8:49pm (50 minutes ago)
Now having had time to reflect upon the results of the election, I here offer my
We lost. That is the cold hard reality of the election. We lost. That is the fact we must be willing to face squarely and admit to ourselves. We lost. We must not sugarcoat the results, make excuses, or whine about how unfairly the mainstream media behaved. In order to have any hope of recovery, any hope of rising from the ashes, any hope of again becoming the great people the people of this country once were, we must come to grips with the one central and undeniable fact of the election—we lost.
The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one. You can never solve a problem while you continue to deny that one exists. That behavior is better suited to an ostrich than to a thinking human. Our problem is not in the what, we lost, but in the why—what did we leave undone, what did we do wrong, and who did we fail to reach?
My answers to those questions are as follows:
1. We failed to reach out in a meaningful way to the Black and Hispanic/Latino minority communities. Both communities voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Why? We had no message to which they could relate, and the message we did have was delivered by people they did not trust. What is the cause of that lack of trust? We only show up at election time. Drive-by electioneering does not, and will not, work. If we want to win, we must first let them get to know us as fellow humans who have challenges in life, too. Different challenges, perhaps, but challenges nevertheless. More than that, however, we must be among them on a daily basis so that when we say we understand their problems and believe we have the best policies to help them overcome, we can do so credibly. To borrow an overused phrase, we need “street cred.”
2. In the face of all Obama has done that jars the consciences of Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians alike, and all he has done to destroy one of our most cherished human rights—freedom of religion—far more of them voted for Obama than were expected. Why? Such a result is the misbegotten result of the Left’s having convinced far too many that freedom of religion means freedom from religion; that religion has no place in public discourse or the making of public policy. Far too many have become convinced that when you go to vote, you need to park your faith at the door—that your faith and your beliefs have no place at the ballot box. Nothing could be more obnoxious than the perversity of that way of thinking. In truth, there is no more important place to bring your faith than to the ballot box.
I do not mean that Roman Catholics should only vote for Roman Catholic, Lutherans only for Lutheran, Greek Orthodox only for Greek Orthodox, or Christian Reformed Church members only for Christian Reformed candidates. What I do mean is that one should ignore the candidate’s religion or lack thereof, but one SHOULD evaluate each candidate’s policies and positions on the issues in light of one’s religious beliefs.
We must find a way to let Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Christian Reformed, Greek Orthodox, and members of any other denomination or religion that it is not only okay, but virtually a requirement that they bring their consciences and their religious beliefs into the polling place and vote according to the dictates of those beliefs. One woman, who told me that she is a Methodist, also told me that she did not feel she had the right to impose her religious beliefs on others, and so voted for Obama. There is something very wrong with that way of thinking.
Further, having communicated that they need not park their faith at the door of the polling place, we must show them that our policies and programs neither threaten their faith nor run afoul of their consciences.
3. We need to stop apologizing for who we are and what we believe. We must have the courage of our convictions; stop worrying about what the press will say about us, and stand tall and strong in the face of every polemical attack. One of Romney’s biggest mistakes was not his comment about the 47%; it was that having made the comment, he ran away from it as fast as he could. The old adage that one should “say what you mean and mean what you say” applies. Having made the comment, he should have embraced it, explained it, defended it, and made it a part of his campaign. Instead, he attempted damage control, and only made the damage worse. He was weak and vacillating when he should have been stalwart and strong.
4. Once again, we lost the youth vote. Given the burden of debt, loss of opportunity, and smaller chances of success that Democrat policies inflict on the youngest members of our society, the young should be natural constituents of conservative politicians. Why do we fail? We keep nominating old white guys with whom they have little or nothing in common, and to whom they cannot relate. Instead of nominating someone about whom they can become excited, we nominate people more likely to put them to sleep. We don’t even speak their language, how can we expect them to hear what we are saying?
5. Once again, many of our candidates campaigned so as not to lose, when they should have been campaigning to win. Nobody will rally around someone whose campaign style appears designed so as not to offend, when it should be about why the sacrifices and suspension of disbelief for which the candidate is asking will be better for the voter and the country in the long run—and the long run is the only vantage point from which to view any proposal or policy.
6. Finally, we must do a MUCH better job of vetting our candidates. No more candidates who cannot put together a coherent sentence. No more candidates who know everything about one issue, and nothing about any other. No more candidates who are afraid to get into the ring and mix it up. And perhaps most importantly, no more candidates who will not state the truth and require an explanation of an opponent because to do so would be “mean.”
What do we do? We fight! For as long as it takes—we fight! From now until victory is won—we fight! By day and by night—we fight! Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall—we fight! We shall never submit and never surrender—we fight on!