published Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

GOP rebranding effort flawed: Party needs to find its roots

How can the Republican Party regain relevancy in a demographically evolving America — and what do GOP leaders need to do in order to regain the White House in the wake of two consecutive lopsided losses? Those questions were the genesis for the Republican National Committee's Growth and Opportunity Project.

The centerpiece of the project is an exhaustive 97-page report released Monday. The report outlines voters' concerns with the Republican Party according to thousands of online surveys and hundreds of conference calls, listening sessions and one-on-one meetings with Republicans, former Republicans, and female, black, Asian and Hispanic voters.

What the report found is what anyone who watched the election returns last November already knows: The Republican party fails at engaging young, female and minority voters and is unsuccessful at explaining how GOP policies can improve the lives of Americans.

In page after page, the report theorizes that if the Party was just better at messaging, raised more money, improved its social media outreach and reworked its campaign mechanics, the GOP's record low public perception will suddenly be cured.

But that's wrong. And short-sighted.

Quick fixes and attempts to modernize the party are largely why Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections — and much of the reason that the party's national prospects are growing bleaker by the day.

If anything, the report's suggestions to pander to particular demographics and minority groups will make the problem worse. That's because catering to a few ensures that the Republican Party further distances itself from the one thing that makes it appealing to the masses: The willingness to defend the belief that people make better decisions than government.

Throughout the history of the party, that one timeless principle has made the GOP more appealing to far more people than the Democratic Party could ever be.

The Democratic Party is largely a hodgepodge of self-interested and unrelated special interest that congregate under the Democratic Party banner because they want something from government and believe Democratic lawmakers will get it for them.

The Republican Party, when managed by competent leaders and embodied by principled elected officials, is different.

When the Republican Party is on the right track, the party is guided by principles of self-governance, individual liberty and limited, responsible government — ideas that unite and inspire Americans. The GOP has failed when it has strayed from those central tenets, taken a page out of the Democratic handbook and tried to use government as a device to redistribute wealth, manipulate free markets, strip liberties and favor the well-connected, as it is doing now.

The Republican Party does not need to modernize to reach female, gay, Latino, black, Asian and female voters. It needs to regress.

Rather than focusing on improved Tweeting tactics, identifying the most effective online fundraising tools or producing better TV ads, the party needs to get back to its roots.

If the GOP truly cares about appealing to more Americans, and ultimately, winning elections, Republican leaders should toss the Growth and Opportunity Project in the nearest trash can. That's because the only thing that will draw more Americans to the Republican Party is a renewed focus on America's founding principles of individual liberty and limited, constitutional government.

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AndrewLohr said...

GOP to empower the people: vouchers under our control instead of huge systems run by bureaucrats and politicians. Democrats to control us by buying votes. Jefferson Davis promising a better plantation, Abe Lincoln promising freedom. Jesus is libertarian: personally generous, not buying votes with other peoples' money.

March 19, 2013 at 1:08 a.m.
nucanuck said...

You have to give the Republicans credit, they got a lot of votes by just appealing to old white boys.

March 19, 2013 at 1:38 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The Democratic Party is largely a hodgepodge of self-interested and unrelated special interest that congregate under the Democratic Party banner because they want something from government and believe Democratic lawmakers will get it for them.

I have voted DEM all my adult life, and never once have I expected to "get" something from the government. Until conservatives let go of this farce they will never regain the strength that they had. The fact that CPAC still determines the direction of the GOP, and CPAC parades the extremists and excludes those that are truly effective (like the governors of NJ and VA) they will never appeal to the mainstream voter. Most of the country is tired of the religion-soaked, corporate welfare, mean-spirited, party that stereotypes the opposition as takers. This editorial just reinforces that attitude. The fact that goofy Tea-Party types can make one "4 pinocchio" claim after another and are not challenged by the rest says that the party has nothing to say.

If you want to win voters (like me-I almost switched parties in 2008 until McCain chose Palin as his running mate) stick with the facts, stay away from social issues, keep religion out of politics, get Palin, Coulter, Bachmann, Santorum and Trump out of the limelight and stop calling the sitting president a socialist, fascist, communist, foreign, muslim, atheist anti-christ. (or at least correct your followers that spread such craziness) Then maybe I will consider the GOP the party of rational adults, not silly petulant children.

March 19, 2013 at 8:48 a.m.
Leaf said...

"The Democratic Party is largely a hodgepodge of self-interested and unrelated special interest that congregate under the Democratic Party banner because they want something from government and believe Democratic lawmakers will get it for them."

You just had to get a dig in, didn't you? Of course it's an innaccurate one. Maybe this is why the Republican party is going off the rails. Because it's full of bitter old white guys who hoard guns and pine for the confederacy when women and minorities weren't so uppity. See, it's easy to sling mud at a caricature.

March 19, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I think Drew is mostly correct. The republican party has relegated itself to trying to be the party that promises to better manage the increased scope of the federal government that both the democrats and republicans have created. This sets them up to be easy targets for the democrats but does nothing to fix any of the problems created by federal overreach.

Both parties give lip service to the Constitution but pay little attention to it once they get back to Washington. The republicans will get my attention if and when they start working to reduce the scope of the federal government and return power to the states. They need to completely eliminate many of the bureaucratic monsters that have been created with no measurable social progress, in many cases social decay. It is time to admit that some things are best not handled by a bloated federal government.

March 19, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
Handleit said...

I think the Republican Party has become the party of the rich and corporations. This makes the party seem corrupt to some people. At least it does to me. The Republican Party supports corporate welfare while coming across as not caring for everyday Americans. I hear it everyday. Cut Medicare, social security, and other social programs but nothing about stopping subsidies to corporations. The Republican Party is out of balance, especially when it comes to spending priorities.

March 19, 2013 at 12:38 p.m.
gjuster said...

Pandering for votes will end the GOP for many who believe in having values and sticking to them. A less intrusive Federal government, less debt, no corporatism, and more individual freedoms. Unfortunately, the Republican party does not reflect these principles - especially on a national level. As for being the party of the rich? Not true anymore - it is more the party of the small business owner trying to make it, but they are being driven away. The problem is for disaffected R's (and D's) where do you go? Washington DC is about power, and keeping that power.

March 19, 2013 at 1:02 p.m.
timbo said...

lkeithlu,Leaf...Thanks for your concern for the betterment of the Republican party. I am sure your sincere....yea, right.

Leaf said he never once voted to "get" something. I don't believe that at all. He has time after time supported all the the government giveaways including Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, etc. etc. etc. He has advocated everything I am against and that makes the government more and more powerful.

As far as bitter old white guys, I am not bitter, I am pissed. It pisses me off that this country is headed down the road to destruction because of the Nickelodeon generation falling for these left wing con men. Remember on Nickelodeon all the adults are stupid and the kids are just too smart and too cool for school. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Republicans own the House, own the governorships, own about 60% of state legislatures. There is no need to panic because you lost twice with two wimpy moderate/liberal candidates.

The lesson is that when you run invertebrate candidates you lose because your base stays home. Republicans are losing because they are too much like democrats. Just look at Bush...he was the all time deficit champ before Obama came along. The Republican party is lost.

The democrats are the party of the mega corporations. Huge corporations love the democrats because they keep the money flowing out of the government into their greedy hands. Conservatives are represent the backbone of this country..small business.

Drew is dead right. When people like Leaf and ikeithlu are giving advice, excuse me for doing the opposite. The Republican party and the liberals giving us advice couldn't be more wrong. Our best bet is to ignore this stuff and try to get our base to come out and vote.

We don't need blacks, Hispanics, or women who don't believe in our principles. We should spend our time increasing our voter turn-out.

March 19, 2013 at 5:19 p.m.
Easy123 said...

"We don't need blacks, Hispanics, or women who don't believe in our principles."

Statements like that are why the Republican party is no longer relevant and will continue to be irrelevant for the foreseeable future. Racism, bigotry, sexism and egregious ignorance will keep the GOP right where they are: in the political gutter.

March 19, 2013 at 5:38 p.m.
timbo said...

slEasy321... Statements like yours depicting something I didn't say are why you guys are just today's fad.

WE DON'T NEED ANYONE WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE IN CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES. WHY WOULD WE YOU IMBECILE? IF THEY DON'T BELIEVE THE WAY WE DO, THEY ARE DEMOCRATS OR LIBERALS. THEY ALREADY HAVE A PARTY OF THEIR OWN. IF THEY BELIEVE IN YOUR PRINCIPLES THEN THEY AREN'T CONSERVATIVE.

WE DO NEED WHITES, BLACKS, WOMEN, MARTIANS, ORIENTALS, SLAVS, CZECHS, AND HISPANICS THAT BELIEVE IN CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES.

THE FACT THAT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A PRINCIPLE IS..ISN'T SURPRISING.

YOU ARE BY FAR THE BIGGEST IDIOT ON THIS PAGE. BAR NONE.

March 19, 2013 at 5:58 p.m.
Easy123 said...

timboner,

"Statements like yours depicting something I didn't say are why you guys are just today's fad."

I copied and pasted your comment. You said it and it is very apparent what you meant.

"WE DON'T NEED ANYONE WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE IN CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES."

Are there "whites" that don't believe in "conservative principles"? Why didn't you mention them?

"WHY WOULD WE YOU IMBECILE? IF THEY DON'T BELIEVE THE WAY WE DO, THEY ARE DEMOCRATS OR LIBERALS."

False. The fact that you think that way is very telling.

"WE DO NEED WHITES, BLACKS, WOMEN, MARTIANS, ORIENTALS, SLAVS, CZECHS, AND HISPANICS THAT BELIEVE IN CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES."

Then why do you alienate and demonize those groups? Most people believe in some conservative principles, they just don't like what the GOP is all about. Most rational people tend to stay away from racists, bigots, and homophobes.

"THE FACT THAT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A PRINCIPLE IS..ISN'T SURPRISING."

Do you even know what you're talking about at this point or are you just raging?

"YOU ARE BY FAR THE BIGGEST IDIOT ON THIS PAGE. BAR NONE."

No, sir. That award has been collecting dust on your mantle for many months now.

March 19, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

timbo, I have to think that since you bashed my comments wholesale without addressing a single point that you believe 100% in imposing religion and social restrictions, that Limbaugh, Bachmann, Palin, Santorum, Coulter and Trump are correct in what they say, and Obama really IS a socialist, fascist, communist, foreign, muslim, atheist anti-christ.

Glad we now know where you stand.

As long as folks like you represent the GOP, it will never win another national election.

March 19, 2013 at 6:59 p.m.
timbo said...

lkeithlu....Now you are putting words in my mouth. Let me be clear and unequivocal. I think mainly one thing about Obama. He is a socialist who believes that government should be the overruling thing in our lives. He believes in his warped, leftist sense of social justice. He is more the national socialist that wants government to control the means of production, not own it, and pick the winners and losers. I do believe he is a form of the "socialist, fascist, communist" that you mentioned. I think he is the worst President in history. Bush was No. 1, he is now No. 2.

I don't know or care about this nonsense that he is the "anti-Christ, atheist," or whatever. You can believe in Harold the Carrot God for all I care if your economic principles are correct. I am mainly a libertarian. I don't believe in interfering with any personal behavior that doesn't hurt anyone directly. Do whatever you want...marry the same sex, be a drug addict, marry your pet goat.. I just don't care and you can knock yourself out.

As far as conservatives winning another national election, that will happen in 2014. Democrats like Republicans, when gaining power, they get drunk with it and over reach. This is political human nature. If things don't get better economically, the Democrats are just as done as the Republicans were in 2008.

You are not politically astute enough to realize that there is no real difference between the two parties. They just play a cynical game of good cop/bad cop, changing roles when it is convenient.

The biggest mistake is that you think that if you are conservative you must be Republican. I am conservative first and vote occasionally for a Republican. I never vote for a Democrat because they don't believe much of ANYTHING that I believe. I don't chose the lesser of two evils. They are both evil, it is a matter of degree. Who is more evil, Frankenstein or the Wolf-man, Stalin or Mao, Hitler or Mussolini,....it is a false choice.

One thing is crystal clear, both parties want on thing...POWER.

March 20, 2013 at 9:43 a.m.
librul said...

Timbo had a brain fart and said;

"The democrats are the party of the mega corporations. Huge corporations love the democrats because they keep the money flowing out of the government into their greedy hands. Conservatives are represent the backbone of this country..small business."

Two words, Timbo ... Koch brothers.

March 20, 2013 at 9:52 a.m.
Easy123 said...

timboner,

"Now you are putting words in my mouth."

So, basically, Ikeithlu put the words in your mouth that you just affirmed, correct?

Are you too stupid to realize that you just confirmed everything Ikeithlu just said?

No words were put in your mouth. Ikeithlu described your beliefs precisely and you have confirmed that fact and your own ignorance.

March 20, 2013 at 9:57 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I beg to disagree. Timbo finally made a case. Perhaps one that I can't agree fully on, but at least he made a case. What I find annoying is someone who just blasts liberals in general, but has nothing whatever to say. One who will not call the crazy talking heads out for the loony things they say.

March 20, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.
moon4kat said...

I agree with Ikeithlu about the GOP's failure to douse the ugly, crazy, nasty, lying propaganda that has been spouted by the party's famous spokesmen (and women). The GOP seems to rely heavily on use of the "Big Lie" technique to sweep in the truly ignorant and gullible.
Yes, some fringe liberals have also gone "off the rails" with stupid comments, but they usually get called down for it. In the Republican Party, it seems the looniest, most fraudulent, and vilest views are considered commonplace, and met with winks and fond chuckles. That is what has most alienated me and many others who cannot respect a party that encourages (tacitly and otherwise) such violence to facts and civil discourse.

March 20, 2013 at 12:14 p.m.
timbo said...

librul...... The Koch brothers are just drops in the bucket compared to GE, GM, Microsoft, Big banks, The entertainment industry,.... You're just mad because the Koch brothers support conservative causes. You conveniently forget the tens of millions of dollars went into Obama's campaign coffers from these kinds of corporations.

Both parties are guilty of taking campaign contributions from large corporations and then getting out corporate welfare in return. You just want to think it's a one-way street. Most small business people are either Republicans are conservatives because that's what it takes to be successful. P

March 20, 2013 at 12:40 p.m.
Easy123 said...

timboner,

"The Koch brothers are just drops in the bucket compared to GE, GM, Microsoft, Big banks, The entertainment industry"

What about other top Republican contributors like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Sheldon Adelson, Harold Simmons, Woody Johnson, Karl Rove, Citizens United, etc?

Big corporations donated to Romney.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/30/13034655-top-ceos-donate-to-romney-over-obama-by-4-1-margin?lite

"You just want to think it's a one-way street."

No, you think that way. You only mention the other side of the coin when confronted.

"Most small business people are either Republicans are conservatives because that's what it takes to be successful."

It's not as big of a majority as you are leading people to believe.

http://www.openforum.com/articles/who-will-get-small-business-owners-vote/

March 20, 2013 at 5:53 p.m.
Plato said...

lkeithlu absolutely nailed it!

As long as the Republicans find it necessary to tolerate and pander to the extreme elements of the party they will do nothing more than to continue to alienate the majority and lose elections on the national level.

My prediction is sooner or later the Republicans will realize this and reform their party breaking away from the far right elements and embracing more of the ideals of moderates and centrists. In short those that are fiscally conservative but moderate on issues like the environment, immigration and health care. A strong party could be forged out of such a coalition that would meet with the approval of the majority and that includes a lot of the groups that have abandoned them - women, minorities, gays etc.

My advise to the Republicans is to have a "Come to Teddy Roosevelt Moment". Roosevelt a military man that won the Nobel Peace Prize, was an environmentalist that cared about the quality of the earth. He busted the trusts and smashed the monopolies, unlike today's so-called Republicans, who are just the venal shills of and apologists for the plutocrats and the oligarchs and believe that all of America's problems can be solved by punishing the poor and pauperizing the middle class.

March 21, 2013 at 9 p.m.
chet123 said...

CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLE HA HA HA HA....WHAT IS IT?????

PROTECTING THE RICH AND GREEDY?????? HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

NICE TRY!!!!

April 20, 2013 at 2:38 p.m.
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