I'm only going to offer this up one time so pay attention.
You folks who run the Republican Party have convinced yourselves that you need to "broaden your base." "Open the tent." Reach out to the disaffected. Win some elections.
What irks me is the fact that, while it's true you need more voters pulling GOP levers around the country, the way you've gone about it is, well, irksome.
You need independent voters. Yes. Without doubt. And your strategy is to choose candidates for public office who do nothing to offend them. Sometimes candidates from "the middle." Wherever that is.
So you end up with people like John McCain. A man who tried to be all things to all people in order to capture "the middle." To win over all those independents that the gurus in your party say you need to reach out to.
Well, we know how that played out.
In the end, what with all the promises made, there wasn't one hair's breadth of difference come election day between him and Mr. Hope Changey. Except that the latter didn't look like he was someone who was a holdover from the 18th century. McCain was to "change" what a boulder is to the evolutionary cycle.
But it goes well beyond McCain. I hear it all the time. The refrain goes something like this: "Most Americans are not conservative, so if we nominate a conservative, we risk losing all those independents out there."
And so you nominate the clueless. The groundless. The positionless.
Those who have no real reason to be running for office other than the fact that someone thought you fit the mold.
Yeah, that's the ticket.
Look. I'm an "independent." So I hereby nominate myself to speak for them. Just for you. And I'm coming to you with this so that you wise up. And maybe start winning a few elections.
We fall into two categegories, both of which are easy pickin's, if you play it right.
The TYPE A INDEPENDENT - me - has very specific and well-thought-out beliefs when it comes to the issues of the day and considers himself or herself independent of party affiliation because he/she feels that neither party really represents that point of view that he/she holds dear.
Want to not offend them by having specific positions on those issues? Want to keep your positions as vague as possible so as to not turn them off? Want to keep your discussions "down the middle"?
In fact, you offend us by doing just that. By not taking a strong stand.
I'd love to declare my allegiance to the Republican Party, but you give me no good reason to.
Or, just as often, you try to "reach across the aisle" and join the liberals in their quest to grow the government even more than its already grown. Just not quite as quickly.
I give you Exhibit A: Lindsey Graham.
Then there are the TYPE B INDEPENDENTS. Those are the folks you know the least about but could win over easily, if you made the attempt. They are individuals who haven't the first clue as to what they believe and are, at any given time, willing to believe anything (What exactly does hope-and-change mean again? Does it matter?).
Want to win over the TYPE B's? Tell them what they should believe and tell them why.
I give you Exhibit B: Ronald Reagan.
Believe in something! STAND FOR SOMETHING. Explain why you believe. Live what you believe. Don't waver.
And most of those independents will break your way.
Or continue to offer up milquetoast. And continue to embarrass yourselves.
I present Exhibit C: Bob Dole.
Offer up a "moderate." Ditto.
Exhibit D: Dede Scozzafava.
I heard this bit of advice a while back. It applies to politics. You might want to take it to heart:
"If you build it, they will come."
Exhibit E: Bob McDonnell.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
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Posted by Jerry Fuhrman at 3:54 AM