I won't say there's a silver lining in the aftermath of Tuesday's disastrous election results, but there's glimmers of hope for conservatives to stay in the fight.
Obama may have won re-election with a lesser majority than he received in 2008, but his far-Left agenda did not win.
Breitbart News Network and Judicial Watch conducted a post election survey and found a lot that is contrary to what establishment Republicans are thinking, and inspire conservatives/Tea Party members to keep fighting.
The Breitbart News Network/Judicial Watch post-election survey released today is a warning to those who have argued, in the wake of the 2012 election, that the way for the Republican Party to broaden its appeal is to compromise on core principles of limited government and the rule of law.
For example, many pundits--including some conservatives--have argued that Republicans should embrace "amnesty" on immigration as a way of reversing the party's decline among the growing Latino voting population. Yet the pundits are making their proclamations without any data to support them.
The Breitbart News/Judicial Watch survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, revealed that:
•71% of voters agree that big government leads to corruption, and 85% of voters are concerned about corruption, but voters do not trust either party to clean up Washington
•77% of voters believe the media was biased in favor of one candidate
•61% of voters embrace Arizona-style immigration laws, including 40% of Hispanics
•76% of voters--and a majority within EVERY minority group--favor photo ID for votingThe Republican Party in particular failed to make the case--and to turn out the vote--in 2012.
In short, voters agree with many conservative positions on policy and governance, but do not trust either party to enact them.
The Breitbart News/Judicial Watch survey did not focus on social issues. However, a larger data pool collected by Public Opinion Strategies reveals that Mitt Romney won a higher percentage of the pro-choice vote than President Barack Obama did of the pro-life vote.
The Democrats' campaign on social issues was not aimed at winning over independents, who narrowly favored Romney in the election, but at motivating the party's base--and at maximizing damage to the Republican Party's image and message.Erick Erickson at RedState (h/t Smitty at The Other McCain) backs up what the Breitbart/Judicial Watch survey found.
Since Ronald Reagan rose from the ashes of the Goldwater movement, Republicans have articulated a message of freedom and opportunity — a rugged individualism that says if you work hard you can be what you want and do what you want. But people forget.
In the last decade or so, Republicans began to assume everyone just naturally agreed. They stopped explaining. They stopped being evangelists. Worse, conservatism morphed into Republicanism and instead of being about ideas, both became about the acquisition of power for the sake of power. Republicans no longer articulated a core set of principles through policy, but policies designed solely to keep them in power. The party leaders and many of its candidates began to do the same — freedom became a platitude, not a policy.
During Barack Obama’s tenure, Republicans tried to blur every line, make every compromise, and often surrendered before a weapon was even pointed at them. They did not articulate a positive conservative vision, but a defensive position that Obama was bad and they were good with little to show for it. They cut deals that sold out their core to preserve their power. They do so even today.
Republicans assumed Americans got it. They assumed Americans and Republicans were still speaking the same language. But they weren’t.
Politics is cyclical and Americans are forgetful. Republicans forgot that. They failed to keep advancing. They failed to keep explaining. They relied on on the tried and true that became the tired and stale.There's a lot of truth to this. Conservatism began a decline in the GOP in many ways in the middle of George H.W. Bush's first term, when he broke his "no new taxes pledge." George W. Bush, while a good leader in the War on Terrorism, watered down conservatism with a "smaller-big government" message he called "compassionate conservatism." He barely won his first term and kept his second in a close race. Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America has been the only example since Reagan of how the GOP ran and tried to educate America about conservatism...and it resonated.
Erickson also wrote another rebuttal to the people who think social conservatives lost the race. It is essential reading.
There's polling data that rebuts claims that abortion is a losing issue (Life News).
CNN has released the results of a new poll showing a majority of Americans want all or most abortions prohibited — a clear pro-life majority.
The survey asked: “Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal under only certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?” Some 62 percent want abortions illegal in all cases or legal only in certain instances while just 35% want abortions legal for any reason.
Breaking down the question further, CNN asked, “Do you think abortion should be legal in most circumstances or only a few circumstances?”
Here, 52 percent took a pro-life view saying abortion should be illegal in all (15%) or most circumstances (37%) while just 44 percent took a pro-abortion view saying abortions should be legal in all (35%) or most (9%) circumstances.
Looking more closely at when abortions should be legal, CNN asked about if they should be allowed when the woman’s life is endangered. Americans agreed with that on a 88-9 percentage point margin. In cases of rape and incest, Americans supported legal abortions on a 83-14 percentage point margin. And when the woman’s health is supposedly in danger from the pregnancy, Americans were alright with abortion on a 83-12 percentage point margin.That makes it clear Americans only support abortion in the most rare instances and clear oppose abortions in the 99 percent of cases when abortion is chosen for convenience, social or birth control reasons.
The problem was, Romney and the GOP couldn't articulate the message. Instead, they had two candidates who made dumb remarks they had no business weighing in on.
If we're serious about winning the country back, not only do we have to engage the rest of the nation, take on the activist media and the liberal Democrats, we need to confront the Republican Party establishment for "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." In some areas, I'm seeing Paul Ryan get "Palinized" because he was the VP choice. Like Palin, Ryan is a voice of sanity and conservatism that was willing to "evangelize" but was muzzled by their respective campaigns. Conservatism, if it is to win, needs to be articulated, not backbenched.
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has more observations on the election that need to be read as well, as they are right on.
It sounds like this is also a good time to re-read Ronald Reagan's 1975 CPAC speech, in which he ended by saying:
A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.The GOP establishment needs to be reminded of this.