In spite of super-super majorities of Republicans in the Utah House and Senate, we lost races we “should” have won.
I’m worried that finger-pointing and blaming diverts us from being accountable. There’s a difference between learning lessons and avoiding accountability by looking to blame “everyone else”. We often do one without the other – can we reverse that and actually learn without trying to pin losses everywhere but where it belongs?
I’m worried that our chest-thumping blinds us to the cracks appearing in the foundation. Ask the GOP in Colorado if they wish they would have paid attention to the signs prior to the Dem take-over a few years back. The signs were there. The Blueprint was laid. And it’s being ignored.
I’m worried about our complacency and our arrogance. It will cost us, as it always does.
I’m worried that candidates who “got lucky” don’t realize it was luck and not skill that won their election.
I’m worried that our ability to look down the road goes about as far as the next election cycle. There are individual exceptions, of course and thank goodness. But there are far too few.
I’m worried about the circular firing squad, public flogging, eat-our-own mentality that Republicans do so well and so often. Example #1: Mitt Romney. Within nano-seconds of the race being called for Obama, people who had been Romney’s BFF’s – and scrambling for a spot in the new administration, I might add – started pushing him under the bus as fast as they could. Ann Coulter had a pretty great piece last week titled: Mitt Romney was not the problem. Read it. Learn from it. Then stop it, already.
I’m worried about the 100% or nothing litmus test we give to candidates, irrationally expecting our version of perfection.
I’m also worried at the conflicting sentiment that exists that we should never challenge or hold our own accountable, and the pedestal we
sometimes often put our elected officials on.
I’m worried about candidates who make campaign promises they promptly break when the election results are finally tallied.
I’m worried that people think that getting better and learning from the past means abandoning our principles. It does not.
I think we need a good dose of this:
The New Republican Party I envision is one that will energetically seek out the best candidates for every elective office, candidates who not only agree with, but understand, and are willing to fight for a sound, honest economy, for the interests of American families and neighborhoods and communities and a strong national defense. And these candidates must be able to communicate those principles to the American people in language they understand. Inflation isn’t a textbook problem. Unemployment isn’t a textbook problem. They should be discussed in human terms.
Our candidates must be willing to communicate with every level of society, because the principles we espouse are universal and cut across traditional lines. In every Congressional district there should be a search made for young men and women who share these principles and they should be brought into positions of leadership in the local Republican Party groups. We can find attractive, articulate candidates if we look, and when we find them, we will begin to change the sorry state of affairs that has led a Democratic-controlled Congress for more than 40 years. I need not remind you that you can have the soundest principles in the world, but if you don’t have candidates who can communicate those principles, candidates who are articulate as well as principled, you are going to lose election after election. I refuse to believe that the good Lord divided this world into Republicans who defend basic values and Democrats who win elections. We have to find tough, bright young men and women who are sick and tired of cliches and the pomposity and the mind-numbing economic idiocy of the liberals in Washington.
Ronald Reagan, 1977
What do you think?