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Obama wins, time to retool

Editorial Board
11/20/2008


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It seemed almost inevitable. Especially with McCain throwing in the towel back in August with his selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate. As it turns out, the Palin and McCain people never saw eye to eye and had a lot of internal strife. Very sad, but very true. So where do we go from here?

As Republicans, we have an opportunity to reload, retool and rearm. We have been around a long time, and we can adapt. We can't sit around and wait for Obama to win another term. We have to start working on our party now!The battle begins today.

We need a revolution in the Republican party. And that is putting it mildly.

Travelling around the country and talking to grass roots Republicans and some Muslim groups, puts me in a unique position to know what grass roots Republicans are saying, how they evaluate our platform and figure out how we are going to move forward. I'm always asked for my opinion at various meetings and speaking engagements I have an outline and a strategy for where we can go from here.

I recently gave a lecture at a local Republican strategy meeting and outlined what our plan and strategy should be for the future. Here are some of the points I discussed.

Againstism

We can't keep running on a platform of being "against everything". You aren't going to garner much support, being "against" abortion, "against" gay rights, "against" higher taxes, "against" bigger government, "against" illegal aliens, "against" foreign meddling, "against" Obama, and other countless "against" platforms. It's time to start standing "for" things. Negativity and againstism are a thing of the past. We need to be visionaries and leaders. People are tired of voting for someone "who isn't" George Bush. Or who "isn't" Barack Obama. We should inspire people, not scare them.

People are rarely inspired to vote "against" something. Sure, it has worked in the past and you can get it to work. But, if we want to truly win the hearts and minds of the people we need to start being "for" ideas and "for" reform.

Leadership

Firstly, we need to be awe inpsiring and come up with great ideas of our own. We need to stand for something! We need to be leaders. Instead of bringing back retreads and recycled Republican candidates and ideas, it's time to come up with something new. Our country is facing a lot of issues. We need to have promising ideas. You don't necessarily need solutions for all of the problems, you just have to acknowledge them publically and discuss them. People will love us. Just ask Bill Clinton.

Recycled

It's time to throw out the old guard. Newt Gingrich, McCain, Limbaugh, Hastert, Dole, Romney, Huckabee, Barbour and that old generation of republican leadership are severely out of touch with the people. Especially, the youth of our nation. Obama won because of Facebook and Twitter. I highly doubt McCain knows what those two services are. We need to hire the brightest, youngest, most savvy, and technologically advanced young minds to move forward. Hire people from Google and Facebook! Obama did it and he became the "cool" and "hip" candidate. He won by embracing technology. Not ignoring it.

Get younger

Our country has had enough of "wrinkly old guys" with white hair who look like they could be our great grandfathers. Or worst yet, Founding Fathers. Come on! This doesn't work. America's voting public is getting younger and younger. Sure, a lot of old people vote, but it's always overstated and overestimated. Young people vote, and they vote in droves. Obama tapped into this crowd and succeeded. We can't be the party of yesterday. We need to be the party of tomorrow!

Anti-Obama

Regardless of what Obama ends up doing, we can't always be "against" his plan, just to be against his plan. This is asinine. Nearly every politician that has run on a platform of being "against" the other guy, has lost. You can't just stand against everything that Obama stands for. You can't keep mentioning Obama in your campaign speeches. Make him irrelevant. You can't keep perpetuating Obama and making him relevant. You have to be able to be relevant on your own. The more you talk about him, the more legitimacy you give him. We need to talk about our own policies and agendas.

Old Playbook

It seems like every Republican candidate just pulls out the old playbook and reuses various plays. Our favorite play? WHITAGG! People are sick of this play and this playbook.

WHITAGG seems to be our go to play (welfare, health care, immigration, taxes, abortion, guns, gays). Abortion, taxes, guns, gays, health care, welfare, immigration are old plays. Everyone has figured them out. This is how you lose! This is what the Democrats want us to do. This is what the media wants us to do. They want us to discuss abortion, immigration, guns, and gays. Why? So they can blast us for it. We need to end the rhetoric and stop pandering to what we think "republican voters" want to hear. They are tired of it as well. You aren't going to win primaries by brining up these old issues and trying to look more rightward than anyone else.

People want reasonable candidates with various political agendas and views. But most of all, they want leaders! Don't be afraid to standout from the crowd with your own different agenda. Don't retreat to old ideas. We need a new playbook with new ideas. Something that inspires people, not scares them.

In addition to this, the country doesn't care for these issues. We have real problems. WHITAGG is not a major problem. It's an ideological problem. A very old one. We need to drop this rhetoric and tackle today's problems. The economy, jobs, growth, stability, financial sectors, gas prices, the auto industry, green technology, as well as a whole host of other issues. WHITAGG is old. It's yesterday. We need to move forward and distance ourselves from this.

Demagoguery

Scaring people into voting for you only works with the elderly and uneducated. Sure, there are a lot of highly educated people who are truly uneducated. Nearly every day I hear people talking in lounges, cafeterias, cafes, bus stops, meeting rooms about politics. They all have masters and doctorate level degrees, but they are very ignorant when it comes tol politics. It's easy to scare physicians, the elderly, union workers, farmers, and unemployed people into voting for you. But we don't want to be that group. Scaring people is easy, and it works. Don't get me wrong, some demagoguery should be part of every campaign. But a very small part. You want to be inspiring and a motivator. Anything else is unacceptable.

Adaptation

We need to adapt quickly to technology. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Buzz, StumbleUpon, and other new technologies that help us reach out to people. It's not enough to have a website and phone number anymore. That was the last decade. Sure, the Republican National Committee has a website and a phone number. But we need to hire professionals in "social marketing" and "social media". Like it or not, this will be the future. Nearly every American will have Facebook and every American will be using facebook daily to meet people, stay in touch, be heard, and network. This is the future. We have to embrace it faster.

Physicians that don't adapt to new techniques and new technology are left behind. We can't let that happen to us. Let us start this reform. None of our candidates used social media as effectively as they should have.

What does the future hold? 

As Republicans, we should own the next decade, not chase it. We need to start retooling and reloading now for the next 20 years. Forget the old timers. We need new blood, with new ideas, and a real connection to people. It's time for us to take control of our party and distance ourselves from what turns the American public off. 

 


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