Modernize, Don’t Moderate

by Sal on November 7, 2012

in Election 2012

Good post-mortem by Matt K. Lewis on how the GOP has to modernize, not moderate, to win future elections.  Matt argues that the GOP doesn’t need to moderate, but in fact needs clearer distinctions.  He does argue, however, that the GOP needs to modernize in its appeal.   Matt just scratches the surface on what I think needs to be done within the GOP to return us to the White House and to win the hearts and minds of the American people.  Romney’s issues as a candidate aside, here is the basic thrust on what I think the problem is:

  • We keep nominating the “safe” candidate who “is the only man who can win”.  Twice now – with Romney and McCain – we’ve chosen the safe, establishment candidate, and both times we’ve lost.  Going back further, we did the same thing in 1996 with Bob Dole.  Doing this is a losing proposition.
  • Technology:  The Obama Campaign had a huge advantage in technology.  The systems they used as part of their GOTV effort were hugely effective.  They combined Big Data, Social Media, and Mobile to mobilize people like never before.  The GOP has to get on board, and fast, if they want to return to electoral victory.
  • The GOP has to modernize its message.  Teach Conservative first principles to a new generation.  We are winning some of the youth vote, and further inroads can be gained.  Same with the Hispanic population.  This is a growing demographic that we can, and need to reach.  Not by compromise, but by refocusing our message.

I plan on spending some time here talking about some of these topics over the next several months as we examine ourselves as a party and a movement, and see where we go from here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike November 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with points 2 and 3. Point 1 is an overgeneralization though. There was no 2008 establishment pick. If anything, in 2006, people operated under the assumption that Guiliani would be the nominee. In 2000, our party chose the safe, establishment pick and won two terms. We also won in 1988 with the safe, establishment pick. Sometimes we win with the establishment pick, sometimes we lose.

The key is to pick a conservative, and that (not by itself anymore, but with items 2 and 3) is where I think Lewis hits the nail on the head.

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