Saturday, November 9, 2013

As the Republican Party (and Conservatives) Continue To Struggle To Understand...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

I am a fiscal conservative, a social libertarian, not a democrat, not a republican... I am an American and I vote, like millions of other Americans do. Although the total turnout is shameful to say the least. That is, however a story for another day.

In reading THE WEEK I admit to being a bit puzzled. The week is a conservative leaning publication so it is natural they would pitch the party line that republicans need to attract people from the traditional conservative strongholds. In other words white males over 30, married women (presumably with children), and the fundie right Christians.

The only problem with this recipe is there are increasingly less people in the demographic group this publication is suggesting republicans target. Ultimately it is a losing strategy and will insure 50 years (or more) of democratic rule. Period.

The real answer is to create a much bigger tent by adopting a socially libertarian viewpoint on individual preference, whether it be sexual orientation, reproductive rights (women's rights), marijuana use, and the complete host of other individual liberties. At the same time republicans need to enunciate how and why fiscally responsible conservatism is the road to national economic stability and a successful middle class. Being forthright and acknowledging it is time to tame the MIC Leviathan and our nation's role as the policeman of the world will be paramount if the republicans party is to survive. Simply put... whether a conservative or a liberal the majority think the people (all of them) are more important that the state retaining unchecked power and influence worldwide.

If demography is destiny, Republicans can't win the presidency by acting more like Democrats. The GOP's best shot in 2016 is not to nominate a moderate. They must nominate a conservative who can attract more conservative voters to the polls, just like President Obama built his own coalition and increased the relative electoral power of each constituent part. Not that it will be easy.

As long as the GOP nominates someone plausible, they start off with 46 percent of the vote and a large chunk of the electoral college. Getting to 270 + 1 electoral votes and then to 50 percent of the popular balloting requires trade-offs and choices.

Where Obama drew in younger voters, unmarried women, black voters, and Latinos, Republicans would be wise to focus, in the short term, on raising turnout among married women, white men over 30, and self-described evangelical Christians.


Of course, overall demographic trends tilt the balance away from Republicans. The uphill climb begins with an awareness that Democrats will have somewhere between 200 and 250 electoral votes banked by Election Day. I'll start with 226, which leaves Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) and 30 other states for Republicans to pick up. A lot of states, yes, but the most populous ones are already true blue, and there are fewer large states where Republicans can meaningfully turn out their demographic tranches relative to whatever a strong Democratic presidential candidate might do.

Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Iowa are pretty much the only states where there's enough give for Republicans. If the 2016 nominee wins those states, he or she will need at least eight more electoral votes...


What Republicans really can't do is nominate someone who would try to eat into Democratic percentages among younger voters and Latino voters. It's a much taller order to take votes away, and there aren't many states where, unless Democrats massively lose face among these groups, a Republican can take them over. (I see just two: Colorado and Florida.)

So to those who say: The GOP will ONLY win the presidency if it moderates its tone on social issues, I say: not with the electorate as currently constituted. It might be useful, but it is neither necessary or sufficient.

All in all the recipe presented by THE WEEK is more of the same short sighted view that cost republicans in 2008 and 2012. It is fairly oblivious (or at least t should be) that some conservatives and republicans just don't get bit. Probably they never will.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. I don't know, Les. My suspicion is that the pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage, pro-strong-on-defense wings of the Republican Party (especially during the primary process) are just too engrained for there to be much movement. In order for the saner Republicans like Christie, Huntsman, and Johnson to get any traction they're probably going to have to do what the moderate Likud folks did in Israel and start a 3rd party. Maybe a Perot type thing but without the Perot.

    1. You may very well may be right on that one Will. I so the republican party may as well resign itself to minority status or as far as the thinking eye can see.

      Personally, I don't much care. I wrote the republican party off 10 years ago.

  2. Whomever is going to take on the Dumocrats will need to have a clear and easily understood message. We are talking low information voters out there that treat the election of the President of the United States like a junior high class president. Reagan knew this and worked his magic by waving the flag, Mom, and apple pie. After this train wreck of a president, we are going to need a restorer in chief. One who makes the people feel good about themselves and this country (again think Reagan). We have to have someone willing to say that we have a brighter future ahead by following the things we all know to be true, fiscal restraint, smaller government, and the rule of law. I was an early Tea Party supporter, but since it has lost its way into the far right, we need an uprising in the middle of fiscal conservatives that are social pragmatist.

  3. Good to see you here Sandy Salt. You are correct, we need to see the middle take charge. Those hard working average Joe(s) and Jane(s) out there that understand fiscal responsibility, have libertarian social values (live and let live) who embrace diversity and staying put of the individuals personal life, and will demand that our government respond to the majority will of the people without infringing the constitutional rights of the minority.

    As to a restorer in chief, I'm not sure I see one at this point. I like Johnson, Huntsman, Christie. Biden is a certain bomb, Clinton is to the left of Obama IMNHO, and other than them not much there. The T-P possibles would be disasters. With the possible exception of Rand Paul.

    What we need is a person with the personal qualities of Kennedy or Reagan who is both smart and wise with experience building consensus. Perhaps a WJC type even.


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