In 2008, I was coming of age and beginning to comprehend the political structure of the United States. I remember both the Democratic and Republican primaries and conventions and, most of all, the excitement of people rallying behind their candidate. The Republicans nominated Senator John McCain and the Democrats nominated future President Barack Obama.
The Republicans lost in a landslide Democratic victory.
President Obama had a clear agenda and an obvious ideological identification. He is clearly liberal and was running on changing healthcare and strengthening the economy.
McCain on the other hand, was recognized as a centrist-leaning-right politician, similar to Governor Mitt Romney in 2012. In the opinion of this writer, the two are candidate are synonymous. With both elections ending in similar results the Republicans were left trying to figure out what the heck happened.
Was it the lack of appeal to youth, women or the poor? Was it because the world had shifted away from the GOP platform?
No, and no! Why did the Republicans lose in a landslide election? Because they ran only on economic issues and did not have the necessary backbone to take-on the social ills of our culture. They cowered from issues like abortion, gay “marriage” and other attacks on the family. Both McCain and Romney refused to talk about single parent families, the poor and the impoverished. The Democrats took on these issues head on, giving the public a clear plan of attack. The Republicans stuck to trying to reduce spending instead of addressing any societal problems.
This is not to say that economic issues are unimportant. But economics in the improper context of an immoral society simply do not matter.
So as a student, battling day after day in a college classroom for conservative principles (economic and social) I beg the Republican Party to take a stance and let it be known they are for a moral society. Republicans need to distinguish themselves from the Democrats, because currently, for all intents and purposes, Republicans seemingly have few distinguishing differences. If they do not, we can expect more of the same: the stereotypical, spineless politician who won’t really stand for anything but their own personal agenda to get elected without having to be morally courageous by setting themselves apart.
No wonder general elections are becoming just one big, expensive popularity contest.