The GOP Is More Relevant Than Democrats Think

In 2014 and 2016, Republicans must provide a strong alternative for Americans.

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House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by the House GOP leadership, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by the House GOP leadership, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012.

Nov. 6, 2012 was just over two months ago, but to hear Democrats talk it feels like it could be two years.

It is easily forgotten that over 60 million people voted for the Republican presidential candidate and thus for Republican values. Republicans won, not lost, the elections for House of Representatives, notwithstanding the Democrats' pathetic crying to the referees about gerrymandering (a favorite pastime of both parties).

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

There is a pervasive feeling among the left and, unfortunately, a part of the right that the GOP is not the party of elephants, but that of dinosaurs. That, my friends, is a complete crock. Over 3.5 million less voters cast their ballot for Barack Obama in 2012 when compared to 2008 and just about 1 million more voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 than for the GOP candidate in 2008, Sen. John McCain.

We, Republicans, are the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and yes, both Presidents Bush. It will take a lot more than two losses to a rock star candidate and some bush league class warfare to render our party obsolete.

However, it will also take introspection to prevent having to withstand further losses, and along with them unbearable gloating from the near and far left. The result of the introspection should be simple for the GOP—pick the right fights (taxes, debt ceiling, spending, and states' rights) and not the wrong (right to bear arms which kill at an abhorrent clip, abortion, gay rights). Another takeaway is obvious—let us lead on immigration reform. Let's talk Sen. Ted Cruz off the Tea Party ledge and ask him to lead on something realistic and vital to him, his party, and his country—in that order: fix immigration and stop making Hispanic voters think we don't like them.

[See a collection of political cartoons on immigration.]

Just because a Democrat won the last two presidential elections does not mean Republicans will cease to exist. Remember—Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman's terms combined for five in a row for the donkeys and were followed by two Republican terms for Ike. Wins by Richard Nixon and George W. Bush also followed double Democrats victories.

Voters like balance and choice—it is up to us as Republicans to give them a strong choice in 2014 and 2016. That decision will not be based on wonky numbers and formulas, but on a simple and direct message that has to contrast with liberal policies of overtaxation, overregulation, and gutting of our national defense.

The answer: small government, low taxes, national security, and the big tent as the calling card of the GOP.

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  • Corrected on : Corrected on 1/16/2013: A previous version of this post misstated the day of the presidential election.