Since the 2012 presidential election Republicans have been spending a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong and how they can fix those issues moving forward. Unfortunately all of their actions suggest they still don’t get it.
A recent Fox News interview with Mitt Romney and his wife Ann give some insight into the thought process of many top Republican leaders. When talking about why he lost the election Mitt said “We weren’t effective taking our message to minority voters”. But the reality is the message was received loud and clear, thanks to nearly $500 million in campaign spending, and minorities didn’t like what they heard.
And when Ann discussed how she felt when they realized they had lost she said “It was a crushing disappointment. Not for us. Our lives are going to be fine. It’s for the country.” because Ann can’t comprehend how anyone could view things differently. How could anyone not want the America that Mitt Romney envisioned?
The Romney’s statements represent the core of the problem; the Republican message doesn’t resonate with enough American’s. But rather than accepting this lesson they continue to insist it is just an image problem.
So when a black man beats them for the President of the United States of America they go out and hire a black man to run the party. When women flock to the Democrat party Republicans tap a women for the Vice President position. And when they lose the Hispanic vote they thrust one
of the few Hispanic voices in their party into the spotlight.
While the attempt to increase diversity in the Republican Party is a welcome sight, the message never changed. Having a black man as the head of the RNC didn’t change the belief among Republicans that blacks were takers.
Having a women as the VP candidate didn’t stop the onslaught of attacks on women’s rights. And pushing a Hispanic Senator to the fore hasn’t changed the overall Republican opposition to immigration reform.
Right now the Republican “fix” to their lack of popularity is the ultimate in putting lipstick on the pig and this strategy only magnifies how little they understand the very people they are trying to court.
Picking minorities whose views are out of step with the bulk of voters in their given demographic simply because they are minorities will not make Republicans more attractive to these voters.
No the real answer for the solving the Republican popularity problem can be found in the teachings of Ronald Reagan. While many in the Republican Party claim to idolize the former president they seem to forget that his greatest accomplishment wasn’t his policy but his accessibility.
If Republicans truly understood this lesson they would invite Chris Christie to be the key note speaker at C-PAC instead of ostracizing him. They would also drop the moniker RINO since it only serves to further constrict the reach of the party. As Jeb Bush and Michael Reagan both pointed out recently Ronald Reagan would be too moderate for today’s Republican Party and that should be a giant red flag.
What Republicans need to do now is Fabreze the old man smell out of the congressional chambers and moderate. Keeping the same stand for nothing legislators in place while allowing the base to pull the Republican party further to the right only assures future failure.