Over the last couple of days a lot has been said and written about why Republicans lost… Conservatives want to blame John McCain. Moderates and some McCain staffers are trying to pin the blame on Sarah Palin.
All this finger pointing ignores one simple truth: Republicans had ZERO chance of winning this election. They have spent much of the past decade destroying their “brand”, they abandoned solid conservative principles in favor of quasi conservative/centrist/populist ideas that lead to out of control spending and bad policy ideas like campaign finance reform and amnesty for illegal aliens that alienated their conservative base.
That plus the Bush Administration’s mismanagement of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, coupled with their ham-fisted response to hurricane Katrina and failure to engage their opponents in a meaningful policy debate not only deepened the divide with the party’s conservative base it helped alienate independent voters.
The basic problem for Republicans is that they’ve forgotten Conservatism is not policy idea it is a fundamental unwavering belief that, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, “… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
If Republicans expect to have any chance of winning in the 2010 mid-term elections, much less the 2012 Presidential election, they have to rediscover those fundamental principles and return to being the party that embodies them through policies that promote fiscal responsibility and a smaller less intrusive government.
These truths should be self-evident; unfortunately they aren’t, they have to be articulated constantly, lest people forget what they are.