In the wake of the Republican defeat this week, the second guessing has begun as expected. Not only is the Romney strategy being dissected and criticized, there are voices saying the Republicans need to change their principles to fall more in line with contemporary society or abandon social conservatism altogether.
I would argue that the conservative message is basically a good one, but we've done a poor job of selling our principles. I understand the anger and frustration of many conservatives, as I feel that way too. However, I also believe we must soften our tone, not the principles themselves. We must try to win hearts and minds and that cannot be done by yelling at people or bashing them over the head, figuratively speaking, of course.
I'm becoming increasingly annoyed and turned off by some of the conservative talk show hosts also. I am a regular listener of Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, among others, and the strident, angry tone, particularly of Ingraham, is a turn-off to me, a conservative. I'm certain she changes no minds among those who call themselves "moderate". She likes to cite Ronald Reagan, but he had the knack of communicating firmly and clearly without ever sounding harsh.
We have a different country today than in the day of Reagan. I believe it's more secularized and I'm not convinced that it's still "right of center". It's clear we need to reach out to blacks, Hispanics and Asians more effectively if we're to win elections in the future.
People tend to vote for whatever they perceive to be in their own best interests. Thus, it is imperative that we demonstrate in a clear, concise manner how conservative policies can help people become more financially stable, secure and independent. I think that would resonate with a majority of people, because government dependency puts one in a vulnerable position and keeps people poor.