(This is a verbatim reprint of an editorial from my website written shortly after Obama’s November 4, 2008 election victory. It predicted the current conservative rebound at a time when conservatives and Republicans were dispirited and adrift. The only thing that has pleasantly surprised me is how quickly the rebound is happening)
After the loss of the White House in the November 4 election, conservatives must begin rebuilding and planning for 2010 and beyond, by taking the following steps:
1) We must first look back. We must be thankful for many great election results for our movement since the time of Ronald Reagan including Reagan in 1980 and 1984, Papa Bush in 1988, the recapturing of Congress in 1994, George W. Bush winning in 2000, the midterm election of 2002, and Bush re-elected in 2004. We cannot win everything but our movement faltered in 2008 and we could have won this one even in the difficult political climate of the times. We need to rebuild the movement with force and vigor.
We need to recall that one recent survey showed that 34% of Americans still describe themselves as conservatives while only 22% say they are liberal. America still is a center-right nation.
2) We must recall that conservatives were dispirited at the election of Bill Clinton in 1992. Yet in 1994, Republicans rejoiced when they took back the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years because Clinton overreached with the gays-in-the-military issue and a national health-care plan.
3) We must recognize that Obama will overreach too because he probably will govern as a radical and an ideologue. Do not think of him as invincible; that’s all spin. He was supposed to win this election in a landslide, yet the final results show only a 6-point popular vote victory (7 million votes), which is a modest win. Meanwhile Democrats have not achieved their hoped-for victory of 60 US senators, while their lead in the House increased by only 18 seats. They could see big losses in 2010 or 2012.
4) We must remember that despite the endless media cheerleading for Obama; the media trashing of conservatives for the last 50 years; the media trashing of Bush and the GOP over the last 8 years; the Iraq war; the economic meltdown; McCain’s often hapless campaign; relentless Obama obfuscation and pandering; and certainly some voter fraud, Obama still only won a modest victory. This is telling. After all the hype, Americans still were not convinced about this guy or about his ideas.
5) We must remember that many people have overly-high expectations of Obama. One woman caught on tape at Obama’s victory rally was saying that Obama was going to buy her gas and pay her mortgage. Many people probably believe this because Obama mesmerized them. When people see what real results he provides, many are going to be very disappointed. At best, things might improve slightly for millions, and things easily could get much worse. Conservatives must prepare to take advantage of this.
6) We must reach out to voters with clear and unequivocal explanations of how jobs and wealth are created, explaining that they are not created by government, but by establishing a hospitable business climate with low taxes and low regulations, and with environmentalist interference reduced. Enviros are endangering our energy supply. We must explain how. Many areas of this website explain this phenomenon.
7) We must stop talking about trying to attract moderates to our movement and focus on rousing the conservative base which always wins elections. McCain took many moderate positions over the years, yet independents abandoned him in droves for Obama. At the same time, 20% of conservatives abandoned McCain for Obama in one poll. So McCain lost on both ends, as conservatives could have predicted.
8) We must note that even with Obama’s big win, Florida, Arizona and California on election day passed conservative traditional-marriage state constitutional amendments. This was a political earthquake that should give conservatives a huge morale boost. California is a very liberal state but still supported this legislation. And with its reputation as a bellwether and trend-setter, this type of question could move across the nation, firing up conservative sentiments along the way. Such questions on ballots over the next 2 to 8 years can bring conservative state legislators, US congresspeople and US senators into office
9) We must unabashedly stand for military strength and readiness. Obama actually said at one point that he would strengthen the military (which he won’t) because he knows that that stand would garner him many votes. Obama even voted for the conservative FISA anti-terror legislation probably because he knew that if he voted against it, he would jeopardize his chances at the presidency.
Ronald Reagan used the strong American military as a backdrop in his campaign to bring down the Soviet Union… without firing a shot. Isn’t that better than a European-type continental war?
10) We must note all the conservative positions Obama took in order to seem palatable to the electorate. In at least one point in the campaign he said he favored the following: Offshore oil drilling, nuclear power, clean-coal technology, 2nd amendment gun rights, tax cuts for the middle class, keeping troops in Iraq until the job is done, building up the military, and FISA terrorist eavesdropping legislation. He even professed himself to be a practicing, believing Christian. This sounds like George Bush!
11) We must not see the Democrats as monolithic. They are a bunch of squabbling factions and their media friends often are nutty left-wing fabricators who will say and do anything for their cause, like creating the fake George Bush National Guard documents of 2004 that ended up killing off the career of Dan Rather at CBS and probably backfired enough to elect Bush. Remember that the media are much more unpopular than Republicans ever were.
12) We must realize that after all the hype about massive voter turnout for Obama, the vote in 2008 was about the same as 2004! So all this hype that Democrats put out about their huge voter registrations was more nonsense. This extends to everything they say and do. Most of it is pure baloney. This is tremendously important because it once again exposes the Democrat media machine as full of hot air.
13) We must recall that with only 2 exceptions in all of American history (1938 and 2002), the party that was not in the White House always has gained seats in Congress in the first election after the presidential election. So Republicans can expect gains in 2010.
14) We must recall that President Bush has done an excellent job of defending our homeland from terrorism and that current economic crisis is part of a cyclical pattern and not his fault. We also have won in Iraq and that will benefit America in the long run.
15) We must recognize that the stock marked plunged 486.01 points the very day after Obama was elected, the biggest post-election drop ever. This is just the first sign that Obama is not the reassuring figure that he holds himself out to be. He could end up undermining the economy in a very significant way if the economy has no faith in him, paving the way for financial whiz Romney in 2012, or Bobby Jindal or Sarah Palin. Or Rudy!
16) We must recognize that Obama’s political positions of the past point to him mishandling the economy. Jimmy Carter mishandled a bad economy after he was elected in 1976 and in 1980, Reagan drubbed him in the election when the economy was much, much worse.
17) We must recognize that even Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose, two big liberal media figures both admitted that they did not really know who Barack Obama was. If Obama ends up alienating the public with strange decisions that seem uninformed or erratic, he will lose big-time in 2012.
18) We must recognize that we have had bad presidents before and survived. And we will survive this one.
19) Medvdev in Russia already challenged Obama the day after the election with the threat of installing missiles pointed at American ally Poland. If Obama makes a bad decision on defending Poland, his whole presidency could be marred from the start.
20) Despite media brainwashing, rational people still recognize that conservative ideas are the “right” ideas and the only ideas for creating a better economic future. Even those crazy Euros have decided that. One of the few Euro nations with a booming economy is Ireland, which lowered its tax rates to attract business and enterprise.
21) And finally we must always remember that our freedom is based in our belief in God and an indebtedness to Him for the rights that He has given us, and is made possible only by an adherence to the piety, morality and virtue necessary to a culture of liberty and prosperity. This is what the Founders based our nation on, and it has kept us free for longer than any other nation in history.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.