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. 

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Comment by Keith Ulmer on December 1, 2012 at 3:52pm

Here is a web link from a wall street investment manager about the debt crisis to come  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-30/bond-investor-gundlach-buy...

Comment by Keith Ulmer on November 14, 2012 at 8:04pm

Andy, Mr. Cain is calling for a viable 3rd Party since the election and I think you missed the point of my comment and I will reinterate it the debt is the leading issue in our nation and the evidence of it is the turmoil over the Fiscal Cliff and what would of drawn a distinct line in the sand against the left would have been raising the prospect of debt default. The politicians in Washington know it's going to happen there just to cowardly to talk about it. and we have the European governments to show what will happen.I routinely ask people what part of 16.4 Trillion Dollars are you going to pay back. And every time the answer is" I guess we are in trouble" I even talk this with liberals and the smart ones admit we are in trouble. When we add another 3-4 Trillion by the next presidential election I believe we be debating how much should the restructure be. And for those who think all we have to do is pay the interest, your interest payment is around 300 billion now and when they downgrade you credit rating the Fed won't be able to contain the rate and if 30 yrs t-bills go to 6-7 % do the math 1 in every 4 tax dollars will be to pay interest on the debt You can't have Mr. Ryan saying that he won't touch the retirements of the 55 and older, THAT IS the baby boom generation and by the time that 55 yr. old worker reaches 66 yrs. of age the S.S. and medicare will come to 3 Trillion in the budget alone add in defense and affordable health care act and you will have more federal government then you have ever thought of having. I don't disagree we have to come together but that kind if leadership won't make it happen. On the note that I started on, is it time to have a viable 3rd Party put together by the many conservative parties. I really don't think we can change the elite in the GOP and I think that is why Herman Cain suggested it. Let the People Think  

Comment by Theresa Collins on November 14, 2012 at 11:55am
Andy:
Thank you for this commentary. You do have a way of distilling down the issues. Has there been any discussion about what factor the redistricting decisions had on this election? And man, if all these different factions did watch the National Republican Convention, it was as if everyone given a speaking opportunity was a minority. Why is it then that this does not attract more who see the party as inclusive? Just wondering if you have any thoughts on this?
Comment by Andy Peth on November 13, 2012 at 4:48pm

Simply blaming the candidate runs contrary to everything I just wrote.

 

I too had problems with Romney's Campaign, and I voiced those to the campaign at length.  But assuming a "more conservative" candidate would have won is absurd.  Any of the final 4 candidates (Romney, Paul, Santorum, Gingrich) would have lost handily this election, because the base is severely divided.  No matter who won the primaries, millions from the other factions would have stayed home.

 

Santorum--whom I love and believe would make a great president--carried the burden of the most unpopular view in today's politics:  He would force rape victims to carry the children of their rapists.  I can offer some defenses for Santorum's view, but I challenge everyone here to perform a simple test:  Go to a shopping mall this weekend and ask 100 random people, "Should the Federal Government FORCE a rape victim to carry the child of her rapist?"  No, don't couch it in happy talk--say it like a Democrat commercial would say it.  YOU WON'T GET 10 PEOPLE WHO SAY "YES."

 

Santorum would have lost by 15%, minimum.  And if you look at Republicans who hold this view, they've been getting slaughtered over the past few cycles (Buck, Coors, Akins, etc., etc., etc.).  Whether you hold this view or not, the fact remains that until you change the hearts and minds of far more voters, this view is political suicide--for the candidate, and his/her party.

 

Paul actually polled 2nd best to Romney in head-to-heads against Obama, but Paul's followers had so alienated the GOP base that turnout would have been even worse--much, much worse.  Another landslide defeat.

 

Gingrich would have done much better in debates and overall messaging, but his organization and fundraising were horrendous.  He would have been fighting a juggernaut with a peashooter.  Add in his awful baggage and the negative opinions toward his wife, and he would have been mauled.

 

Keith, blaming one candidate or another isn't the answer.  That blame game is part of the very failed road currently carrying the GOP to its doom.  Look, I'm sure you're a great American, and we probably agree on virtually everything, but WE MUST UNITE.  And I'm offering a way to do it.

 

One last point:  The Tea Party, Christian Right, Libertarians, "Establishment" Republicans, and Constitution Partiers must all realize one basic fact--NONE OF THEM HAVE NEARLY ENOUGH VOTES TO WIN ALONE, NOR WILL THEY EVER.

 

So lashing out at candidates isn't the answer.  Fact is, Romney had the best combination of organization, debate skills, fundraising, spotless past, business success, and appeal to independents of any of our candidates by far (and my guy was Cain).  Romney was either the best choice or close to it, BUT NO CHOICE WILL WORK WHEN WE ARE NEITHER UNITED NOR SKILLED IN WINNING CONVERTS TO CONSERVATISM.

 

Either we change course and unite, or we're finished.  Period.  Finding a "dream candidate" will make no difference.

Comment by Keith Ulmer on November 12, 2012 at 8:11pm

The GOP needs to wake up and realize you can't pick a candidate who was born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth and shows a tax return where he pays a15% tax rate an expect to relate to the average working couple in this country . If the focus would have been on the debt and deficit instead of the statement I (Romney) will create 12 million jobs, this election would have been different .Everyone knows a president can't create one job that is not a government job. The best thing for Romney is he won't be held responsible for creating 12 million jobs which I doubt he could have done, we have a structural unemployment problem and our nations debt has as much to do with it as anything. The question the GOP has to answer is why was Romney's vote total  6 million votes less than McCains that 6 million would have won this election and they didn't vote for President Obama.There are enough smaller government voters out there to win an election but they want a sincere smaller government candidate that they can get excited about. By the next presidential election you will need a candidate who can get this country through debt restructure. Let the people think!   

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