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Improving the GOP Message for 2016

In the final analysis, in those key swing states, Mitt Romney lost the election by about 300,000 votes. Not very many considering the size of the country and total number of voters. And yet, a loss…

Now as the GOP begins its look forward to 2014 and ’16 there are many in the party who think it’s time for change. And where best to look than from someone who did not vote Republican.

In that light here are excerpts from article I found by a man named Eric Garland. Is he famous? I don’t know. Is he right? Hmmm. That is more difficult. Will he ever vote Republican? Ha. I’ll let you decide. Still his comments represents a contingent of the voting population who have found too many issues with the Republican party.

Note: Reading the prelude of his article I felt Mr. Garland might never consciously choose to vote for a Republican. It might not be in his makeup. Actually, Mr. Garland comes across as rather egomaniacal. There seems to be a fair amount of bragging within his writing. Probably enough to turn many people off…

And yet…there is validity in some of his points. Enough that maybe we should consider at least clarifying the GOP ideals. One inferred point that Garland makes clear is that the Republicans are not getting their vision across as well as we should.

You can read his entire article here: Letter to a Future Republican Strategist Regarding White People. Here is the synopsis (I’m taking out much of the swear words and the finger pointing…and some of the bragging) and added my thoughts in red.

Key reasons the writer doesn’t like the GOP:

Eric Garland: Science - … my wife and I have a collective fifteen years of university education between us. I have a Masters degree in Science and Technology Policy, and my wife is a physician who holds degrees in medicine as well as cell and molecular biology. We are really quite unimpressed with Congressional representatives such as Todd Akin and Paul Broun who actually serve on the House science committee and who believe, respectively, that rape does not cause pregnancy and that evolution and astrophysics are lies straight from Satan’s butt cheeks.

…Please understand the unbearable tension this might create between us and your candidates.

When it comes to the theory of evolution and Biblical creationism there must be some way for the party to state a logical position. We all can agree that the church’s opposition to Galileo today seems  archaic and yet many are unwilling to accept scientific evidence. Can people of faith agree with the idea of God as Creator and accept that evolution still has many unproven theories? Can we, at the same time, accept that not all conservatives are people of faith?

Additionally, the GOP needs to come up with a prolife stand while acknowledging that currently abortion is legal. It is expected, no, encouraged, that all prolife candidates believe and fight for legislation that life begins at conception. Maybe it would also help to have women be the face of this stance?

EG: Climate - Within just the past 18 months the following events have come to our attention: a record-breaking drought that sent temperatures over 100 degrees for weeks, killing half the corn in the Midwest and half the TREES on our suburban property – AND – a hurricane that drowned not New Orleans or Tampa or North Carolina but my native state of VERMONT. As an encore, a second hurricane drowned lower Manhattan, New Jersey and Long Island. The shouted views of decrepit mental fossil Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma that this is a fraud perpetrated on the American people by evil, conspiring climate scientists is belied by such events and is looking irresponsible to even the most skeptical.

Oh right. I just read about Vermont’s Cow Power Electricity plan using methane produced from cow manure to run plants and the like. (This guy will never vote Republican.) But shouldn’t Republicans be able to say, “Yes, it looks like there are weather changes. We don’t know if they are just cyclical or if they are caused by man.” There are surely common sense recommendations that conservatives can make that aren’t crazy anti-development, anti-growth, and anti-Western civilization.

EG: Healthcare - My wife and I are quite familiar with America’s healthcare system due to our professions, and having lived abroad extensively, also very aware of comparable systems. Your party’s insistence on declaring the private U.S. healthcare system “the best in the world” fails nearly every factual measure available to any curious mind. We watch our country piss away 60% more expenditures than the next most expensive system (Switzerland) for health outcomes that rival former Soviet bloc nations. On a personal scale, my wife watches poor WORKING people show up in emergency rooms with fourth-stage cancer because they were unable to afford primary care visits. I have watched countless small businesses unable to attract talented workers because of the outrageous and climbing cost of private insurance…

Can we compare health care of a tiny country like Switzerland with less than 8 million residents and the broad expanse of the US? I think not. But he is right; we need to find a safety net for the working poor. And right now we are hearing that Obamacare is going to cost more than they can afford, unless somehow they change that sliding scale.

All who agree with our First Amendment rights will agree the Administration’s policy that religious institutions MUST offer healthcare that allows for contraception and abortions is a huge violation of religious freedom!

EG: Deficits and debt - Whenever the GOP is out of power, it immediately appeals to the imagination of voters who remember the Lyndon Baines Johnson (!) administration and claim that the Republican alternative is the party of “cutting spending” and “reducing the deficit… Egads – if you actually were the party of fiscal responsibility – you might win our votes despite your 13th century view of science!

Okay, we get it. Both parties have been guilty of spending more than we bring in. Democrats want to just keep spending and raise the debt ceiling but Republicans are looking at our future. We must slow the rate of spending and increase the revenues.

There was a lot of criticism that Romney did not present enough of a plan to fix the economy. He might have had one but we didn’t hear it. Maybe it’s time we stop trying to say “we have better ideas” and start talking facts until people get the message.  And when they say, “OK, we get it, now what?” then we will have their attention.

EG: Gay marriage - As the child of Baby Boomers who got divorced (as was the fashion!) in the 80s and 90s, and for whom 50% of my friends had their homes broken by divorce in the critical years before age 18 …

Yeah, I took out most of the comments here. (You can go read them if you want). But he is right, we claim sanctity of marriage, yet the divorce rate is very high. Let he who is without sin, etc., etc. Will gay marriage be acceptable? Maybe in another generation or two. In the meantime we should continue to promote marriage in the church as we define it but as people who want less government and certainly not government intrusion can we be tolerant of those who live an alternative lifestyle? We surely can promote the positives parents raising their children and focus particularly on the value of having dads take responsibility for their offspring.

EG: Meanness- Your party is really mean, mocking and demonizing everyone who does not follow you into the pits of hell. You constantly imply – as Mitt Romney did in his “47% speech” – that anybody who disagrees with you does so not by logic or moral conviction, but because they are shiftless, lazy parasites who want “free stuff” from “traditional Americans.” …

Talk about angry. Okay, so it’s obvious that this writer is never going to vote Republican. Still, there is something to take from his tirade.

The question should be, why does the GOP sound angry and wrong? Simple: the liberals took over the discussion, and we accepted the premise of their question. We aren’t anti-immigrant – we are PRO-immigration, but we’re also PRO-law-abiding. We aren’t anti-gay, we are PRO-family; we aren’t anti-women or anti-choice, we are PRO-holding-people-accountable-for-their-choices.

There are many who believed the fallacies of the Democrats this last election cycle. It’s up to us to get out the truth. And we need to start now.

We need to get a better, more refined, less antagonizing message out there. Conservatives are RIGHT, and the principles we stand for DESERVE to be presented in the best, most convincing way possible. The nation deserves that – our CHILDREN deserve that.

 

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