Bruce Wayne/Batman may have died today, but Michael Steele feels that the reported death of the GOP is over exaggerated. In an article written by the GOP Chair hopeful, Steele feels the GOP is still alive despite the dire press Republicans received after the Nov. 4th defeat.
Steele points out the following facts regarding the 2008 Presidential elections:
the electorate shifted only about 4 points from Republicans to Democrats since 2004. That year, George W. Bush took 48 percent of the vote against Barack Obama’s approximately 52 percent in this election. Now, don’t get me wrong, that 4-point shift produced the best vote tally for a national Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson.
But the admittedly major defeat for the home team that resulted from a mere 4-point shift need not send Republicans to the locker room just yet. The fact is that despite dire predictions to the contrary, turnout in 2008 was about the same as it was in 2004. The real problem was that Republican turn-out pitched down while Democrat turnout surged.
Any fool can see that the GOP lost this November because much of the Conservative base did not stand behind McCain as a candidate who would represent their core beliefs. However, it is going to take more than “any fool” to create a plan to revive Republican/Conservative prominence in this great country. What impresses me about Steele are his actual and palpable plans to increase Republican turnout and sway moderate voters. For example:
Return to timeless Republican principles. Retool our message, but base it on those proven conservative principles for which our party has always stood: Our freedom is from God, not government. Our prosperity comes from a free people in a free market, not overtaxing, free-spending bureaucrats. We celebrate and protect life, born and unborn. And our best hope for a brighter future is in the empowerment of individuals and families, not in the constraints imposed by a bloated bureaucracy.
Organize in every state. We need a new approach that assures Republicans play in every state; take nothing for granted. We may not win everywhere we play, but we certainly won’t win if we don’t play everywhere we can.
Appeal to the forgotten middle class. Obama beat us in the cities, suburbs and exurbs. We beat him in the rural areas. Our message of economic growth, lower taxes, more accountability in education, personal responsibility and fiscal restraint will appeal, but we have to refine it and do a lot better job of getting it out.
Build a broader coalition. Obama’s coalition consisted of a broad cross-section of Americans. Young voters went for Obama 68 percent to 30 percent. He beat us among Hispanics by a 2-1 ratio. He won the votes of Asians, women, African-Americans and seniors. This doesn’t have to be the case. We have the message, but we have to improve our credibility with these voters.
Stop the blame game. We have to stop trying to lay blame for our losses. It’s embarrassing to see what unnamed McCain aides are saying about Sarah Palin. Worse, it’s not fair, relevant or productive. Instead, we have to recognize we have all contributed to the problem and it will take us all — working together — to repair it.
Use new communication tools. Not only was our message stale, the means by which we’ve conveyed our message has been lackluster — at best. Television advertising is great, but it’s not enough in this new age of Facebook, YouTube, bloggers and Twitter. In addition to updating our message, we have to update the means by which we communicate it.
…let’s stop telling Americans what we’re against and instead articulate a compelling vision of what we’re for, how we’ll lead and where we want to go.
We should be assisting in all of these things to further our cause. A cause based on minimal government intervention, freedom, economic stability, liberty, homeland security, and fiscal responsibility. Many of our Republican representatives have swayed from these core values. Let us find, support, and elect those who believe as we do. May we do what we can to help our local races, no matter how large or small. Together we can do great things.