Secretly, I am glad the election is over. I think the GOP ran a valiant race and they sure made it a lot closer than I thought it was going to be. But, I am tired of the divisiveness (and I am looking at both parties here). This election, more than any other in my lifetime, was about name calling; no one could just respectively agree to disagree. No one could debate the issues without it turning in to a schoolyard fight. My fear for the future is that this is the nation that we have become and this will be the tone for all future national elections. Depressing thought isn’t it?
With that in mind, I have a few suggestions for the GOP. But, first, let me share a bit about me. This was my 6th presidential election to vote in. I missed voting in the first Bush’s election by 90 days. However, I would have voted for him. I grew up in the deep-south surrounded by Democrats. However, I come from a military family so we were the oddball conservatives. The first president I actively remember a campaign for was Ronald Reagan.
There was something about Reagan that was supremely comforting. He was honorable and stalwart. His speeches were compelling and filled you with a sense that everything would be okay. Now, most of those words were written by Peggy Noonan but it was his delivery that breathed life into her beautifully scripted words. We really haven’t had a president since that could capture the attention of a waiting nation and make them breathe a sigh of relief.
So, rather, unabashedly, I am a Republican. Moreover, I am a woman and college educated and I still support a party that others would have you believe doesn’t particularly like women. And, at times, that might be true. But, despite being a woman, I am a mother that cares deeply about the future of this great nation so that my son might one day embrace a president the way I embraced Reagan. I want him to have pride in this great country and not be embarrassed by how we time and again make fools of ourselves on a national stage.
So, on that note, here are a few notes for the GOP as they lick their wounds from this bloody battle and begin to plan for 2016:
- Acknowledge that there are a tremendous number of single issue voters. You alienated more voters because of your hard line stances on abortion and marriage equality. At the end of the day, those issues don’t create jobs, put roofs over heads or food on the table. The focus should be on the economy and national security. As a party, we can’t afford to get dragged into the quagmire of these issues. Alienating millions of voters because of an issue that at the end of the day doesn’t amount to a hill of beans is short sighted and downright stupid. The Democrats bring it up in every election and in every election you bite. Don’t you get that it draws attention away from their weak areas and forces you to fight a battle on multiple fronts. In this election, you had the better foreign policy platform and the better economic platform and you pissed it away behind the likes of that ass clown Todd Akin. Stick to the facts and to quote a famous politician, “It’s the economy stupid.”
- The liberal media will never give you a fair shake because it drives more ratings for them to focus on negative spin. Look at the tailspin they went into when Romney soundly thumped Obama in the first debate. The fact that they couldn’t spin that in a negative fashion silenced the critics for days. That, ultimately, is what made it such a close election. Figure out a way to keep the focus on what we CAN do; not on what the other guy DIDN’T do. It’s estimated that 15 million fewer people voted in 2012 than in 2008. You know because both parties turned voters off. Inspire people and they will follow you talk down to them and they will turn their backs on you.
- Figure out a strategy to attract the youth of our country. Let’s face it, you aren’t cool. You keep selecting candidates with limited personal appeal. They might indeed be the best person for the job, but they aren’t cool. Bill Clinton, despite what you might think about him, was cool. He convinced an entire generation of voters to embrace him with one simple question: Boxers or briefs? Where is the republican candidate that can embody a generation and convince them to come out in droves and vote?
- Revisit your opinions on immigration. Not all immigrants are created equally. There needs to be a comprehensive plan to address this and to uniformly explain it to all members of society.
- Healthcare is a real issue, but a national insurance plan is not the solution (yes, I know that you already get that). However, we need real and substantive torte reform in this country. Doctors and hospitals charge more for care because they have to cover the cost of insurance to protect from the frivolous lawsuits that abound in this country. Do something to alleviate that pressure and make it contingent on healthcare costs coming down.
- The Tea Party is not your friend. They alienate more people than they bring to the table. Their divisiveness is the precise type of antiquated thinking that drove hundreds of thousands if not millions of people to vote for the other side or even worse to vote for a third candidate. At the current count, less than 3 million votes separated the winner from the loser.
- Tell Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump et al to sit down and shut up. They are iconoclasts that disenfranchise people. Rush Limbaugh called a woman a whore because she wanted her insurance to cover birth control. This is the same man who has been married numerous times, had at least one heart attack and was addicted to prescription pain meds. Pretty sure he shouldn’t be casting stones at anyone’s lifestyle. He represents a militant few but too many moderates think he is the voice of the party.
- Pick your running mate wisely. Ryan was definitely better than Palin (although that’s not a hard race to win) but he was still pandering to the hard right and it showed in the debate: at best it was a draw even with Joker Biden acting a fool. So, when you think about who that second chair is ask this question: Would I really trust this person to be president if something awful happened to the first chair? Had anyone asked that question of Sarah Palin the answer would have been a resounding NO. The same could be said for Paul Ryan.
The bad news is we lost last night. It is not only bad news for our party; it is bad news for our country. The good news, you have two more years to implement some changes that make you more attractive to the electorate as a whole. You have two more years to groom a candidate that resonates with more people. Let’s find some youth, let’s find a small business man that has walked the walk and doesn’t necessary speak beltway. So, start shaking the trees now.
We know the next four years are likely to be a disaster. Let’s not compound it in 2016 with another candidate that doesn’t resonate with the voting public. The Democratic Party resurged in the 90’s because they picked a smart, sexy practically unknown governor to lead their party. He shook the party up and was the first president in a long time that actually built bridges. Where is our Bill Clinton? Where is the Republican candidate that can bring sexy back? GOP you have your task and you have 2 years, get it done.