Since Tuesday's disaster, I've heard a lot of complaining. Hopeless or enraged, Republicans are proclaiming the end of all things--and everyone's got their favorite scapegoats. Well, I strongly disagree with them--all of them. Let me clear up a few misconceptions:
1. We do not lack effort or enthusiasm. We lack a central vision; one that unites us and draws others.
2. We are not too Conservative or too Moderate. We are too divided.
3. There are not too few of us. There are too few who know they are us.
4. Our message is not terrible. It's just terribly inconsistent.
5. The problem is not the Republicans or Libertarians or Tea Party or Christian Right or Constitution Party. It's the utter lack of appreciation they have for one another.
6. The problem is not the Leftist Supreme Court. It's the Leftist electorate that produced it.
7. The problem is not shifting demographics. It's our lack of a central vision that appeals to all demographics.
8. The answer is neither to keep the same leaders nor get new ones, but rather to restore the movement they're trying to lead.
9. The problem is not our candidates failing to reach voters. It's our failure to teach voters.
Put simply, the current GOP base is divided, untrained, unfocused, unsure, unstrategic, and out of ideas. They feel lost; helpless amidst a mob of voters trampling them underfoot. They feel there's nowhere left to turn. Are they right?
Believe me when I say this: Our party isn't finished. It's only finished if we continue on the same path. Furthermore, it was never going to survive on this path, and I'm surprised it lasted this long.
So might I suggest an exit ramp? Before abandoning this vehicle called "The GOP," can we try driving it in a new direction? Just once? Here's my promise: If we exit onto a better path, the GOP will come roaring back in 2014. Of this I have no doubt--none at all. Over the next couple months, I plan to offer a central vision (which I've shared before) that unites us and draws others. I'm also offering a new strategy; one that stops the present trend and builds a much better base going forward. All of this will be foundational and trustworthy; no gimmicks, no marketing schemes, no power plays. Just real Conservatism applied in today's culture.
And all I ask is that Conservatives hear me out.
That's it. The choice is ours. We can faint or flourish. We can whine or shine. Because as hopeless as everything may seem in the aftermath of Tuesday's slaughter, let me tell you what the GOP is not: A LOST CAUSE.