeated, and a better case made for the American ideals of economic, political and religious freedom. Not for the Republican Party’s sake, but for the nation’s.