Commenter dbnr weighs in with this eloquent argument:
I seldom comment here, but this is pretty much the only blog I ever comment on and I have a thought I want put out there about today’s Republican party.
I have heard several professional pontificators talk today about how this election calls into question the center-right nature of the Republic. I heard Bill Kristol tonight on Special Report with Bret Baier say Republicans need a younger face and a more effective voice for the conservative cause. Karl Rove said we’ve got to find a way to address issues that are important to Latino voters.
That all sounds nice, but that’s not transformational thinking. I think they’ve missed the forest for the trees. The issue is not that the nation has tilted to center-left. The issue is that the Republican Party is playing by the liberal view that rights are endowed by the state and we must advocate for the rights we believe Americans should espouse. As a result, the GOP is a party held hostage to the social values issues, and we no longer represent the majority on those social values.
I live my life by the conservative values that the Republican Party strives to represent. But my values are not endowed by the government; they are endowed by my Creator. And while my pursuit of happiness might be completely in line with conservative values, I reject the Republican Party’s belief that my pursuit of happiness is the path all Americans should pursue.
You want to expand the Republican party beyond the social-issue Republicans? Honor all Americans for their right to pursue their happiness in their own way. A majority Republican party will necessarily look a lot more libertarian. A majority of Americans no longer share my conservative values, but they do share my desire to pursue happiness without Federal Government intervention.
The Republican party is not in disarray. It’s very well organized and I think was well led by Mitt Romney. But if we hope to break out of what is apparently the new status quo (52/48 losses), we need to break the paradigm that accepts the idea elections are about voting for the guy who is going to get the government to make everyone else agree with me.
Once we grab the mantle of Liberty and abandon efforts to affect social change by infringing on others’ right to exercise their Liberty, we will once again be a majority party.
I think the Republican party should emphasize economic freedom and small government, which are core concepts that have wide appeal. Basically, we should be what the Libertarian party could be, if it were not run by kooks.
I recognize that there are issues where cultural conservatism clashes with libertarian attitudes. In those situations, I believe we should focus on those areas where many Americans can agree. For example: we might not agree on everything about abortion — but I bet you that most Americans think the government should not be funding it.
I’ll have more to say about that in future posts.
For now, I invite commentary on dbnr’s excellent comment. And let’s try to get this person to comment more!