You earned the beating you took yesterday. You earned every bit of it. It is your fault. Democrats may or may not have deserved to win, but you deserved to lose.
The rebuilding and renewal of the Right will start soon. This will be very important. The Right and the Republican Party are at an inflection point, and there are many directions things can go. The destiny of the Right and the Republican Party will be determined in large part by the decisions you make in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Some of you will say “we have learned our lesson”, and then try to pass off cosmetic changes as Reform. You are the problem.
Some of you will say “Republicans need to fight/hold Democrats accountable”, as if it is sufficient to be against Democrats. The pendulum may eventually swing back to you, but you won’t know what to do with it.
Some of you will say “Republicans need to carry our message to the American people”, as if the problem is that Republicans haven’t been saying “tax cuts and limited government” loudly enough. The problem is not the inability to communicate; the problem is that you have no idea how to actually deliver on those ideas.
Others will say “Republicans need to be more principled”, as if the problem is a mere lack of personal courage and principle by Republicans. Even the best people can’t limit government if there is not an effective strategy for implementation – for getting “from here to there”. You don’t need better people. You need a better strategy.
The problem is not Republican politicians, although many Republicans politicians are a problem. The problem is not with the basic ideals of limited government and personal freedom, either. The problem is a movement that plays small-ball and cedes responsibility for infrastructure to business interests, leadership that rewards those who make friends rather than waves, an entrenched Party and Movement support system that mostly supports itself, an echo chamber that has rotted our intellect, a grassroots that is ill-equipped to shape the Republican Party, and a Republican Party that has replaced strategy with tactics, substance with marketing.
These problems can be fixed, but the fix is not cosmetic. The rot is deep. We do not need reformation of the Republican Party; we need transformation of the Republican Party. That is going to require fresh blood, new ideas, new infrastructure…and perhaps more than a little time in the wilderness.
You have earned the time you will spend wandering in the wildnerness. The land on the other side is not a promised land. It will have to be earned, too.
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