By Quin Hillyer
Step one: acknowledge it was a disaster.
REPUBLICANS AND CONSERVATIVES in the 2012 elections got less bang for the buck, and for their time and effort, than they have ever achieved in living memory. Their failure to defeat a severely weakened Barack Obama and their loss of Senate seats in the best environment in years for GOP pickups were failures on an epic scale. Now, against what is likely to be a newly empowered, radical president—bent on leftist “revenge” and untethered by the Constitution—those of us on the right face daunting challenges.
We need a new approach. The biggest change we need, though, isn’t ideological; it’s attitudinal.
The right seems to have forgotten completely how to motivate voters. We fail at the levels of both head and heart. We offer pabulum for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and then wonder why the voters spit it back at us. We speak in clichés and generalities; we run boring advertisements; we take no risks; and we never leave our comfort zones.
No wonder we utterly fail to attract black voters, do increasingly poorly among Latinos—and watch as some 7 million economically disaffected whites, who will vote against the guy in power if they bother to vote at all, instead stay home on Election Day. (For more on that latter topic, see Sean Trende’s Real Clear Politics article two days after the election.) If Republicans/conservatives can’t regain Ronald Reagan’s ability to inspire blue-collar white voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere, far too many of our candidates will be doomed to oblivion.
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