My wife and I were on the road to Nashville this weekend when we tuned into John Gibson’s radio show. He was taking calls on this question:
Who does President Obama fear most, Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich?
This is the wrong question. The right question is, Who will energize the conservative base? McCain, and Dole before him, did nothing for the conservative base. If conservatives voted, they voted out of duty not conviction. To this day I can’t tell you what either of these men believed. All I knew about the 2008 election was that I didn’t want Barack Obama and all that he and his Leftist cronies would bring with him to the presidency.
Trying to appeal to Liberals and Blacks is a lost cause. I don’t care how liberal-lite Republicans get, Liberals are not going to vote for them, so there is no sense trying to appeal to them. “Forgedaboudit.”
The same is true for Blacks but for different reasons. They believe that Democrats have their best interests in mind, that Liberal economic policies will lift them out of poverty. You would think that the gigantic failure of LBJ’s Great Society programs would turn them around, but it hasn’t. The Black family is in disintegration, youth employment is at record levels, and self-segregation is a growing problem. While the majority of Blacks are socially conservative, they are fiscally Liberal, and they haven’t figured out that there is a relationship between the two.
While Blacks are not as enthusiastic today as they were in 2008, their vote is considerable and crucial to Democrats. In 2008, the election was historic because it was about putting a Black man in office, even if he was only half Black.
No matter how many Blacks vote in 2012, Obama is going to get 90 percent of their vote. Blacks had the highest turnout rate among 18- to 24-year-old voters — 55 percent, an 8 percent increase from 2004.
“The 2008 presidential election saw a significant increase in voter turnout among young people, blacks and Hispanics,” said Thom File, a voting analyst with the Census Bureau’s Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division. “But as turnout among some other demographic groups either decreased or remained unchanged, the overall 2008 voter turnout rate was not statistically different from 2004.”
The difference was in the number of conservatives who stayed home in 2008. McCain was a conservative dud, as he is today. The “anybody but Obama” vote was not enough to turn out the conservative base.
The Hispanic vote also made a difference. This is why the immigration issue is important. Republicans need to come up with a workable and equitable policy position that goes something like this: Seal the border, send back the criminal element, and make it possible for illegals to work toward citizenship while speeding up the process for legals. One way to lessen the attraction for illegal entry is to cut welfare programs, not only for non-citizens but citizens. This has to be done on the state level. The states with the easiest route to welfare will have the biggest illegal problem. That seems to be California, which is a Republican lost cause for the foreseeable future.
Most Hispanics are hard working, family oriented, and conservative in fiscal and social matters. They are our kind of people. Conservatives lost the majority Black vote decades ago; let’s not do the same thing with Hispanics. Please, no knee-jerk reactions and responses. Think about it and come up with solutions besides “send them all back.”
We know that Paul gets a lot of things right and some big things wrong. I still believe he’s naïve on some aspect of foreign policy.
Romney looks better than Dole and McCain, but he doesn’t have the convictions of his latest views. Conservatives don’t trust him. He won’t fight for whatever conservative values he is holding at this moment in time.
Then there’s Newt Gingrich. Newt’s a frustrating guy. There’s a lot of good policy in him, but he doesn’t seem to be able to keep the consistency going. Maybe in time he’ll be able to do it. He’s made some bad personal and relational decisions since leaving Congress. It remains to be seen if he’ll be able to overcome the weight of his considerable baggage.
Whoever it’s going to be, it’s the base that’s important. Preach to the CONSERVATIVE base, and the election might be won.