Eighteen years ago I met a Democratic consultant who said to me, “David, your side doesn’t give people a reason to vote for them. Republicans only win when Democrats screw up big time.” This year Democrats screwed up big time (along with many pollsters), and Republicans won big time. There’s a lot of good news here, especially the Republican gubernatorial victories in Democratic states like Michigan and Wisconsin, and battleground states like Ohio and Florida. Perhaps the most inexplicable good news of the day was the fact that Sandra Fluke got trounced by a Republican in the People’s Republic of Santa Monica. No wonder Democrats are weaker now than at any time since the 1920s.
Looking over this Democratic wreckage, Republican doomsayers should take note. The American people are not “low information” dummies, who will believe anything Democrats tell them. Abe Lincoln had it right: “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Republicans should also note that despite all the people on food stamps and all of the voters getting free stuff – 47% by Mitt Romney’s misguided count – they were still independent and savvy enough to return Scott Walker in Wisconsin, to elect Tim Cotton in Arkansas, and to defeat Sandra Fluke in Santa Monica. Finally, Democrats’ racist appeals to minority voters don’t seem to be working as well as they used to. All these Republican whines were in fact excuses for poorly run political campaigns. Normally, you have to defeat your opponents. You can’t count on them to defeat themselves. Normally.
And this raises the big question, which is 2016. Democrats, when they are not over reaching and claiming against all evidence that the party of Joni Ernst and Shelley Moore Capito and Nikki Haley is conducting a war against women, are formidable political opponents. When they regroup after this defeat they will not be so easy beat in 2016. Unless…
Unless Obama, ideologue that he is, determines to stay the course, grants amnesty to 11 million illegals, continues to use fly swatters to combat ISIS, alternately stonewalls and heads for the golf course in the face of major crises, and vetoes Republican bills to restore the economy. There is always this possibility but don’t count on it. And in the absence of such screw-ups, Republicans will need to get their act together and give voters something to vote for.
Here’s an idea. What Republicans should offer voters is a national security program that protects them, and individual freedom. Freedom to choose their healthcare; freedom to run their businesses in an environment where government is not looking over their shoulders at every turn and stifling their incentives to create jobs; freedom to go about their lives without fear of terrorist attacks; freedom to shape their country and its culture within secure borders; freedom from electoral fraud, and IRS intrusion designed to turn their country into a one-party state.
These are not only policy preferences; they are moral themes – calls to action – that sum up what the Republican Party is about.
David Horowitz is the author of the recently published book