I’m not going to go into details on how Mitt Romney lost. Plenty of pundits and political analysts have educated us on that already. You can always slice and dice up the facts in a way that seems appealing, but the simple fact of the matter is the Republicans lost an election that they shouldn’t have. Unemployment, debt, lack of jobs, and more people leaving the workforce should’ve catapulted Republicans into the White House, but it didn’t.
The GOP is in extreme danger of being on the losing end of a cultural revolution. The demographics are getting bigger and their message is getting smaller. While it is obvious that a revamping and reconstruction needs to take place, the biggest question looming is “What exactly needs to take place?”
I will attempt to share some ideas on how conservatives can rebuild from the 2016 elections.
1.) Bridge The Divide From Within. There needs to be a healing between traditional Republicans and the libertarian movement. I’m not suggesting that they have to agree on every singular issue, but there’s need to be a restoration of respect. Republicans should avoid calling libertarians names such as “PaulBots” and “Paultards.” Libertarians should attempt to work with GOP more on their similarities instead of ostracizing them on their differences. This is a vital part of the conservative restoration. Both have a lot of ideas and principles that can accelerate the movement, but if the division remains, it will simply be a stalemate.
2.) Enhance Minority Outreach. We must defeat the media narrative that the GOP is for “old white men only” and the myths of racism that surrounds it. In regards to Hispanic outreach, the talks of “self-deportation” needs to be terminated. There needs to be a compassionate approach to immigration that focuses on strengthening the family, jobs and the economy. Immigration has always contributed to the American dream. It is the melting pot in the United States that makes it a compelling place to visit.
There must also be a bolder, smarter and more gracious way of approaching the black community. Conservatives need to admit their longstanding lack of willingness to embrace them, and simply listen to their needs without being defensive. It will not be helpful to point out the GOP has a handful of African-American elected officials in Washington or to remind blacks that the GOP is the party of Lincoln. History is very important, but what’s more important is what the GOP is CURRENTLY doing to reach out to black voters. Blacks are not a monolithic group, contrary to popular belief. If the GOP reaches out, in a non-election year cycle, they will listen. A message of strengthening the family, education, tackling poverty and jobs is a very appealing message. Conservatives need to step outside their comfort zone. Go to them. Be engaged in cultural activities. Be involved in community forums. Simply show that you are concerned and you’ll build a relationship that will leave a good impression.
3.) Listen to Millennials. The conservative movement is saturated with the talent of many 18-35 year olds. They have the ability to appeal to a culturally-entrenched society. It’s no surprise to many that today’s generation is very ambitious, driven and successful in modern-day communication. Example: social media and technology. I believe young conservatives can be effective in discussing freedom and liberty. An effective message to the youth is informing them that the more choices they can make, the more empowered they can become. Millennials love the thought of freedom. It gives more power to the individual and less power to the government. This is a message that needs to be resonated in schools and college campuses. While YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are obvious way to tap into the cultural paradigm shift, conservatives should not be afraid to embrace fresher and bolder ideas.
4.) Do not sacrifice principles for popularity. While winning elections is a prerogative, compromising principles isn’t. People will indeed be reluctant to embrace your ideas if they consider you to fall for anything, and stand for nothing. People respect those who have principles, even if they don’t agree with them. There is a call among many in the GOP to abandon social issues in order to appeal to various demographics. I staunchly disagree. Our principles and morals are what separates us from liberals. We don’t have to be hammer down one single issue, but we should be able to articulate conservatism efficiently to where we are solid on our beliefs and culturally engaged as well. If it comes to the point where conservatives are abandoning their core principles to win elections, they deserve to lose. It’s about expanding the message to every single community, not watering down our beliefs for a popularity that could serve as only temporal.
These are just a few reasons of how conservatives can be more effective. I’m sure there are other ideas that will make sense and serve profitable as well. The bottom line is this: We must engage everyone, or we’ll forever be in the utopia of isolation.