A conservative New Year's resolution
By Paul Moomjean 01/02/2014
Happy New Year, Ventura County! Give yourself a pat on the back. You survived Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I’m sure you are in Christmas debt, but I’m also sure it was worth it, if only to see the smiles and gratitude of family, friends and loved ones. But as we enter into 2014, there will be a fresh start per se in the world of politics. With the midterm elections happening this year, Republicans and conservatives must work together to steer the country back to prosperity and optimism.
Obviously, people are weary of politicians. President Barack Obama and Congress had all-time low approval ratings at the end of 2013, and there is no Republican who is building a coalition toward 2016’s election. The lack of leadership is sad and disappointing, but I believe that if the GOP can make a few adjustments, it can have an era dedicated to itself and a limited government philosophy. Here are three things the GOP can do to win back America.
1. Find a strong, moderate voice. Conservatism can be defined many ways. Some focus on economics. Some focus on social issues. But somewhere in the middle is America. The Ted Cruzes of the world will not win national elections. As a supporter of Chris Christie, Republican governor of New Jersey, I find him to be the best bet to lead conservatism in the 21st century. Conservatives need a person who fights the “winnable” battles and not the old-school battles. Conservatives need to be economically sound and only discuss social issues if necessary. Americans don’t care about drugs, gay marriage, the death penalty or abortion the way they once did. Neither should Republicans. Let the churches and specialty groups fight those battles, and let the Republican Party get the country back on a road to personal freedom and prosperity.
2. Don’t run the same old people. There are so many great new conservatives out there; I hope the Republicans choose to utilize them. In 2008 the GOP ran men like John McCain, who was a 2000 primary loser to George W. Bush. And so who do the Republicans run in 2012? The guy who lost to the guy who lost to George W. Bush. We tend to concede before we fight. We did this in 1996 with Bob Dole, and while this isn’t a presidential year, this is a crucial year for governor elections and Congress. The GOP must find young talent that is articulate and understanding of the mission.
3. Stay on topic. The recent filibuster by Ted Cruz was a distraction to the party and the American people. Somewhere along the way the GOP forgot its message of lower taxes, personal freedom and security at home and around the world. The American people want leadership that shows maturity, and we must hit the Democrats where they are weak. If Republicans don’t remind people that lower taxes create prosperity, that keeping a leash on Iran maintains safety, and that less regulation can create jobs, then they don’t deserve to win. Immigration and social issues aren’t going to cut it anymore. It’s time to be practical and pragmatic again.
2014 is a transitional year for America. Either we will continue down a path bending to the tyrants of the Middle East and creating big government programs, or we can fight back and regain our country by being respectful and responsible.
Obama has not been the leader he promised us he would be. The poll numbers prove that. Americans want to see practical strategies that work and have objectives and standards. Obamacare isn’t showing that at all. The president has done nothing but blame others and point fingers. For a real change to occur, Republicans have to get on message and articulate why our ideas are better. Don’t point fingers and don’t blame; instead, show why conservative principles are the better values.
I’m sure 2014 will have its fair share of scandals, issues and political maneuverings, but if the GOP stays on topic, then it won’t face the brunt of those scandals. It’s when we get distracted and off topic that we stumble. Too much is at stake for that to happen this time around.