The GOP seems to be in the middle of an identity crisis. They’re looking to re-brand and re-package their message to motivate the base back to the tent.
The biggest problem, in my mind, is that they haven’t simply had a few bad years – they’ve totally lost their way and no amount of re-packaging and re-branding is going to do much until they get back to basics.
The number one basic they’ve totally lost sight of – LIMITED GOVERNMENT.
Not only have they abandon the very principle, they’ve reached a point where they’re really no better than Democrats when it comes to spending, expanding government and imposing more regulations on individuals lives. These days the Democrats and Republicans really are no more than two-sides of the same coin, with very little difference at the end of the day in how they actually operate.
Actions speak louder than words.
If you say you’re conservative and want limited government, but then spend like there is no tomorrow, increase the size of government and such – well, your actions betray you – you’re no better than the tax and spend Democrat you’re attempting to win against! In fact, you’re just a tax-and-spend politician calling yourself a Republican.
The Republicans can try to re-brand – but until they start to frame things based on conservative principles, they won’t get much traction with the populace since they’ve allowed themselves to be sucked in by the idea that the government should be regulating social issues, medical procedures and ideas. They’ve allowed themselves to come to the belief that the Federal Government should be calling the shots, when the reality is that so much of what’s been going on in Washington should have been left to the states to decide.
Until the Republicans start to frame things in terms of how a particular issue involves government, little is going to change and I won’t be voting Republican. (I won’t be voting Democrat either)
A good example of what I’m talking about – the stimulus package. Both Democrats and Republicans started from the point of the stimulus package as being a done deal, the quibble was in the details of just how much money they’d spend and on what it would be spent.
The Republicans failed to step up and clearly articulate that stimulating the economy was not the job of the Federal government; that if anything, the Federal government should be looking for ways to encourage the private sector to work things out so that the economy could get moving again. They didn’t do this, instead they simply argued over how much money to spend and where. They joined the chorus of doomsday, that without the stimulus package, the US would collapse. They joined the Democrats and worked together to achieve the goal to spend more and expand the government rather than step-up and do their duty to work to limit government.
If the Republicans want to get back on track and get back the base of voters whom are truly conservative – their question for each issue MUST be:
WHY IS THIS SOMETHING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO?
WHERE IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TASKED WITH DOING THIS?
If they can answer the “why” but can’t answer where they’re justified, they need to step back and hold the position that for whatever the issue is, it’s not the business of the Federal government.
End of Story.