The Republican Party is licking its wounds while the big bosses retreat to the strategy rooms to formulate the turnaround, much like they did after Clinton won in 1992. But they’re doing it all wrong, starting with the players. It’s certain path toward self-destruction which will please a lot of Democrats. After all, the more Democrats who are elected into power, the more the presidency becomes a rubber stamp dictatorship.
As an Independent, and certainly not running for office, I happily reject those confining pigeonholes that politicians cannot avoid. As NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, sometimes the Democrats have good ideas, sometimes the republicans have good ideas. I generally lean toward Democrats regarding social issues, and lean toward the Republicans, most strongly, in issues of national security. What’s most essential, is that we maintain checks and balances. With a one-sided government, that’s gone.
I do hope for a Republican resurgence in the 2010 off-year election, otherwise they will have no more voice than a whisper in the wind.
From my perspective, the Republican Party needs to follow some tough advice if they have any hope to regenerate in the future.
1) Dump Dick Cheney. Get him off talk shows, TV sound bites, debates, or another or forum dealing with the party’s future. Whether you like him or not, he’s part of the old republican machine that no one trusts, dating back to the 1970s. Whether deserved or not, his name is mud with the majority of Americans.
2) Obama’s election success can be summed up in a single word: Bush. Thus, Jeb Bush should crawl in a Texas oil hole with bro and his pop when all the 2010 planning goes into effect. He might be a good guy, but the name “Bush” is a guaranteed liability in any future American election.
3) Nobody wants to hear what Sarah Palin has to say. She’s a reminder of what went wrong with John McCain’s campaign. Party leadership should keep her in Wasilla, smiling waving winking attending soccer games like a good mom. Folks in the media rarely pursue her with tough informational questions about international jihad, nuclear warheads, and international commerce, and that’s because she’s a lightweight. Cute yes. Conservative, Yes. But not an asset to the party on a grand scale.
4) The party leadership should publically announce that no radio entertainer is the dominant head of a national party, nor ever will be. Those who cite Rush Limbaugh as the saviour of the Republican Party are bogging the party into the depths of right-wing extremism, the very mantra they need to shed. And even if he’s right a lot of the time, it doesn’t matter. Perception is 99 percent of reality.
5) Get with the changing times and broaden appeal. Study the demographics. The days of Goldwater and Reagan are gone. What once was a nation where 85 percent of the voters were of European descent, today that number has dropped to 70 percent.
6) Republicans should be desperately reaching for attracting the youth, a huge voting block clearly locked into the democratic side.
7) Show that the Republican Party is flexible enough to modify a position. Abortion comes to mind, which— in the international scheme of things — is the least important issue I can think of, yet guides millions of one-issue voters and ill-defines the party in the minds of many. Revise the platform, to exclude restrictions to rape victims, mentally unstable victims, health of the mother.
8) Revamp the party’s image. People like Hannity and Limbaugh who continually jackhammer terms like “Conservatism” and “Judea-Christian values” tend to be more divisive than inclusive. They sound great, and may be well-intended but it’s the same old broken record. The party needs accomplishments, not adjectives.
9) Politicians should fly commercial whenever possible, attend town hall meetings, reach out to grass roots, and show the American people they are willing to make concessions to improve America.
10) Out with the old, in with the new. Highlight fresh, bright new thinkers, and include minorities, such as Michael Steele and J.D. Watts. New leadership should be cherry-picked from the ranks of governors, who — without a sentatorial/congressional record — are able to distance themselves from the Bush years. Names like Mark Sanford, of South Carolina, Rick Perry of Texas, and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, come to mind.
Republicans can do it. One elder statesman is worthy of consultation, but nothing more than that. Newt Gingrich is probably one of the most astute politicians of the last 30 years, and his wisdom should be sought after.
Obama’s election was as much a passionate statement against the Bush regime, as it was an endorsement for the candidate.