Good Ideas!

03.06.13

2012 Was Much Bigger Than Mitt

Video screenshot

Last week, David gave a talk at the UK Policy Exchange, a British think tank. The topic centered on why Mitt Romney lost the election and why the GOP is likely to see the similar election results for the forseeable future.

As David notes, there is a racial as well as generational schism in American politics:

“We have a real generational problem,” he says in the video, whereby the “old have become contemptuous of the young,” even towards their children and grandchildren. This, he explains, is how the Tea Party emerged, with the economic crisis becoming a form of the culture war.

Of course the irony of the situation is that the largest group of 'takers' are white Republicans over 65.

As the Republican Party pushes more and more of the ‘modern right’ towards the Democratic Party, what is left is a paranoid group that believe that very soon, “the Republic will crumble.” The Tea Party, David explains, has created a party that “culturally brands [conservatives] as obnoxious.”

David’s remedies to the problem are very different from just “speaking [the message] louder” and using Marco Rubio, a token Hispanic, as the party's mouthpiece. For one, he argues that the party must cease its “reckless behavior in Congress” and “the willingness to use American bankruptcy as a political tool.” Even though such tactics appeal to the base, conservatives who speak out against the party’s practices and policies are deemed RINOs and told to vote for Obama. The result, as one audience member noted, is that his family has left the GOP, even if they still vote Tory in the UK.

As David notes, one key to the rebirth of a competitive Republican Party is not scaring away entrepreneurs.The only strong business bubble that votes Republican is the financial sector. Silicon Valley and the Tech Triangle in North Carolina overwhelmingly voted for Obama, even though the traditional message of the GOP has been free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit. It shouldn’t be that “knowledge workers are increasingly uncomfortable with the Republicans.”

So how can we regrow the Republican Party? David recommends finding local groups of likeminded centrists, moderate conservatives, and women who have been systematically pushed out - or walked away because of irrational politics that are, more often than not, factually untrue. If this can happen in urban areas that have been lost to the Democrats, the GOP could be forced to come back from the world of Fox News.