Some of my conservative friends think that politics always goes through cycles. For now, Democrats are winning more. Another couple years of Obama, they say, and we'll see big gains for Republicans.
I'm not so sure.
At HotAir, a roundup of opinion as to what's happening to Republicans - and what needs to happen.
All are worth reading. But, I believe that the Commentary piece is the best of the bunch.
As much as at any time in recent history, America needs a strong, vibrant party on the right to speak for the civilizing ideal of limited government. Barack Obama has put in place an agenda of unreconstructed progressivism that is at war, not only with Reaganism, but also with Clintonism. He has exacerbated a massive fiscal imbalance, added a poorly designed entitlement that further destabilizes the health sector, and sounded an uncertain trumpet of global leadership. If Republicans urgently need to recalibrate, and they do, it is because the stakes are so high.
Among some party loyalists, there is a natural tendency to maintain that the GOP is simply suffering from a “communications problem,” that if only Republicans spoke more loudly, more insistently, and with greater purity and passion, they would broaden their appeal and proceed to sweep national elections. But that counsel, appealing as it might be to a shrinking segment of the electorate, is surely not adequate to present circumstances. More is needed than pumping up the volume.
Intellectual honesty is the first requirement of self-renewal. Republican problems are not superficial or transient.
For the GOP to revivify itself and enlarge its appeal, Republicans at every level will have to think creatively even as they remain within the boundaries of their core principles. In particular, five steps are necessary, each in the realm of a pressing national need.
My experience has been that when you tell conservatives that the party must alter how it deals with immigration, or social issues, or its expression of the economy and fixes, that they argue they are not going to "compromise their values" and that a line must be drawn in the sand. But what I cannot understand - and what I think my friends with this attitude perhaps do not realize - is that this hard line attitude does not end up with either a government nor a society near and dear to what they value. It ends up with the sort of governing we are seeing now from Obama and company: insane spending, higher and higher taxes, unemployment, constitutional rights being diminished and removed, never-ending bureaucracy, etc.
The way to achieve smaller government, a return to more fiscal responsibility and preservation of our rights is to calculate how we can change hearts and minds and win elections.
Please read the entire Commentary column. I do think that all of us who cherish an America that we see disappearing year by year should take these recommendations to heart.