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Changing The Republican Party

I am sure many of you can and will relate to what I am about to write. After the election, I was in a bad mood. I still wonder why we were not able to get out our vote and carry the day on November 6. I am finding it amusing to watch the professional pundits as they toss around ideas about how and where the Republican Party needs to change. Bill Kristol seems to believe we have to concede the ground on taxes and allow them to be raised on millionaires.

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The main theme of change seems to be centered around Hispanics. The going opinion seems to be that the Republicans lost because they need to change their position on immigration. Marco Rubio was in Iowa over the weekend and rumors are already surfacing that he will run for President in 2016. While that may be true and can be supported or opposed in good time, I think it’s a little early to be casting that net. If you look around, you’ll not have far to go before you see supporters of Sarah Palin declaring she should be the candidate we put forward to defeat the liberals in four years. Again, that can be supported or opposed at a later date, but it is still early for that kind of speculation.Republican Party

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To be sure, there are things about the Republican Party that needs to change, assuming the party continues to be relevant in our political system. A lot of the change that needs to happen has to do with how we frame the narrative. We need to explain our positions better and we certainly do not need to run candidates who are going to run off at the mouth and destroy our chances of winning seats we should win. At the same time, we should consider changes of our position on immigration and other issues of importance and concern. But to change the entire focus of our party, changing it to go specifically after the Hispanic vote? Is that a smart thing to do?

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For that matter, is it smart for us to go after any particular group, promising them the world, just to get their vote? If we start doing that, whether it be the Hispanics, women, young people, etc., at what point do we start robbing points from one group to give to another? How far do we go to appease one group of voters, without alienating another group? Do we not need all of them in our corner? I just believe it is a little ridiculous for the Republican Party to start tweaking its positions and its core beliefs, if they have any, just to be able to appeal to specific groups of voters.

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Why not try a different kind of change? I know it isn’t likely to happen, but why not remove John Boehner from his leadership position and elect someone who will actually stand their ground, even when they are trying to find compromise. And yes, I believe we can find a compromise that is workable for everyone, if the liberals are willing. I’m just not sure Boehner is the one to find that compromise. Other changes would include allowing the more conservative members of the Republican Party to hold positions of leadership in Congress. The Tea Party won big in 2010 and they were promptly cut off at the pass by Boehner and company, for one simple reason. The current GOP leadership are more concerned with retaining their power and that requires them to maintain the status quo. Allowing strong conservatives into leadership positions doesn’t work for them.

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You’ll have to forgive me for the rambling of this post. It seems my thoughts are scattered in the wind. If you glean anything from what I have written, let it be this. The Republican Party does need to change, but I am not convinced the changes we see on the horizon are the changes that need to be made. We can start shifting our positions on this or that issue, but at what point does the Republican Party become just a slightly more conservative version of the Democratic Party. At what point will the GOP become completely useless as a political party?

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Yes, the Republican Party needs to change, but not so much that it is completely unrecognizable to conservatives.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • It is too late for the GOP to make a stand. They’ve swayed with the wind and refused to craft and implement a coherent conservative message, so they get what they deserve. They are screwed, and they screwed themselves.

    We should address the immigrant system because its the right thing to do, not to pander to a voting constituency.

    If the GOP goes along tomorrow with a complete amnesty, it will do them no good. They will be seen as the party that stood in the way for decades, and the democrats will get all the votes of gratitude.

    • You have said perfectly well where the problem of the Republican Party lies.

      They’ve swayed with the wind and refused to craft and implement a coherent conservative message, so they get what they deserve.

      That is exactly what they have done and until things change, until they start broadcasting a message that is both conservative and understandable to the average American, it may be a very long time before they are successful again as a political party.

      • Guest

        Not sure why you guys seem to think making minor adjustments to party
        doctrine need to foreshadow the end of conservatism. Why do so many
        women have a hard time with the GOP? Well, why did so many Republicans
        vote against the Lilly Ledbetter bill? Was that really necessary? Is
        there something inherently wrong with the idea of equal pay for equal
        work? No there isn’t; but the GOP argued that there were already enough
        laws in place to deal with the issue. That may be right but those laws
        are not being very effective in addressing the problem. So why don’t
        Republicans offer a better, more effective solution? That would help
        enormously with the women vote. Would that somehow damage conservatism? I
        don’t think so and there are solutions like this for every constituency
        that the GOP lost in this election.

        I also strongly disagree
        with the notion that putting up a stronger conservative would work. John
        McCain was not the candidate the conservatives wanted but he was
        absolutely the best candidate possible for the GOP in that race. McCain
        didn’t lose because he was a bad candidate — he lost because he was a
        Republican! That entire election was a vote against the GOP and McCain
        did better than any other candidate would have done in that race. If the
        McCain of 2008 had been the candidate this year he would have won.
        Romney lost because he sucked not because he wasn’t conservative enough.
        If the party moves further right it will lose by even more in 2016
        unless Obama really screws up or the economy founders…entirely
        possible but that’s not what we want for our country.

        • Respectfully, I disagree. Providing wholesale amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is more than a minor change to the party doctrine. Admittedly, something probably needs to change. A solution needs to be found. I’m just not sure providing amnesty is the way to go.

          John McCain never had a chance against Obama in 2008. A perfect political storm made sure of that. Between the fact that he was a terrible candidate and that he was a Republican, he was toast from the first day. I do not agree that he would have won on November 6, had he been the candidate, instead of Mitt Romney.

          To your charge that the Republicans will lose by an even greater margin in 2016, if they choose to move to the right, I also disagree. The popular vote was much closer than the electoral vote, which tells me we may not be that far off base. If we can do a better job of getting out the vote in four years, we should stand a good chance of winning. Of course, after what Obama has been up to in his first four years, I thought we had a good chance this year. We all know how that turned out. Possibly, we would have won, had we ran a more conservative candidate.

          Thanks for commenting on Political Realities.

  • I’m seeing way too many in the Republican leadership who seem to think the answer to getting certain demographics in the Republican camp is to out liberal the liberals. Buying votes with amnesty or free give aways is a Democratic tactic and the Republicans are dead as a party if they try to become a better Santa Claus than the Dems. I haven’t seen even one person in the national leadership espouse what I believe the answer is and that is to go way right. True, proven conservativem works every time it’s tried and it’s been successful for Republicans here in Oklahoma where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans. If a legitimately conservative candidate ran on the Republican ticket I think the result would be an overwhelming victory. Look at the pitiful turnout for the liberal Romney. Look at the pitiful turnout for the moderate McCain. But, with the current crop of Republicans on the national level I’m not sure who the truly conservative candidate could be. Might it be that true conservatism in the Republican party is dead and buried? If that’s the case we should all get used to Democrats in control.

    • It seems that whenever we have a truly conservative candidate on the national level, they are cut off by the Republican establishment. The same tactic that we spoke of at your blog is what we need to use here. We will never displace the leadership of the Republican Party, unless we start at the bottom. That means we need to start taking over the local and state establishment. Doing so should open up a path to the national level, but only if we have candidates who are real conservatives. Anything less is sure to fail.

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  • Regina Rodriguez

    Democratic National Committee v Republican National Committee
    Case No. 09-4615.

    Until this gets vacated — voter fraud can’t be challenged by the RNC.
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  • John Carey

    Larry I absolutely agree with you. Liberty and freedom are for all people regardless of skin color, gender, and ethnicity. All people benefit from it. It is the true big tent strategy. The big tent the Republicans are looking for. If we pander to one group based on skin color, gender, or ethnicity we are no better than the people who are stealing our liberties. Liberty is the key my friend.

    • And if we start pandering, we will start paving a path that will not be easily changed.

  • Interested

    The point of whether or not to bring Hispanics into the conservative fold is a very interesting one. Hispanics come into America because they are looking for strong economic opportunities and the low taxes and pro business view points of the GOP connect with them as they work hard to get ahead. However, the GOP’s stance on immigration is alienating them because of its extremely strict nature. I see a weakening of the immigration policy as step in the right direction of reforming the party and trying to attract more voters for 2016.

    • I’ll be the first to admit our immigration policy could stand some revamping. However, I am not in favor of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. That would set a dangerous precedent, for the immigrants and our country.

      Thanks for commenting on Political Realities.

  • Great post Larry, I am also struggling with this. The Republican party needs to do something different but I just don’t know what it is. If we soften our positions and become more like the Democrats I am not sure what that will give us. Why should the parties become more alike when we feel the Democrats are wrong? Why become more like them? But at the same time we have t realize the demographics are changing and we need to so something to win these votes. As I said before, I don’t know what the answer is.

    • Thanks, Steve. I’ll put it this way. I am not interested in the Republican Party becoming more like the Democratic Party. That would defeat the purpose of having two different political parties.

      • You are welcome Larry. I didn’t mean to imply you were advocating the Republicans should become more like the Democrats, I’m still trying to work out in my head what our best way forward is

        • Oh, I knew you weren’t implying that. I have just heard several of the pundits saying things along those lines and I strongly disagree with them.

          • So have I Larry, they seem all too willing to give up because of this loss and while I understand their frustration I think their conclusions are flawed.

  • Dragonconservative

    The Republicans need to sell their message better, and they came pretty close this election. Look at the popular vote. What the next Republican presidential candidate needs to do is to look like a president. Obama was relatively successful at painting Romney as a callous rich guy. Despite that, Romney was able to garner nearly half of the popular vote. If someone like Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, or Marco Rubio runs next time, they need to do a whole lot of televised interviews, hopefully gaffe-free, in order to get their message, untainted by mudslinging, out to the people. The next candidate needs to simply make it clear that the Republicans are out to emphasize job growth, not government handouts.

  • The problem is that the establishment wants to change by getting rid of conservatives and moving to the left. What the GOP really needs to do is rid themselves of loser campaign managers and advisers and do a better job of marketing the party and conservative ideas. We can’t spent $1 billion on a campaign wherein our candidate spends 4x for ad time than the opponent because our candidate hired incompetent staff.

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