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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Where Do Republicans Go From Here? - A Message From the Blog

Good morning,

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 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 our 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 and pass it on to family, friends and coworkers. 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!

Update - I wanted to briefly add this in: Yes, of course, we want people to subscribe to this blog since it is a wonderful tool for having people come together, but "subscribe" is also metaphorical. Don't just subscribe here; get involved in any way you can... It's a message to those who love our party and our principles, and to those who are on the fence: don't whine, subscribe! #GOP

Mike - LME

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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  1. Replies
    1. Anna, I don't know if this was meant to be "beautiful." It certainly seems like an instruction, advice, a calling out (not a call to arms), something to get the GOP back on track. I'm all in. It starts now, and I like the peaceful approach as opposed to the abrasive approach.

      I'm also curious to hear about the philosophical debate that will ensue, and I'm dying to hear how the GOP tweaks itself going forward. That's why I voted in the poll.

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Dara. i hope we can regroup and share the great message we have.

  3. Well said. I don't think that even I have anything to add/comment on.

    And yep, I'm subscribed. :)

    Look forward to future discussions as always! Hope that finger is hanging in there.

    1. Thank you, RKen! I'm sure as the topic naturally turns philosophical and ideological rather than quantitative and analysis based, though we might disagree mostly, we will still learn from each other and from the amazing people that share their views here, too. Tell a friend to join the discussion... The more voices that are heard, the better. I think that philosophical debates are better when there is more opposition. When debating sheer facts and data, this isn't as much input that can be added; facts are facts. When debating philosophy and ideology, there are sooooooooooooooooo many different points of view that it's absolutely fascinating to bring them together to share and learn.

      As far as the finger, oy. It has seen better days. It's still half democrat, half GOP right now... it's purple :-)

  4. the time for talk has ended ... the leftists have proven themselves either morally bankrupt, intellectually incapable, or willfully ignorant of the truth ... the time for action is now ... as Conan the Barbarian said before skewering his oponent - "Enough talk!" ... we must challenge, de-legitimize, and crush the purveyors of misinformation in the media ... they've become a propoganda arm of the socialists, and openly practice treason

    1. Anon - Thank you for commenting. I'm a little confused. Yes, I do believe that many on the left are corrupt and intentionally skew the truth... and yes, I disagree with most of their positions. But as far as how WE carry ourselves, what are you proposing? I would NEVER condone violence against anyone if that's what you're implying. We can "crush the purveyors of misinformation" in the media by doing exactly what I described here: communicating, teaching, talking about the TRUTH about us... we can stop the democrats from telling our story if we tell it better. I do agree with the fact that they use propaganda and misinformation, but we let them off the hook. We let them engage in it.

      How do we combat it? Well, first, did you sign up for email subscriptions? Taking part in civics is one way to do so, and this blog is a good start. There is plenty to learn here, and you can take away so much information to share with people. Secondly, did you vote in our poll on the left? One of the best ways to define our message is to see what message we should stand by. The poll helps us do that as a party.

      So while I certainly think gaining a footing in American politics is a priority, I think dialogue is the best way. Thanks again for your comment, and I hope you come back to share more again.

    2. I agree that education is good, but to win elections it appears the Republicans are going to have to give away better stuff and more stuff than their Democrat counterparts. They could embrace abortion and gay marriage and “a woman's right to do whatever she wants with her vagina” (whatever that means) but they will still lose elections. I agree that ideas are important but the majority of voters are just sadly too friggin' stupid for ideas to “win them over”. For instance, anyone that has listened to what 0bama has said over the past 4 years and then watched him do the exact opposite of what he said for 4 years but are swayed by his photo op with that big mouth fat ass from New Jersey; there's no hope in hell of reaching those kind of people with ideas. By the way, how are those poor folks doing today after 0bama's compassionate humanitarian help? I can’t believe 42% (I believe Dara posted that on another post) of voters were swayed by his “looking Presidential” for Sandy. He has 4 years worth of a record and his handling of the last storm is what made their decision? Ideas can’t compete with that.

      As an example of the say one thing do another style of 0bama, he promised to "cut red tape" in the aid for NJ. Two days later I read a story about a non-union crew from Alabama that was sent away because they were non-union. They were sent to Long Island. I personally, could care less if my power was restored (should I need it) by a union person or non-union person, Democrat or Republican, gay or straight (etc)....I would just want it on and SOON.

      Perhaps by dropping the abortion and gay marriage opposition they may gain some voters that aren't on the government teet- but would it be enough? There are 47 million on food stamps and another 4 million on welfare. If they were all to vote for one side or another, it would sure put the opposition at a disadvantage.

      Then, even if the R's re-branded, would that even be mentioned in the non-Fox media? Amazingly, you start giving stuff away-- that word travels fast without the aid of media.

      How would the R’s even attempt to combat the picture that liberal reporters have painted of them? It would take forever to tear down all of their straw men and false narratives. Besides that you tear down one straw man and they come back with two more. When they say, “Republicans want to tell you what to do with your vagina”; how do you respond to that garbage? It’s not like you can run a commercial saying that you do support that right without sounding like a dork.

      One thing you have to give the Democrats credit for though is, they are very creative thinkers. Who in the world would have ever thought to go to facilities for the mentally handicapped and get them to vote?

      While I agree with your assessment of the need for better educating the public; until you can beat free money, free groceries, free rent, free utilities, free 0bama-phones, free daycare, free school lunch and on and on, the Republicans will never win. Ideas can’t compete with free stuff, sadly.

    3. Slim... of course, you probably know that I do agree with your last paragraph quite a bit!

    4. Hi Slim,

      Now don't hold back, go ahead and tell us how you REALLY feel. You're among friends here : )

      I agree with your rant and I went through the whole day, Wednesday, alternately pouting and railing about our Nation of Nanny State Ninnies.

      And then there were the Talking Heads on the tube - all about how the entire party is 'too right, too white, and too uptight' and laying out their 'brilliant ideas' about how 'we' could be more like 'them'. That wasn't working out for me, so I took a break and went to CanadaFreePress where there was an article: 'The Death of a Nation' and as I read it, I fell into a deep despair.

      The Founders warned us; Thomas Jefferson, when asked at the First Continental Congress, "What have you created?" answered, "A Republic, IF you can keep it."

      Some boring and very intense soul searching followed: The short version: I posted that article on my FB page, along with the Dylan Thomas poem... (I - WE will NOT go gentle into that good night!) Okay, it was a bit over-dramatic, but it pulled me out of my blue funk : )

      You're right about the free stuff,

      Obama knew he had a nation ripe for NannyStatedom and started winning this election at the very beginning of his first term. Through his failure to lead, his inattention to the unemployment rate, his Czar's strangling of certain businesses, etc. etc. little by little, over the course of four years, he made dependent babies out of just over half of the nation.

      This was why he rammed through HC - instead of working on getting people back to work. This is why he's never seemed concerned about the UE rate and in fact put policies in place designed to curb employment and put MORE people out of work: Closing the gulf/the Canada pipeline/coal mining.

      The Senate's absolute refusal to pass a budget - for four years also fits. Obama and Dirty Harry apparently thought We The People were to dumb to keep track of their massive spending. They were wrong, but our number in the Senate were too low to promote a remedy (thanks a bunch Tea Party!)

      'If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare... they may appoint teachers in every state... The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America'- James Madison

      Once I put this all together, I realized: No matter WHO we ran - we'd have lost.

      All in all, I think Romney did MUCH better than he had any right to, given stuff like the voter fraud that's showing up - now - and revelations like the one you posted which are much more common that is ever reported. Our daughter works at a home for disabled adults - and they ALWAYS come by, pick them up, take them to the polls, where they vote Democrat across the board.

      Where we disagree: I believe, if we start right NOW, we CAN educate SOME people to the wonders of the Conservative message. I turned my 83 yr old - lifelong Democrat mom this time around... so it IS possible.

      Now... we need a game plan. Suggestions?

    5. Dara - Game plan? It starts in places like this blog. It takes hard work and effort. It takes people like you and all the devoted, opinionated people out there to be teachers. Additionally... we need to expand our expansion. We need to grow. The best way to do that is via word of mouth. Tell a friend, tell your family. We can educate anyone about the wonderful positions we have.

      My suggestions: use our tools. This blog is one of those tools. Town halls are central meeting places in our communities; this blog is a resource that can be used as a meeting place across state lines. It can be used as a mode for communication as well as education. That's why I've asked people to subscribe... so they can keep up with daily info, postings, comments, and debates. Learning is never a bad thing, and of course, as this is as much your blog as it is mine or anyone's, it's yours to post as you see fit :-)

    6. And oh yah... I forgot to mention; participate in the survey on the left, and tell people to vote. It's an anonymous survey about the perception of the GOP and the direction in which it should grow going forward. Knowing this information can really help us work together and brainstorm at pushing our party forward. :-)

  5. I really enjoyed reading this, and as someone with hard-to-define political views it speaks to me. I'm not an "undecided" voter, there are just serious things that bother me about both the Democratic and Republican parties, and the current state of the American political system. It is extremely refreshing to hear someone (from EITHER party) calling for political education and engagement. In the aftermath of the election I've been looking at blogs and messageboards and the general atmosphere is grim; it's hard to see anything going forward other than further deterioration of the political discourse (and ideological lines drawn deeper and deeper in the sand) leading us as a nation to be fully incapable of dealing with the complex problems that face us... ideologies are far simpler and more straightforward than real world problems, which are invariable more intricate and who's solution do not often fall neatly into the camp of one ideology or the other.

    1. slowdownnn - Thank you for the kind words, and allow me to say "welcome!" As this open letter states, this is a conservative blog. It's the basic platform from which my political beliefs are derived. This is, however, an open and inclusive blog. It's a place for all to come share views, data, experiences, and opinions.

      I encourage you to stop by as often as you like to join in our debates and to share your beliefs. The main thing I promote here is civility.

      In addition, there are over 400 posts on various subjects. Browse through any of these at any time; you might find the information helpful, and you might find the following debate in each post helpful as well.

      In short, our forum is your forum, and we hope you enjoy it. Agree with our base philosophies or not, don't hesitate to join in the debate. Your opinions might be disagreed with, but you will not be disrespected.

    2. One thing I forgot to mention is that this is a people's blog. It's always open. Check out this method of posting to the blog:

      It's called "Reader's Posts" not out of a ranking system, or out of an inferior system; it's called that so followers of the blog know I didn't write it. I would never want to take credit for something I didn't do. If you ever feel that you want your post to be on the main page, just follow the instructions in that link :)

  6. Oh yeah, in case I don’t get a chance to stop in tomorrow LME……Happy Veterans Day.

    And happy 237th birthday to the United States Marine Corps (Nov 10). Semper Fi.

    1. Thank you, 32slim32! And Happy USMC birthday to you, and thank you for your time from one squid to a bulldog!

  7. (1) We don't need to "teach", we need to BUILD relationships. Those voters in Cuyahoga and other key areas are our *customers*. We need them to believe what we are saying.

    (2) We need to stop blindly invoking Reagan at every turn. Frankly it's a cheap trick and it insults the man.

    (3) No disrespect intended, but one of the problems with those of us on the Right is that we can't present ideas more succinctly. This blog post is an example.

    Sorry for the grumpiness. This loss was devastating.

    1. Devastating, indeed. But what do you mean "this blog post is an example." This post, telling republicans to unite and tell our story, which is a good one, is what we need to do. What do you mean? If you're referring "we can't present ideas more succinctly" do you mean that this isn't giving exact ideas? I think the author did say:

      "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"

      Which I myself 100% agree with. This blog is a place to meet to talk about our positions, but the author is right. We need to teach the country about our views. Stop letting the democrats lie for us.

    2. Anon - Thank you for joining our discussion and providing input. I would be happy to discuss this, but I'm a little confused by what you said. I will try to address this in direct response to what you have said:

      1. I'm not sure what the difference between "teach" and "build" is. The reason I say we need to teach is because the democrats are teaching our views for us. For example, we don't want to increase taxes on not only the wealthy, but anybody. We don't agree with Obama's plan to increase taxes on people making $250,000 because many of these people are job creators and business owners, and tax increases could cause them to have to lay off employees. But how do the democrats tell our story. It's something like, "republicans just want to pass another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires." This is simply not true, but they're telling the story for us. If we teach our views better, in common-sense, "relatable" ways, we will certainly get people to understand our side more accurately, and I think more people will support us.

      2. I'm not sure what you mean here. I don't see Reagan being invoked often. If we did, is it a bad thing?

      3. What do you mean we can't present ideas more succinctly? Do you mean the ideas we stand for are not well thought out? Not detailed enough? Or they are, but we aren't good at "selling" them? As far as this post, MN 4 Rick actually hit this pretty well. I ask you to go through the nearly 450 articles on here; there are many great succinctly presented opinions and ideas. This post was just a message to the GOP that we should be talking and teaching people about our views more. Please help me understand your views on this.

      Again, thank you so much for coming by, and welcome to our forum. It exists for this exact purpose: to share opinions, share ideas, contribute to our cause, and to learn. I'm glad you shared your views, and I hope you continue to do so. Your opinions are valuable, and it sounds like you're focused on pushing our cause forward.

  8. Replies
    1. Is this coming from the party/ideology of love, peace, and tolerance. I'm sorry, I don't have tolerance for this kind of immaturity and hate... I don't care what side it comes from.