After researching a sample of disaffected Republican voters, the study drew four conclusions that were strangely missing from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ much-hyped “autopsy” that basically any MSNBC commentator could’ve written. I’m sure it was just an accidental oversight on Reince’s part.
1) Voters are tired of “voting for the lesser of two evils.” This was actually true of both conservatives and moderates. These voters were no longer persuaded that supporting a bad Republican candidate over any Democrat was the right thing to do.
2) Voters lost hope in the Republican Party and believe the party can no longer deliver on its promises because its leaders lack courage and integrity. According to Anne Sorock, the author of the study’s conclusive report, “the lack of perceived leadership by principle was strongly connected to this sense of loss.”
3) Voters now preferred what the report described as an “affiliation with a new community” that would pursue its principles – which was primarily the Tea Party.
4) Voters feel what the report characterized as a “perceived betrayal by the GOP establishment.” Specifically, Sorock says that when party leaders attacked a candidate they liked, these disaffected Republican voters across the ideological spectrum took it as a personal slight and felt that they weren’t welcome in the party.
To bring these crucial base voters back into the fold, the report concluded that Republicans should “strive to create a community around shared principles” rather than attacking grassroots candidates with “lesser of two evil” (i.e. electability) arguments.” The report went on to say that the GOP’s problems are not only, or even primarily, philosophical but with the party’s leadership itself.
That is spot on if you ask me.
For years, I believed the divide in the party was conservatives versus moderates. Then I thought it was social conservatives versus fiscal conservatives. Then I thought it was conservatives versus libertarians.
Then I realized that’s all a distraction.
The divide in the party isn’t ideological at all – it’s based purely on control. All the ideological debates among us are intended to keep us distracted from the real problem. Oh sure, I disagree with libertarians and other conservatives all the time. But out here in the grassroots, we actually agree on the primary purpose of the Republican Party—to advance the general principles in the party platform and offer the country a stark contrast to the statism offered by the Democrats.
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