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home : opinions : op ed columnist May 26, 2016

11/13/2012 9:13:00 AM
What now, conservatives? Relax, we're winning the war

Richard Moore
Investigative Reporter

Not too long ago I wrote a column about how dynamic and vigorous the conservative movement in this country was and how quickly it was morphing into the most potent American political force of the young century.

The conservative wave of the future, I called it.

At first blush, looking at last Tuesday’s election results, it looks as if my prognosis was just a hair off, having missed the mark by about a century. On Wednesday, the conservative movement lay seemingly battered on the shore, looking less like a tidal wave than a wrecked ship run aground by a tsunami.

That’s exactly what the mainstream media called it in the wake of President Obama’s re-election. The president’s expansive electoral army of 2008, they intoned, was not a one-time deal after all but a durable coalition capable of dominating American politics for a generation or more.

To hear the tale, the Republican Party has lost everyone in the country except old, white men. Minorities, women, the young, environmentalists, urban liberals – this is the alliance of victory and of the future.

I beg to differ. The election results notwithstanding, this analysis is deeply blinkered. Indeed, a close look at the returns indicates big trouble looming for the Democratic Party, not for the GOP.

No, I am not out in Colorado smoking newly legal weed. Consider this: Mr. Obama’s durable coalition was considerably weaker this time around. As of Nov. 8, for example, the president had received about nine-million fewer votes than he did in 2008. Not all the ballots had been counted, and that number will shrink, but he clearly will receive substantially fewer votes than his remarkable 2008 total.

On the other side of the coin, the Democrats have their own growing racial problem – their inability to attract white voters. Winning only 39 percent of 72 percent of the electorate gives the opposition 42 percent of the total vote from the get-go. That should give Democratic Party leaders pause because, given population trend lines, the proportion of white voters is likely to remain above 60 percent for at least the next 20 years.

None of this is to say the GOP doesn’t have a minority conundrum. Any time you get less than 25 percent of the nonwhite vote, it’s a problem, and a growing one if the GOP can’t make inroads into those constituencies.

So both parties have voting-bloc impediments beyond their respective foundations, but this begs the question, which is more likely to hold and enlarge its base?

That quite clearly would be the Republican Party. Let’s take a look at why the mainstream media consensus is biased.

First, the voting blocs are mischaracterized. The Republican base is defined as a mass of old, white voters, while the Democratic Party is depicted as a broad and sweeping coalition. On Election night, for example, after exit polls were reviewed, ABC News blared out: “Obama’s winning coalition of women and nonwhites.”

Look again, though, and there is no ‘and’ in the mix. Mr. Obama’s base is nonwhite voters and, as a practical matter, nonwhite voters only. Sure, radical white feminists, white urban liberals, young white college students and white environmentalists are there, but those activist pods represent a miniscule share of the voting population.

And that winning coalition with women? Well, sorry to break it to the folks at ABC, but Mitt Romney won 56 percent of white women voters. That’s astounding, and the statistic renders a more accurate picture of the Democratic base: Nonwhite voters. Period.

Attracting a broader swath of white voters is problematic, too. In poll after poll, white voters reject the Democratic embrace of the radical Left fringe, as well as the direction in which the nation is headed. In exit polls last week, a majority of voters – propelled by whites – said the nation was on the wrong track. They reject Mr. Obama’s vision of bigger government; they reject the silly idea of a “war on women,” to which the Romney votes by white women attest; and they reject anti-jobs environmentalism and global-warming doom and gloom. 

Organized labor? Unions took a shellacking on many fronts last Tuesday, too, with Wisconsin voters again handing Scott Walker a majority in both legislative chambers in Wisconsin and voters decisively torpedoing a bid to embed collective bargaining rights in the Michigan state constitution. Again, white voters drove those elections.

What the Democrats do have going for them is their entitlement army, which at its core is minority in composition, a superior ground game and technological data infrastructure, and the bias of the mainstream media. The latter two elements can be overcome by de facto effort, discipline and focus, so Democrats have to hope they can expand the entitlement nation, and pray the GOP continues to suffer badly among minority groups.

That last outcome is about as likely as having Santa Claus drop down the chimney. To be sure, this year the Republican Party in general and Mitt Romney in particular stumbled over immigration policy, instead of listening to reasonable people such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Reconfiguring the party’s immigration message will do wonders in rebuilding support among Latinos.

It’s not been long since the GOP was winning 44 percent of the Latino vote with George W. Bush, after all, and there’s no reason, with a policy tweaking, these voters won’t return to the fold. Not only return to the fold but grow in proportion.

The truth is, the party’s overall message fits with Latinos far better than the overall Democratic message does. Latinos are culturally conservative, and the message of individual liberty and personal aspiration would undoubtedly resonate in the Latino community. Immigrants come to the United State not to become wards of the state, as the Democrats wish them to be, but to live free lives and achieve the American Dream.

It’s the same among Asians and blacks. Look at the black vote and already its allegiance to the Democratic Party is waning, as a younger generation matures into voting age and yearns to leave the plantation. This year, 6 percent voted for Romney. When that number reaches 10 percent and beyond, it’s panic time for the Democrats.

At this point, one might be tempted to ask, If the message is such a resonant one, why did the GOP lose minorities – not to mention the election – and far more than merely Latinos on the immigration blunder? If the Democrats are the ones with the demographic problem, why aren’t we preparing to inaugurate President Romney?

Glad you asked. To be sure, if Mr. Obama had won the election, we might be having a different conversation now. But he didn’t. We lost it, and he survived. Survival is always a much different story than a tale of glorious triumph, and this one’s lesson is that the president, with all his entitlements and all his mainstream media support, could not rout the conservative compendium, with its zeal for constitutionalism and liberty.

Conservatism is solid at its core in the United States of America. 

Where it’s not solid is on the tongue and in the eye; more so than immigration, more so than the mainstream media, more so than a weak ground game, presentation is why the Republicans lost. As it turns out, the same conservative philosophy can be projected in two distinct ways – through the traditional Republican lens of Wall Street, or through the more populist windows of Main Street. Lower tax rates, fewer regulations and individual liberty are the keys to prosperity for both Wall Street and Main Street, but it’s hard to get the latter story across if it’s always Wall Street doing the talking.

And that’s who speaks time and again for the Republican Party as its nominee – aristocratic, Wall Street or otherwise super-rich types who seem disconnected and often enough can’t remember how many homes they own. That’s George W. Bush, that’s John McCain and that’s Mitt Romney.

None of this is to trash Mr. Romney, far from it. He turned out to be a fine candidate and would have made a fine president, but constantly nominating the uber-elite plays into the hands of Democrats and their charges of trickle-down economics.

What the GOP needs to do is take to its heart the populist side of the message. Again, it’s the same message of individual liberty and capitalism, but it needs to be delivered by Main Street leaders who can identify with the middle class and with its unique struggles and opportunities, and who can articulate how smaller government means more prosperity for the poor, for minorities and for small businesses.

Fortunately, this is a problem that is likely to take care of itself. It looks as if Mr. Romney will be the last of the royal class nominated by the GOP. The rising stars of the party do speak the language of entrepreneurship and individual identity. 

Marco Rubio, Allen West, Mia Love, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Mike Pence and others – they are getting ready to nationally deliver a new generational message of reform, and they are likely to strike a chord with minorities and the middle class when they do so. What’s more, many of the rising stars are minorities themselves.

In a Wall Street Journal column after the election, Peggy Noonan spoke to the working class and populist point. She observed that Washington Post reporters Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker had written about Paul Ryan’s wish during the campaign “to talk about poverty, traveling to inner cities and giving speeches that laid out the Republican vision for individual empowerment.”

He was turned down, the reporters stated, because, as they quoted one Romney advisor, the issues the GOP wins on are not the “war on poverty.”

But that is exactly the kind of issues the GOP will have to address and stress to win. They must use the promise of individual initiative and smaller government to capture the hopes and dreams of the poor and the middle class, and of minorities.

Recasting the GOP vision of empowerment will translate into a steady increase in minority votes, and it will solidify the Republicans’ current white supermajority, even as Democrats grow government ever bigger and proportionally alienate and shrivel their own base in the process. 

Once that recalibration is made – along with updating the technological infrastructure on the ground – the Republicans will make historic strides with their inherent demographic advantages. 

Only one mission will remain before the next election, and that is to expose the mainstream media for the fraudulent empire it is, yet another ward of the state, sailing the government’s public-relations ship in the increasingly turbulent waters of liberty.

Let us simply call it the conservative wave of the future.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Article comment by: Mike Doud

It is good to know that some things cannot and will not change...Richard is still just a delusional as before. Ah consistency.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Joyce Brown

Do I live in an alternate universe? Didn't Mia Love and Allen West lose their reelection bids? Didn't Paul Ryan lose his bid to be vice president. Finally didn't Chris Christie do nothing but heap praise on President Obama? You are right, the Democrats should be afraid.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Mike Mitchell

Just an amazing article. Absolutely amazing. Karl Rovian, really. Do you NOT realize there are some thinking people out there who do not dance to the TeaBagger tune? Yikes. The John Birch Society is alive and well at the Times.

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

Please don't ever agree with me even while being sarcastic...you are in the same category as Richard.

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Chuck White

You're welcome C. Martenson my pleasure!

BTW, it was easy!!

Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Article comment by: C. Martenson

I would like to have commented on the inanity, redundancy, and ponderousness of Richard Moore's column and thesis, but Chuck White set the bar too high thanks!

Regarding Lisa MaKarrall's take on Ron Johnson, he's just trying to "limit government". He was elected Senator, and decided to "rest on his laurels", and do nothing! (Good to have someone "working for Wisconsin", in that seat).

Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Article comment by: Chuck White

Well said EVERYONE except you, Mr. Investigative Reporter.

Just what is it you investigate anyway? Your ego? Or what's left of it after your multiplicity of lies came back to bite you in the backside and YOU LOST get over it. The old angry white men so-called plurality is finally irrelevant and you along with it. Don't see anyone knocking at your door for your further infantile & sour grape opinions.

Next stop, 2014. Maybe then you can get a real job like sweeping up after the mess you and other blind sheep have created. I suggest you do some reading in your spare time, of which you obviously have plenty and I would start with James Madison. Maybe then you could actually learn something and speak the truth a word currently non=existent in your limited vocabulary.

Also noticed that you never reply to commentary on your meanderings. Must also be a real brave guy, as well.

Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Article comment by: Kevin South

Sorry Richard but I for once have to disagree with you and agree with Lisa-our greatest domestic threat is the uneducated voter-the type of voter who:
will voted for Obama because of the color of his skin, and for no other reason. Voted for Obama because they've always voted for Democrats, and thats just the way it is. Who believe Romney is only for rich people. Who believes that you can only build an economy from the bottom up-and that poor people start businesses and create jobs. Who believe Obama when he says-and yes he did say it-that he brought our deficit down. Who believe that Obama saved the auto industry. Who believes that it is the goal of government to redistribute wealth according to the political whims of the moment. Who doesn't understand that Obama is an anti-capitalist who believes the world is better off if America is weaker both economically and militarily. Who believe that Obama actually took the shot that killed bin laden. Who doesn't understand that Obama hasn't met with his Jobs Council in over 10 months, but has had plenty of time for dozens of rounds of golf. Who believe that the rich don't pay their fair share of income taxes. Who believes that Warren Buffet actually pays less in taxes than his secretary. Who believes that Obama actually gives a damn about Isreal. Who does not understand that fewer people have jobs today than when Obama took office, even though our population has grown by hundreds of thousands. Who doesn't realize that Obama has increased our deficit by an amount more than all the presidents from George Washington to George Bush---combined. Who doesn't understand how much money their children will have to pay back to cover the cost of those Obama "investments" in green energy--handouts of borrowed funds to Obama cronies.
This list could continue, but the simple fact is the low information voter is the greatest threat to freedom, liberty, and America.

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

First of all Richard, I googled the statistic that 56% of 'white' women voted for Romney. The only place I found it was on a tea party whack job blog and your article.
Mitt Romney won men, particularly white men. Blacks voted for President Obama by 93%, Hispanics, with 71% support, and women provided 55%. Asians also had high support numbers for President Obama with 73% of the vote and young people gave Obama 60%. In other words the only people that overwhelmingly voted for Etch a Sketch were white men. And instead of getting a clue from this, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Donald Trump, Richard Moore, and many others running the new Republican Party still don't get it.
As a man and one that wrote a disgusting opinion piece about Sandra Fluke not too long ago, you have no business commenting on the "silly war on women." But being a woman let me fill you in. White men or men in general should never use the word rape in the same sentence as forcible, legitimate, an act of God, a method of contraception, or something a woman's body has a secret way to shut down pregnancy during. They should never say woman don't die anymore from a pregnancy due to the recent miracles of science, or that we should just put an aspirin between our knees to avoid pregnancy or to take the place of contraception. I'm sure there are many woman who bring a pregnancy caused by rape or incest to term, but that should be her choice not some mans. I think many more would choose that option if the Republican male politician trying to force her to do so would offer their testicles in exchange....let's try it, shall we?
Women also tend to frown on men who vote against equal pay for equal work. And then there are the brilliant ones like ourdumbsenator.com Ron Johnson who is going to sit down with Senator Elect Tammy Baldwin and explain the complicated details of the Federal Budget even though she was a double major in college in mathematics and political science, and served for six years on the House Budget Committee. I believe his qualifications were marrying a billionaire's daughter who opened a business for him and kept it going by being it's biggest customer. Reportedly his own party thinks he's an idiot and avoid him like the plague.
I'm not black, but if I was, I don't think I'd appreciate the first black president being disrespected as badly as President Obama has been. I don't think I'd appreciate the Birthers, the Tea Party arriving and wanting to take their country back and make the White House white again, the Republicans meeting on his inauguration day and agreeing to obstruct everything the new president put forward, the Fox News bogus conspiracy theories, or the general racist crap that has been thrown at this man. I also don't think I'd appreciate the attempt to suppress my vote while calling it things like voter ID or shortening early voting hours. I think I might stand in line for eight hours like I lived in a third world country to cast my vote against the people making me do that.
I would think being Hispanic standing in those lines because of where I live and the color of my skin might have the very same effect it did on black people. Or it could have been the self-deportation or opposing the Dream Act comments that pushed me over to the Democrats.
And young people tend to be more diverse and not as racist as their elders. They also like to get help to go to college in the form of grants when they don't come from rich families or "can't just borrow it from their parents" like Mitt suggested. Their friends look like the Democratic Convention not the blinding white of the Republican Convention. They also don't care who their friends love or marry as long as they are happy.
And finally Richard, there were Republicans from the old party who voted for Obama because they don't recognize the freak show their party has become. They care about truth and didn't want to vote for two of the biggest liars that ever ran for office. Can anyone tell me what Romney stood for on any subject? Just one will do it. I have no doubt I can find a video of Romney saying the opposite of what his latest view was. Yet you call him a fine candidate. What does the word fine mean in your alternative universe?
Romney also called people on Social Security, Medicare, Veteran's benefits, the retired, students, the working poor and active duty military the 47% who will never take responsibility for their lives. And I believe Paul Ryan refers to those same people as the "takers" not the makers. If I didn't watch Fox News and recognized the fact he might be talking about me instead of the "others", I might have voted for Obama. P.S. I'm not in that group yet, but being 51 and having worked and and paid taxes since the age of 14, Paul Ryan you can take your voucher and shove it.
As a Democrat Richard, I hope you and others like you remain clueless, because eventually you and the new Teapublican Party will only be found in the history books.

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Article comment by: Tim Behselich

The voters handed Walker a majority? And the gerrymandering of the districts by the GOP played no role? C'mon man! Let's at least be honest about things. Not saying the Dems wouldn't have done the same, but let's not kid ourselves with this being some sort of mandate of the people.

And I too wonder about the plantation comment. Over the top.....

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Article comment by: Joe Thompson

You aren't conservatives, you're Republicans.

You are also following the party line narrative that has been built over the last week.

Real conservatives would be better served severing ties with the current GOP.

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Article comment by: Chuck White

You could have said this in far fewer words. For example "I really am the idiot you think I am" or "I can't believe they actually pay me money to write this tripe" or "If you believe what I've just written here, you're a bigger moron than I am and I'm a HUGE one". This is fun! There are so many more short sentences that could apply to your void of logic, but I don't want to tire you out you have to save yourself for your next pile of hot steaming fiction.

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Article comment by: MARY GOELDNER

OMG, "yearn to leave the plantation" ? Not only are you obviously biased, but you sound an awful lot like a bigot.

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