The wonderful and talented New York Post columnist John Podhoretz has a detailed analysis of the election exit polls, and it isn’t good for conservatives. All conservatives should wake up and realize that the next few months are critical in setting up for success in 2008. There are several key passages, but the whole article is worth reading.
“There’s no good news whatever for Republicans in the exit polls or anywhere else. The talk that they suffered at the polls this time because GOP voters were disenchanted by the party? Nonsense: By all accounts, more than 90 percent of Republican voters cast their ballot for GOP candidates and turnout was high. GOP voters didn’t revolt against the Republican Party. Independent and conservative Democrats did. This is a very big deal, because it discredits or revises the governing voting theory of the Bush years. Karl Rove argued that the number of genuinely independent voters whose ballot choice is up for grabs every year has shrunk almost to nothing – 6 percent to 8 percent. Thus, the best way to win wasn’t to appeal to the independents but to wring every last vote out of GOP-aligned folks who might be too busy or too distracted to go to the polls on Election Day.”
“Conservatives will be arguing over the meaning of the defeat and how to change things for the better. But we need to understand a key aspect of the defeat – a cultural aspect.
For decades, Americans whose lives did not revolve around politics believed that Democrats were trying to use politics to revise the rules of society – to force America to “evolve” in a Left-liberal direction.
They didn’t like the bossiness implied by this attitude and they were appalled by the unintended consequences of the changes instituted by left-liberals, mainly when it came to confiscatory tax policy and the refusal to maintain social order and safe streets. These consequences were marks of profound incompetence in the management of the country, and the Democrats were punished for it.
But over in the past few years, Americans began to get the sense that Republicans had become the party of social revision – that it had allowed its own ideological predilections to run riot and that a new form of political correctness had overtaken the party that had seemed more sensible and more in line with their way of thinking.”
Republicans better get a clue and return to the fundamentals of their party. It has been said before that republicans are more effective as an opposition party. We will begin to see what develops in the next few weeks. The Republicans also need a strong, articulate, charismatic leader. I hope that we are not entering a liberal era. Republicans made the mistake of thinking all things conservative would rule after the 1994 election-reight before Bill Clinton was elected to his second term. Issue by issue, this is a largely conservative country, but weak conservative candidates will not win.
It’s time for the next Ronald Reagan to arrive on the scene, and I don’t see one on the horizon.