Can the GOP Come Back?

Think about it! Four years ago, the Republican Party held the White House and both houses of Congress. Now, the Democrats have won the Presidency by a sizable margin, gained additional seats in the majority Democratic House, and could possibly hold a sixty-vote majority in the Senate—large enough to end any Republican initiated filibuster.

First of all, consider the magnitude of the Republican loss. What support shifted from four years ago?

  • For starters, turnout in Republican areas was, on average, five percent lower than the turnout in Democratic areas. Obviously, the typical Democratic voter was much more motivated to support their ticket than the typical Republican voter was moved to vote for John McCain. Some frustrated conservatives supported third party candidates. North Carolina was probably lost, due to conservatives voting for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate for President.  Likely the GOP lost the Senate seat in Oregon, due to conservatives voting for the Constitution Party candidate. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss is forced into a Georgia runoff, due to conservative votes cast for the Libertarian Alan Buckley. Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman may end up losing to radical leftist comedian Al Franken, due to conservatives voting for Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley.
  • Exit polls displayed that twenty percent of conservatives actually voted for Barack Obama. Consider that McCain was saddled with the record of a Republican administration who increased the national debt, increased the size of government, continued international involvement, and increased the role of government in the lives of citizens. Frankly, Republicans were not connecting with any claim of being conservative.
  • While McCain was front and center for amnesty for illegal aliens, Obama quietly supported the same proposal. However, in the campaign, Obama spoke of dealing with employers who hired illegal aliens. Frankly, one had to read a scorecard to determine which candidate was more conservative.
  • Working class Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries, and had voted Republican at the federal level, came home to vote Obama in droves. While the Republicans were pushing trade agreements which shipped manufacturing jobs overseas, Obama was talking about middle-class tax cuts and tax credits for families with students in college.  For the first time in some years, a majority of Catholics voted Democratic for President. This came, in spite of Obama’s adamant pro-abortion position. The GOP failed to communicate to the core values of the Catholic voter.
  • The voting public never fell for the foolish accusations on Obama—accusations which the public saw through by election day. Funny, we heard the constant rumor that Obama is a Muslim, but his first major appointment was the appointment of Rahm Israel Emmanuel as Chief of Staff. Emmanuel has dual citizenship with Israel and actually served in the Israeli Army. Last year, while in Israel, I enjoyed supper with a man with great political connections in Israel. This man expressed great fear of Obama, due to his family connections with Islam. However, after months of facing questions on the issue of his relation to Islam, Senator Obama has continually denied that he is a believing or practicing Muslim. During the election, I asked a Jewish friend if he feared Obama and his relation to Israel. My friend replied that Obama’s record in the US Senate displayed a friendliness to Israel. In fact, this Jewish political observer informed me that he found no difference on Israeli-related issues between either McCain or Obama.
  • New voters went overwhelmingly for Obama. In particular, Obama ran well among black voters, Hispanic voters, and college-age voters who voted for the first time. Pro-Democratic organizations organized massive voter registration drives which reaped a harvest of votes for the Democratic ticket.

Secondly, what can Republicans do to come back in the 2010 mid-term elections?

  • Republicans must re-double efforts at voter registration among friendly constituencies.
  • Republicans must live up to their platform. When the McCain (yes, John McCain)-Kennedy (yes, Ted Kennedy) Amnesty bill for illegal aliens came to the floor of the US Senate, this bill had the support of President Bush and the Democratic leadership. But the people arose and demanded that this bill be defeated. The 2008 GOP platform calls for tougher action on immigration. Hopefully, the politicians will catch up with the people on this issue.
  • Republicans must resist acted in favor of special interests, to the detriment of good policy. In recent months, the worst example of acting in favor of special interests, is the bailout plan on housing loans. Now, Congress is talking about a bailout of the automobile industry. The concept of federal bailouts smacks of fascism. Frankly, if John McCain had opposed this bailout, I believe that he could have separated himself from the Bush Administration, painted Obama (who also supported the bailout) as an insider politician, and won the election.
  • Republicans often criticize the funding and support of Democrats by trial lawyers and labor unions. However, the average voter feels no compulsion to defend the rights of corporations to bully the average citizen. Frankly, most working class voters would feel more affinity to their labor union or a plantiff’s lawyer over a corporation that would value profits over people.
  • Conservatives must re-build from the ground up. Frankly, I think the average conservative activist would do much better in working for a local candidate than in expending energy on an effort that is so money-driven, and where our individual efforts are as a pebble cast into the ocean.

The Republican Party does not deserve to be in contention. While in leadership, the GOP squandered great opportunities to cut the size of government. But the alternative is a Democratic Party beholden to liberal interests that will lead us into socialism and move us to abandon the moral principles that made America a great country.

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