Editor’s note: We are introducing a new columnist this week, Paul Moomjean. He is a 27-year-old freelance writer from Simi Valley who has written for the Daily News sports page. He is a libertarian with a conservative background.
Now that the election has come and gone, the political pundits are being put to pasture until 2010 when we will have a chance to elect a new House and Senate. So there is only one question to ask: What in the world were the Republicans thinking and how do they regain some political high ground for the 2012 presidential election? Republicans can’t honestly jump aboard the Palin express of the God ’n Guns railway system until the next primaries. I know Sarah Palin reached out to “middle America,” a fantastical place rivaling J.R.R. Tolkien’s Shire, made up of hard working people located between Fresno, Calif. and the land of Oz; but much like Joe the Plumber, her star is fading into the Alaskan darkness and she is spiraling into a political abyss in the tradition of another folksy whack job — Ross Perot. Maybe she can wink to America from the news desk of Fox News now that Brit Hume is signing off.
So how do we save the Republican Party? It’s bad, folks. Really bad. Like Rudy-Giuliani-in-drag depressing. The GOP reduced itself to running the oldest man in America against the hippest politician in the history of our country. So who can the party prop up? Mitt Romney and his Joseph Smith groupies? Or maybe Bob Dole can run again. I know John McCain was old, but in Republican hindsight, was he old enough? The truth is simple: time to think outside the box by looking at the box. The television box, that is.
The brightest, savviest and most informed conservative thinkers are television and talk radio personalities, not politicians. They reach millions every day and have followings like rock stars. Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh can argue until the cows come home, and in the loud world of talk radio, people like Dennis Prager, Larry Elder and Laura Ingraham would bring a sense of celebrity to the GOP unseen since Ronald Regan.
Now, I understand that they only work three hours a day and are worshipped by a glowing fan base, but what if a handful at a time ran for public office? Someone needs to step up and prepare to run against Obama. If conservatives can’t have the media-savvy Arnold Schwarzenegger as the front-runner in 2012 because of constitutional law, why not run those so violently opposed to the Obama presidency? Yet the Republican Party seems to be obsessed with throwing its best in front of a microphone instead of the voting public. I am convinced that if Ronald Reagan were to start his campaign to be president today, the GOP would sack him quickly, throw a microphone on his jacket, and we’d be watching Reagan and Colmes every night while Father Time lost another election against a baby senator from an eastern state.
The Republican Party has to change its political campaign philosophy. No longer can the party hope for greedy white men and evangelicals to show up on Election Day to cast their votes to protect an America that never really existed to begin with. The GOP has to find dynamic speakers who want to be in control. When the Republicans ran Schwarzenegger for California governor, the movie star received 48 percent of the vote his first time around during the infamous recall election of 2003; and his second time, in 2006, he won with 55 percent of the vote. Was it because Republicans loved his hybrid political values? No. It was because he was fun to vote for and spoke with confidence and passion. Republican voters will sacrifice their values for a brilliant orator. How else has Obama been able to capture so many red states? You can’t blame Bush; he won those states during both elections.
The election in 2012 will be here faster than we can think. Obama’s presidency will not be compared to anyone before him, as he ran as the first openly liberal nominee since George McGovern. He will be running against his own first four years in 2012; so let’s not try to help his re-election campaign by sending Alaska’s finest against him. She’s already shot herself in the hoof enough times already.