At the outset of this election, a friend said he was frightened that nearly half of Americans supported Barack Obama's reelection. The notion that our country was so far gone that nearly half of the populace thought his policies were the right direction for the nation was disheartening.
As we ponder the meaning of this election failure, it seems first that America has faced great challenges before and somehow the populace has found a workable solution, so perhaps adopting an apocalyptic approach is unnecessary. After all, our friends in Europe have endured plagues and two world wars, and the society stands today.
But three thoughts stand out from these results:
- We are in the position we find ourselves because of the lack of principle and resolve of the GOP and conservatives. Years of half-hearted conservatism brought the Bush economic collapse that, perhaps unfairly, continues to define the GOP in the mind of the public today. We must rise above these prior policy failures.
- It is because of these failures that not only has the GOP been brought to its knees, but America has as well. The American people accept the failures of liberalism because they seem "less bad" than the years under Bush. A broken nation has taken the wrong path, because it seems the better path.
- We must somehow appeal to young voters and black, Hispanic and Asian voters in a real sense without abandoning principle. The GOP and American exceptionalism offer so much to these new Americans and underprivileged Americans, but the story must be told, and told compassionately and with respect to the diversity to our culture that these Americans bring.
Without a significant reevaluation, the future for the GOP, and for America, is much worse than 2012 delivered.