I wrote in a previous blog about the reasons why Mitt Romney, our Republican challenger lost the 2012 presidential election to Barrack Obama. A combination of events added up to defeat us, including allowing the Democrats to label us and frame the debate. Also running a weak candidate who wasn’t perceived to be conservative enough to bring the base out to vote, while also doing a poor job of selling the conservative agenda to the American people as a whole.
The question remains: Where do we go from here? Many are clamoring to suggest that the Republican party change their party platform severely. The liberal media is trying to make us believe that the reason we lost the Latino vote this year was because of our tough stance on immigration. As if Latinos are all new to our country, and wanting more of their family and friends back home in Mexico to come up and join them. Apparently all Latinos are pro-illegal immigration now? These are both ridiculous and offensive assertions, but yet the Republicans are the party of racists?
Every four years the Republican party struggles with the same challenges. For one, we struggle with woo’ing young women voters, because the Democrats do such a great job of painting us as the party of anti-abortion, anti-women’s rights. The liberal media goes along with this assertion, because it’s very easy for them to draw such black and white conclusions based on “pro-life” being in our official party platform. An important fact that is often left out of this debate, however, is that many Republicans are actually pro-choice. According to a 2008 Gallup poll, 30% of Republicans are pro-choice – yet we’re all painted with the broad brush.
Regardless of your stance on abortion, Roe vs. Wade is a settled Supreme Court decision that can not be changed by a sitting president, or congress. What’s done is done, and it’s time to move on and stop dangling this in front of the American people every four years as if something is going to change. I realize that this topic helps both Republicans and Democrats bring out their core base, but it’s juvenile and manipulative to actually argue that abortion is something that might change in our lifetime. I’m sorry if this is the only issue that matters to you, but if it is — you should have your head examined, because the country is in real trouble these days, and this issue takes time and energy away from things we could be doing to get back on the right track.
I can’t tell you how many debates I’ve had with liberal friends who claim, “The Republicans are trying to take away my abortion rights.” – To which I respond, “We’ve had Republican presidents before and they’ve never touched the issue. I’m sure nothing will change with this issue, ever. You can still vote, and you can still get an abortion on the way to the voting booth if you so choose” Then they typically stare at me in disbelief because the Democrats have done such a good job selling the fact that they will lay down and die before anybody ever touches abortion rights. Of course this is a ridiculous and easy argument for the Democrats to make, because they KNOW that nobody is ever going to engage them on this.
I then go on to explain to my liberal friends that abortion is an issue that brings out the Republican base, and often during our primaries it can help a particular candidate win the nomination. It seems you can’t get elected in the Republican party any more unless you kiss the rings of Bob Jones University, Focus on the Family, and all of the other religious institutions that have a firm foothold within our party. Once you get to the national election, you can’t simply abandon the issue because you’ve accepted a lot of time and money from people who believe you are going to pay attention to their pet issue. This is similar to how some of the Democrats run on the anti-gun issue in their primary, but then completely abandon it when they get elected.
Another silly issue that the Republicans continue to get dinged on revolves around trying to close Planned Parenthood. For whatever reason, the Democrats have been successful in convincing women and poor people that if they don’t have free access to planned parenthood, they will die or not be able to have abortions. I suppose you can now look at it as a silver lining of Obamacare, which has been solidified for all eternity, that there will no longer need to be any special funding for such a clinic — because people of all types will now be able to walk into any doctor’s office in the nation and receive free health care of any kind. Let’s hope this issue has been put to rest for good so they can’t use it against us in the next election.
As I’ve outlined above — topics like these make us easy targets for the Democrats, and allow them to frame the debate every time. When you run for president, and they have a stack of sound bites where you’ve said that you are going to curb women’s rights — you can’t be surprised when you lose 70% of the young single female vote. In this day and age, most young women are planning on entering the work force one day — and an abortion is a very real last option for many who don’t want to have a child out of wedlock when their contraception fails. With child support enforcement working better than ever, most young men aren’t ready to be saddled with a huge financial burden at a young age either — so they are also looking at abortion as a viable option if a condom fails. You’re not going to change that fact, or convince them otherwise.
Republicans need to focus on the message of a chance for massive wealth and prosperity for all through smaller government, low taxes, and a thriving growing economy. Republicans should focus on making home ownership a reality again, and making it easier for young people to start small businesses. We need to do a better job of selling our great success stories from within the party, so young minority kids can see what great people like Herman Caine, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz have been able to achieve in America. We’re not selling a list of handouts, and targeted tax cuts to special groups here — We’re selling a dream that should appeal to every single person the United States.
There was a time when we called that the American dream, before America became this handout driven welfare state where all people cared about was what they are getting for free. I hope that we haven’t truly gone off the cliff like many in the media are saying, and we still have a chance to turn things around in 2016.