“The experts like to refer to the Republican’s current predicament as wandering in the political wilderness in search of ideas and leadership.”
It shouldn’t take an expert to recognize that though; Republican influence has been waning for the past several years now. And the anemic party has yet to show signs of improvement.
Unfortunately, regaining control – or trust – of its constituents is by no mean a given. So what practically is necessary for there to be the change Republicans seek? I’ve come up with a few suggestions that should seem obvious, yet somehow they appear to be beyond reach of many of the talkative politicos.
1) Return to conservative principles
If Republicans fail to return to conservative principles, they will not regain influence – at least not with conservatives. Republican principles are not synonymous with conservative principles. I do not check the candidate with an “R” next to his name because he is a Republican; I check the box because (ideally) the candidate represents similar values that I do. If another party emerged with conservatives values, then I would check that box instead. The bedrocks of conservatism are fiscal responsibility and moral values. And when it comes to deficit spending, Republicans ought not point fingers at the Democrats. It’s not an unfair jab when Obama states that the current debt was inherited. Conservatives (like me) are not loyal to a party; they are loyal to principle.
2) Look forward, not backward
There appears to be quite a nostalgic feeling toward Ronald Reagan, so much so that it appears that Republicans relish burying their heads in the sand in an effort to overlook the plight of the party. As a disenfranchised member myself, Republicans should look to the future, not the past. But looking to the future requires building (or returning too) the conservatives principles which Reagan advocated. Reagan was a conservative that belonged to the Republican party; not a Republican that happened to share a conservative disposition.
3) Fight the battle on your own turf
One of the greatest accomplishments of the liberal agenda is that it drew conservatives away from the traditional fiscal and moral battlegrounds. Instead of focusing on personal responsibility, conservatives began combating carbon emissions, global warming, and whatever new priority liberals decide to advance. In short, liberals framed the issues and beckoned conservatives to address them. Consequently, conservative priorities became jumbled. While winning the skirmish to drill in Alaska, far more casualties were sustained in failing to control spending.
If Republicans (or Democrats or a third party) can manage to accomplish these three things, conservatives will check the ballot box with conviction. Until then, ExDeserto and other conservative voices will continue calling out from the political wilderness.