Where Do Republicans Go From Here?

From the conservative blog The Elephant in the Room – www.loudmouthelephant.com:

As all of you have undoubtedly realized, November 6th, 2012 was not a good day for the GOP. If elections and politics were a matter of winning and losing, we lost big time. In the presidential election and in most senate races, the republican party did not perform strongly.

Fortunately for republicans, and for the nation, elections and politics are not about winning and losing; they’re about ideas, proposals, and problem solving. While the pangs of Tuesday night will surely resound for weeks to come, this isn’t a time to sulk, bicker, and blame. Reassessing the past and licking our wounds will do us little good. It’s time to work together as a party, a coalition, and a cause to bring us together for not only the sake of our institution, but for the greater good of our country.

What is this about? Teamwork. It’s as simple as that. It has been observed and reported that the democrats and Team Obama have a great “ground game” and that’s what propelled the President to victory. I believe this is very accurate. There is something to learn from our losses, however. Since this isn’t a game to be won or lost… since this isn’t a battle by which we must hurt the other side in order for us to succeed, the best way to move forward is to work together, not only improving our “ground game,” but our message, plans, and platform overall.

So where does it start? Well, for starters, I think it’s all about education. In all honesty, the GOP has some truly great ideas based on some respectable and virtuous principles, but we haven’t done a great job at spreading the word. Let’s face it; we’ve lost 5 out of the last 6 elections with respect to the popular vote. I don’t believe it’s the result of having inferior ideas; I believe it’s the result, mainly, of being poorer at educating the public about our ideas. While no platform is perfect, and I’m sure some things will change for the GOP as a result of this election, we have not only been on the losing side of telling our story, but the democrats have been telling our story for us. Obviously, they’re not going to paint a rosy version of our side, as expected, and because of that, misinformation about what we believe has spread rapidly.

This message, however, is not about setting a plan for what message we want to spread; I’m sure those specifics will be ironed out over the next year. This message is about how we should spread it, calling everyone on our side to be, well…. Loudmouth Elephants. We all need to be teachers of our ideas, and we all need to be sharing these ideas often. We are a diverse group comprising various skills, and we should be utilizing these more effectively. Some of us write while others talk. Some have radio shows while some run websites. Regardless, if we do not work hard at expressing our views and sharing the exemplary ideals we cherish, we can expect many more November 6th-like nights to occur for years to come. Keep in mind, this isn’t about becoming militant. There is nothing beneficial to us or to our country to become isolationists or “exclusivists.” Many Americans, for example, claim to have conservative economic beliefs, but conversely, they are turned off by other aspects of our platform. Whether their perceptions of that platform are factual or not is irrelevant; it’s our job to project the truth about where we stand while rejecting the caricature that has been painted of our ideology and our party. Additionally, this is not about alienation. We can spread our message without cutting off moderates, liberals, or any views that may exist in the melting pot that is our mixed political environment. Most importantly, this isn’t about conversion or proselytization. We don’t have to “convert” people to push our cause; if our message is true, and our ideals are proper, Americans will choose freely to accept many of our views and positions.

How does this connect back to the person? Well, take this blog – I run it (with another member) for the purpose of expressing my views, ideas, and positions. I’m not establishing bedrock principles here as I’ve said time and time again that I’m not the golden standard of socio-economic opinions. I do it to share what I believe, usually from an economic viewpoint, and most importantly, from a conservative launchpad. We all have a base platform, whether its conservative or liberal, and it’s from that base that we grow and express our views. It’s from that base that we should teach. I’m here to share my opinions, to debate facts, to question norms, and to pose new ideas, but it’s not an exclusive proposition. I welcome conservatives here to learn information they can share, and just as important, I welcome liberals here to learn not only some of my interpretations of conservatism, but about the mixture of conservative views that do exist in the country today. While many from the “other side” will certainly walk away unmoved, they hopefully will have learned from the civil environment I promote as well as why I believe what I believe. Though economic analysis is in my “wheelhouse,” I’m sure now that because the election has passed, most of my writings and expression will center on philosophy and ideological ideas. Again, this is a time to educate, work together, conservatives and liberals alike, and to be resolute going forward.

In closing, this isn’t a call to arms. It’s a call to teach. What do I ask of you? Whether you’re a daily follower or a first-time reader, a liberal, moderate, or a conservative, subscribe to the blog. It costs nothing, and it might take 35 seconds of your time. There are numerous free options at the top right section of the blog, and no, you will never receive spam. Please choose whatever option (“Subscribe to this Blog” or “Follow by email”) works best for you. This isn’t a marketing ploy. It’s a simple recognition that this forum, this avenue, can be a wonderful place, even on a small, community-sized level, to effect the change, spread the message, and grow the community as we desire. This forum is a tool that can be used to help us grow.

So please, subscribe and start receiving email and RSS updates. Participate in our forums, share your beliefs, and tell others about them. When you learn something from here, share it… teach it. If you have something to share, teach it… defend it. Take away and bring ideas alike. I don’t want the country to be one sided. I don’t want it to be overwhelmingly left, and believe it or not, I don’t want it to be overwhelmingly right. I want it to be balanced, and I do see, however, the direction this country is going. If there is a compromise to be made, we aren’t going to make it if we are phased out, and we aren’t going to make it if our voice grows smaller.

Thank you to all who read this, and I look forward to sharing views, philosophies, and analyses going forward!

P.S. Vote in the poll on the left side of the blog – it helps give an idea of what people, both on the left and the right, think with respect to how the GOP should move forward.

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Michael Ohanian

Michael Ohanian is a 30 y/o economist who resides in Maryland. He graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a B.S. in Financial Economics and currently works as a market economist for a private company. He is the owner and chief contributor of the conservative blog The Elephant in the Room: www.loudmouthelephant.com. On Facebook, he runs the blog's page (www.Facebook.com/LMElephantblog) as well. Mike is a permanent panel member for two conservative internet radio shows, OpinioNation and The 405 Live at 10:00pm EST on Wednesday nights and 10:00am EST on Saturday mornings, respectively. To listen, visit https://www.the405radio.com/.

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  1. What a pleasaant way to start the day…on a postive & constructive note. Thanks, Michael! Like so many, I’ve indulged in my moment of dispair & anger. Now it’s time to address the ‘situation’ & set about our business of correcting the wrong….even if it means setting aside egos. Education is our best weapon & defense. It does not require a college degree, nor a ‘professional’ background. It requires a desire to share & ‘learn’. If I understand you, the only bedrock is that you are a through & through American dedicated to the welfare of this marvelous & exceptional Nation we call home.
    ONE question, you referenced this blog was w/ another (member). Are you established as an organized grassroot ‘group’ or ? structured bloggers?

  2. Jan – Happy Friday, and thank you for the kind words! Yes, educating the people of this country about the wonderful and virtuous platforms of our conservative beliefs is our best asset. We have let the left define us for far too long. For example, they took our pro-life position and turned it into a “war on women.” They took our low tax, pro-capitalism approach and turned it into a “the GOP only cares about its rich friends” position. We need to tell our story, not the left.

    As far as me… yes. I’m an economist and a blogger. I run the blog The Elephant in the Room (first line of this post), and this open letter to the GOP was my original post on that blog. CDN allows me to post my writings here as well. If you visit The Elephant in the Room, please take a deep look. There are over 400 articles there from economic analyses to social debates to foreign policy forums. It’s a conservative blog, but it’s respectful of all views. It is definitely grass roots, but with over 100k views, it has grown rapidly. People like it for its fact-based, pull no punches, no insults opinions. There are free subscription options in the top right of the blog. I recommend email (no spam) that allows you to get daily updates from the blog. If you do visit, this original post (with one update and many comment replies) is the third article down. Please read it in its entirety, and I hope you subscribe not only to The Elephant in the Room, but to helping the GOP cause as well. Thank you, Jan!


  3. Republicans were quite clear on what their message was during this election cycle. Crystal clear. Let me summarize in no particular order.

    1. Did you fall on hard times or are you poor, or taking unemployment? We’ll then you are a loser and a moocher and we want nothing to do with you so go away.

    2. We love the uber wealthy and will do everything we can to cut their tax rates by also cutting programs that seniors rely on, and will also cut from the poor and middle class. By the way, the big oil subsidies that oil companies receive are just fine and will remain.

    3. Are you taking birth control? Will then you are a whore. Viagra is fine as part of an insurance plan but birth control is out of the question so you women just need to stop acting like prostitutes.

    3. If you are brutally raped and get pregnant as a result, then don’t even think about having an abortion or talk to your doctor about it because we will intervene in that decision making process so just shut up and deal with your rape and pregnancy.

    4. Can’t afford health insurance? Too bad loser. Go to the emergency room and good luck.

    5. Are you a hispanic or a black person? Well clearly you are a thug and a criminal. By the way, latinos steal jobs from real Americans. Ship em all out.

    I could go on and list dozens more but you get the drift.

    The bottom line is that those who voted for Obama did not do so because they think he is doing such a great job. They voted for him because they have become so turned off by what the Republican party has become that they can no longer identify with it.

    1. Susan,

      Thank you for your response and basically proving exactly what this article says: that the democrats told a story about the GOP’s positions that wasn’t true. All your points, 1-5 are 100% false. They were told to you by a liberal media machine, and regardless of if you are a democrat or republican, the fact that you put up a comment like this shows you simply went along with the crowd.

      It’s truly sad that people like you take in the information, er, caricature the democrats have provided as fact. I hope that someday you realize that there isn’t only one way of looking at things, and that the democrats have lied their way into office again. About the only thing you missed this time was the oft-repeated Pelosi line “they just want to pass another tax cut for the wealthy.”

      Good luck, and I hope you become de-brainwashed soon.

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