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Lessons for the Republicans

Peter brings up a very good example of how Republicans can win:

First of all: You are Republicans, you are supposed to be the party of smaller Government, lower taxes, and smaller budgets. When you run on those principles, you win. When you don’t, you lose. If you want an example, I can provide 2. Paul Ryan, who is fairly hard Right, won big in areas of his district that went hard for Obama, and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who is another strong Conservative, who has won in Milwaukee County in landslides, the same year they voted heavily for Democrat Jim Doyle for Governor.

There are a lot of examples of conservatives who ran clear, articulate campaigns that managed to win in this overwhelmingly Democratic year.  The problem Republicans too often have, and a big problem McCain had, is being unable to translate conservative values into people’s lives.  You can try to explain the Laffer Curve to people, but half won’t understand, and the other half won’t care.  But you can get people to relate to having more money to provide for their families, and keeping more money on Main Street, rather than in Washington.  Great politicians know how ordinary people think, and can translate their values into showing how it will positively effect their lives and their communities.  One reason I think libertarians have been so stunningly unsuccessful is because we’re a lot more interested in philosophy, economic theory, liberty, and other abstract concepts, when most people are interested in improving their lives.  We have to learn to speak about our issues on that level, or people will never vote for them.

11 Responses to “Lessons for the Republicans”

  1. Navy Vet from Jersey says:

    Sebastian,

    Why did you change your “Keystone State” logo over on the right side of your blog here? The absence of the silhouette crossed rifles makes it seem as if you wanted to soften your blog’s image or something.

  2. RAH says:

    This is a good point and the same that conservatives say you must remain true to conservative principles.

    The problem is that McCain was conservative like this,but he had too many years of appealing to bipartianship in the Senate. So conservatives were uncertain, the fiscal cons were not assured on his economic abilities. Only Palin seemed a clear conservative. She was unafraid to put Ayers and Obama together but this was too late to get the MSM to investigate Ayers background and the association since she made it necessary to report on this.

  3. RAH says:

    The MSM was not going to report on issues unless forced too, If Ayes was brought up by the candidates more forcefully earlier the weatherground may have been reported in the local papers and national papers and prime time news. This info was relegated to the blogs and those who do not care about the issues until the last moment do not read blogs.

    Palin may or may not be a strong conservative; her record does indicate she is so far. He viewpoint that she is hired by the state to work for the state and gov’t is for the people rather than rule the people.

    But we need to focus on the local and state races to keep a growing number of Strong conservatives as politicians.

    More importantly we need to infiltrate the schools and colleges and get a more conservative viewpoint taught. The total public and private school line is liberal.
    We have to fight the socialism lite taught in the schools if we want a chance to get a more conservative generation. This was left solely to the liberals who control that field and that has been a mistake.

  4. noops says:

    Do you actually defend Laffer Curve economics? I DO understand it. I’m an economist, and I’ve worked both private and public sector. I’ve even been part of 4 successful startups (one of them was a non profit, so we’ll say 3.5 startups).

    Trickle-Down, Laffer Curve economics DON’T friggin work. I consider myself a conservative ESPECIALLY on financial issues. This canard is what helped screw up the republican brand. This is just like gun grabbers, “Oh, our policies DON’T work? Well let’s yell louder.”

    The focus of tax cuts needs to be more oriented on where returns are generated and money invested. Laffer just hasn’t succeeded in this because the current Republican platform basically assumes that the Laffer curve is limitless, which it is not (among a whole host of other issues).

    Instead of worrying about receipts, lower taxes where the money ACTUALLY gets invested. Lower the corporate tax rate, the middle class rates, etc. Then you might see receipts increase, but orthogonally to invested growth. But incentivization of the top down doesn’t even make sense on its face.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I was using it as an example, noops. I am not a professional economist, and don’t pretend to be one.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Navy Vet:

    I changed it because I was looking for something different, and something that fit the color scheme better.

  7. noops says:

    OK, fair enough. I’ll unwrap myself from the axle now.

    Apologies.

  8. Sebastian says:

    I could see how you might have thought I was defending it. Mostly I was just using an example of something Republicans have traditionally touted that people just don’t get or care about. Personally, I think the only thing about the Laffer curve that’s not arguable is that at 0% you get 0 revenue, and I think it makes sense that at 100% you get 0 revenue because people won’t work. But it’s always seemed to me if you can’t describe the mathematics of the curve, which I no one seems to be able to do, it’s not entirely useful. Just saying at some point you get diminishing returns seems pointless if no one can say where that point is, or tell you how much revenue you’ll lose. If you can’t make predictions on something, it’s not science, but religion.

  9. So put it in moral terms rather than mathematical: “You earned it, you deserve to keep it, and who’s better qualified to decide what you need and how to get it than you are?”

  10. Tam says:

    In our state, where Obama squeaked past McCain, the incumbent GOP governor, who is an actual former member of the Eeeevil Kiss-O’-Death Third Rail Hated Bush administration, absolutely spanked the pinko Democrat challenger.

    Too bad the GOP didn’t field a conservative on the national ticket; that’s eleven electoral votes they could have won right there.

  11. Too bad the GOP didn’t field a candidate on the national ticket.

    Once again, we see the old hypothesis confirmed: Run a Democrat against a Democrat, and the voters will choose the Democrat every time.

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