"With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, candidates around the country are scrambling to make their case to voters. Republicans—whose brand has been weakening for at least a decade—are hoping to make big gains, particularly in the Senate. Polls indicate that many races are still tight, so the outcome is far from certain.
The conventional wisdom regarding what the GOP must do to repair its image—and eventually win on the national level again—has included two basic pieces of advice. The first is to reach out to younger voters, women and ethnic minorities, mainly blacks and Latinos. The second is to downplay the issues of marriage and the sanctity of life, and it’s no secret that the socially liberal Republican leaders would like to get rid of those issues altogether. These two ideas are typically cast as the GOP’s only realistic path forward.
What too many political consultants fail to understand, however, is that the marriage and life planks of the GOP platform hold the key to any hope they have of building a more diverse coalition. Unfortunately, many powerful party decision-makers seem to get their information about women and minorities from media stereotypes, assuming they all favor a socially liberal agenda. If they bothered to look at widely available data, they would realize that women are evenly split on the issue of abortion, younger voters are increasingly pro-life, and blacks and Latinos are far more religiously devoted and family oriented than the rest of the country...."
Then Carol Brown, who has a must-read on American Thinker:
"Democrats are compassionate people who want to help others. Republicans are greedy rich people who care only about themselves. When I was a liberal, those were my impressions.
Having transitioned from left to right over the past seven years, those long-held beliefs changed dramatically. No thanks to the GOP. The party appears unable or unwilling to articulate a compelling message, which leaves one wondering what they stand for.
Thomas Sowell has addressed this problem many times. In August, he wrote:
One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that we at least know what the Democrats stand for, whether we agree with it or not. But, for Republicans, we have to guess.
Last year he wrote:
You might think that the stakes are high enough for Republicans to put in some serious time trying to clarify their message.
As the great economist Alfred Marshall once said, facts do not speak for themselves. If we are waiting for the Republicans to do the speaking, the country is in big trouble.
Democrats, by contrast, are all talk. They could sell refrigerators to Eskimos before Republicans could sell them blankets.
The prior year Sowell wrote (here and here):
…the Republicans' greatest failure has been precisely their chronic failure to spell out their principles…. (snip)
…The net result is that articulate Democrats can get away with the biggest lies, without any serious rebuttal from most Republicans. (snip)
But so long as Republicans don't seem to feel any urgency about refuting the Democrats' claim that they just want to help the rich at the expense of the poor, they are courting defeat on election day. Why lose to a lie because you didn't bother to explain the truth?
So what’s the deal?
Is the GOP devoid of principles? Do they have principles but no interest in spelling them out in plain language? Do they think they’re doing a good job and there’s no need to address their messaging problem?
My guess is it’s a combination of all of the above. As far as I can tell, the GOP has become increasingly watered down over the years, straying further and further from values that once made the party strong. I mean, my goodness, they hardly even talk about national security any more -- an area where they once distinguished themselves.
I also think the power brokers in the party are suffering from a chronic case of arrogance. As a result, they’ve lost touch with how their message does or doesn’t resonate with people, or whether they even need to bother assessing if the message is getting through. Or more fundamentally, what the message is. Which circles back to: What are their principles?
So what are we left with? The predictable and rarely explained mantra of “lower taxes” and “smaller government.”
To say this message is inadequate would be inadequate.
First of all, these two talking points don’t resonate with millions of Americans, in part, because the GOP does not spell out how or why these ideas are right for America. They do not point out historical patterns that prove time and again that bigger government has never benefited the citizenry. Worse, how bigger government turns into tyranny.
Second, and more importantly, “lower taxes” and “smaller government” are not core principles. The core principle is freedom. And that is what we need to be talking about. Instead, the Republican Party rambles on incoherently while the Democrats put their values on full display -- touting all the ways they want to help people. Their misguided ideas typically go unchallenged by the GOP."
Got that, all you half-assed Republican bozos from Boehner over Christie and Cantor to Priebus?
If Republicans fail to win big, let alone win, they will only have themselves to blame.