Now that Election ’06 is mercifully over, campaign coroners are out in force, trying to determine the cause of the demise of the Republican Party.
There is no shortage of media pundits, ready to proclaim that the GOP must move to the center of the political spectrum in order to win Congress back in ’08. Of course, if the political spectrum were a football field and the network news anchors were acting as referees, “center” would be defined as the two yard line—in other words, somewhere in Hillary Clinton territory.
The major media are all too ready to proclaim that the GOP will never take back Capitol Hill—let alone hold onto the White House—unless party leaders modify their political plays, calling audibles for universal health care, free prescription drugs, and greater taxation for the wealthy—with wealthy defined as anyone who’s scrimped and saved in order to buy their own three-bedroom home.
But let’s face it—the advice from TV pundits is highly suspect. After all, only a small fraction of network journalists are Republicans in the first place. The fourth estate is basically occupied by rank-and-file Democrats.
But what about Republican office-holders themselves? Wouldn’t it make sense to look to them for leadership at this critical time in the GOP’s history?
Unfortunately, there are far too many Democrats-in-Republican clothing who are more than ready to hijack the party at this vulnerable moment. Take, for instance, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who has been described by the Associated Press as “the moderate conscience of Pennsylvania Republicans.”
Old Arlen says it’s time for the GOP to embrace a “progressive” agenda which includes greater emphasis on health care in the U.S. Specter characterized the devastating GOP losses as a “seismic earthquake.” As a result, Specter says that the Republican Party needs to become “a lot more progressive and a lot less ideological.”
With all due respect to the gentleman from Pennsylvania, that would be a blueprint for electoral disaster for the Republicans.
Specter is a social liberal, readily accepting such travesties as abortion-on-demand. His wing of the party would like to see social conservatives disappear from the party’s ranks.
But the fact of the matter is that conservatives are the backbone of the party. It is no coincidence that 70 percent of those people who call themselves Evangelical Christians pulled the lever for Republicans on Tuesday. Also, it should be noted that a number of Democrats won by touting conservative credentials. For instance, newly-elected Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania was specifically chosen to run by Democratic Party operatives because he would appeal to voters with traditional values.
The electoral failures of the Republicans this year are not due to a lack of liberalism. If anything, too many Republican candidates are far too liberal for their own political futures.
Here’s a blueprint for success for the party in 2008:
· Return to Reagan conservatism. Adopt an upbeat, positive attitude about America and its promise. Resist the urge to scowl—even at the prospect of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi being in line for the Presidency.
· Renew your commitment to fiscal responsibility. No program, no matter how laudable, is worth plunging our children and our children’s children into debt.
· Promote a strong defense. Just because certain naysayers are complaining about a lack of progress in Iraq, there’s no need to abandon our commitment to our troops abroad.
· Push hard for a restoration of respect for human life and the sanctity of the American family. Do not be seduced by New Age notions of what the pursuit of happiness really means.
If they follow this plan for victory, I guarantee the Republicans will see a reversal in their fortunes at the polls.