If the polls are correct on November 8th the Republican party
will suffer its third consecutive loss in the race for the presidency.
Get ready for media think pieces on the death of the GOP on the
day after the election. They're being drafted as we speak. Not
so fast my liberal friends! I believe there is reason for hope
even in a crushing defeat. Yes, a loss will be devastating to the
party but not a fatal blow. I will use this post to explain why.
The main reason hope is not lost for the GOP is due to the fact
that Donald Trump is a historically bad candidate with awful
favorability numbers. A trouncing will not be a whole-scale
rejection of the Republican party but a horrible candidate.
While I believe we're currently a center-left country, I don't
think we're as far left as the Democrat party. Donald Trump is
not fluent in policy and could not prosecute the case against
some extreme positions Democrats hold. For example, Hillary
Clinton is not in the mainstream when it comes to late-term
abortions. A competent politician could have painted her as
an extremist on the issue.
Another reason not despair is Hillary Clinton is a bad politician
herself. She could have been defeated this election cycle but GOP
voters made a huge error in nominating Trump. I wouldn't count
on that happening again. Clinton's favorability numbers almost
rival Trump's. Democrats really don't seem energized by her
and that could prove detrimental in her re-election bid.
I would like to take the time to remind readers we've seen this
before. None of this new. In the 1980s Democrats were three
crushing defeats at the ballot box and survived. Democrats
did some soul-searching and found a winning candidate in
Bill Clinton. The GOP is likely to do the same. In fact, this
election reminds me of the 1988 election. Ronald Reagan
was loved by the conservative base of his party and was a
good communicator. Barack Obama is loved by the progressive
base of his party and is also an effective communicator.
George H.W. Bush had to campaign following a pretty popular
president and was more establishment. Same can be said for Hillary
Clinton. In 1988 Democrats nominated Michael Dukakis who fit
every conservative stereotype of liberals; weak on crime and
foreign policy. Donald Trump fits every stereotype of progressives
paint of Republicans. He's uninformed, racist and sexist. The
exact caricature Democrats want the public to have of the GOP.
My last reason why I am not ready to call the GOP doomed
is because the GOP does have young talent. I said it last year
and I still believe it to be true the GOP had a good crop of
presidential candidates this year but for whatever reason were
ignored for the bombastic Donald Trump. I don't foresee this
happening again. This young crop of candidates now have four
more years to grow and build up their resumes and organization.
The GOP must take this time in the wilderness to reflect and
regather. Earlier in the post I mentioned how the Democrats
experienced similar losses in the 1980s and bounced back.
Although progressives were out of power politically during this
time period, they made great strides culturally. For example,
progressives were busy redefining family and gender roles. These
cultural gains helped Democrats politically. Democrats crush
Republicans with single women, a demographic that has seen
a steady increase. So while the Republican party was trying
to take the mantle of "family values" for the past 30 years
the American family was falling apart and being redefined.
The divorce rate skyrocketed during the Reagan years. The
cultural headwinds were against the GOP.
If the GOP wants to make gains politically they must make
cultural gains. Conservatives must not cede culture to
progressives. While it may appear hopeless if GOP is handed
anther defeat, there is still reason for optimism.