The 2012 election wrapped up a few short weeks ago, which meant that the unprecedented blanket of campaign ads and rhetoric finally came to a conclusion. However, if you’re a GOP official, your election woes have just begun. It’s safe to say that the Republicans soundly had their collective behinds handed to them this year, and may have perhaps solidified the Democrat’s reign more so than they did in 2008. As America grows ever divided between Red and Blue, it’s become increasingly clearer that a new strategy is in order, and not just on the conservative’s side.
Mitt Romney gave it his best shot, and nobody can fault him for trying. It’s extremely difficult battling an incumbent, especially when the nation is so split. In the end, Obama simply put on a better show, which is really what both election campaign’s amounted to. Political races have become almost a showmanship sport, in that both sides no longer stand on their platform of success, but try to scare voters away from their opponent. And that’s likely why Romney lost the presidency.
The Obama campaign had a record amount of negative ads this time around, though Romney didn’t exactly help himself with some of the comments he made and things he supported. For the Republicans, 2016 is an excellent chance to restart the vigor that made them the Grand Old Party. With new opportunties, more congressional representatives retiring, and fresh faces arriving, individuals such as Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton will begin prepping for what will likely be an even more important race than the 2012 election.
Every Presidential campaign has a level of significance, but 2016 will truly be a do-or-die for the Republicans. Obama had one of the lowest approval ratings of any president, with a dismal economy and poor congressional support, and yet he managed to pull a victory. This also goes to show how out of touch the GOP is with the American people. Times are changing, and survival of the fittest is kicking into high gear.
It’s time for the Republicans to start working with the Democrats, and stop blocking them. Bi-partisanship is a two-way street, and somebody has to initiate the conversation. Sure, the conservative’s entire platform is based on lower taxes across the board, but perhaps a compromise can be reached. Immigration reform is another tricky subject, though I’m confident that if the GOP shows signs of finding middle ground on the issue, the public will take notice.
I’m not saying that the Republicans roll over and let the Democrats dictate American legislature. I’m simply stating the facts; refusal to adapt will be the final nail in the coffin for the GOP. If they can’t figure something out by 2016, then the entire party runs the risk of dropping further into obscurity. These next four years are pivotal in the scheme of things for the Republicans. They’ll have to find a competent and electable candidate to face-off against the likelihood of a Hillary Clinton campaign, and perhaps even a New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo presidency run.
If not Rubio, then perhaps Chris Christie or Rob Portman. Whoever they choose to represent them, it’s important that it be somebody willing to reach across the aisle on the tough issues. It can’t be a leader who vows to take things away as soon as they’re in office, but a candidate who promises to uphold the virtues that make America great. Rather than offering a cloudy strategy for success as the Romney campaign did, they’ll have to provide a step-by-step process of reforming our nation(so long as it’s not a 999 plan).
2016 will be a tough battle for everyone. Depending on how President Obama runs his administration these next four years, the Democrats will likely have an advantage going into the election. Now is the time for the GOP to begin reshaping their party structure, while backing away from the Tea Party and embracing true change. This means appealing to the younger voters, the minorities, and the middle class. While the GOP traditionally supports big business, they will have to prove that their sole interests don’t lie with the corporations, but with the blue-collar and poverty stricken voters.
Four years is plenty of time for a platform upheaval. It all depends on whether or not the GOP is willing to transform their reputation. This shouldn’t even be a negotiable term for success, though unless everyone is on the same page, any and all attempts at change will prove futile. Somebody has to step up and lead the party, and they must do it now.