In an article over at the American Enterprise Institute, John Fortier talks about what it is going to take for the GOP to regain control in the long term. He makes the valid point that the populism of the base may help in the 2010 midterm elections but that in the long term the GOP is going to have to reach out to people in the middle.
In the short term (i.e., the 2010 midterm), they don’t have to choose. If they play their cards right, Republicans can attract populists and moderates as they did in 1994, when they toppled entrenched Democratic majorities. But to reclaim power for the long term, the GOP will have to serve more crumpets and less rebellion.
I agree. We need to find a way to get to the conservative moderates and, yes, conservative atheists. Yes, friend, there are a lot of atheists who also do not believe in socialism.
The author draws parallels to the experiences of British conservatives and has some good advice for the US conservatives:
The Republican Party is not in as dire straits as British conservatives were from 1997 to 2005, but it is losing younger, more-educated voters as well as growing Hispanic and Asian immigrant groups. Its base is shrinking, and it needs to reach out. Compared with the Democratic Party, it will still be more socially conservative, more skeptical about the role of government in the economy and more willing to maintain and use military force.
But in each of these areas, Republicans will need to move to the middle, emphasizing deficit reduction and modesty in government, not tax cuts, and taking the edge off some social issues, showing greater tolerance for gays and more caution in deploying troops.
Prominent conservatives such as Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel have already inveighed against a mushy Cameronism. But her no-compromises Republican Party will remain in the minority, short of a monumental Democratic slip-up.
The author speaks the truth. Do you hard core GOPers want to win or do you want to spew religious moralism all the time? Pick one.