In search of: a few good candidates

Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave.

Four years from now, the United States won’t be the country he and his fellow patriots designed in 1776. We’ll be saddled with European-style socialism.

Oh, we can reverse course before it’s too late, but some things would have to change first.

For starters, GOP conservatives would need to win more elections.

On Nov. 4, 2014, a total of 35 Senate seats – 21 held by Democrats and 14 held by Republicans – will be in play. All 435 House seats also will be up. House Republicans now have the edge with 234 seats.

How do GOP conservatives win more elections? It’d help if they stopped fielding losers.

Example: Sharron Angle in Nevada in 2010. A plurality of Republicans picked her to run against Democrat Sen. Harry Reid. Angle was ahead by 11 points in June, but she snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Reid won by 6 points on Election Day. Why? Angle was undisciplined (she had opinions on everything) and she lost the backing of prominent Republicans in the state.

Another example: John Raese in West Virginia in 2012. He was the sole GOP primary candidate, and he faced incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin in a state where President Obama couldn’t get the time of day. Still, Manchin captured 60 percent of the vote. Why? For one thing, Raese had a track record three failed runs for Senate, including a loss to Manchin in 2010 and for another thing, he had a nasty habit of saying whatever popped into his head, good taste and good sense aside.

Let’s assume now that great GOP candidates take the field in 2014. They next need a winning message.

Mischievous liberals suggest that Republicans can boost their vote totals by wooing the “minority electorate.” Well no. Doing that would mean abandoning core values, and that would amount to an obscene gesture to conservatives. What’s more, targeting the “minority electorate” wouldn’t work. Dynamite can’t move those voters out of the Democrat tent. (The black vote for Obama proves the point.)

Rather, Republicans need to embrace traditional principles that have made our nation great. “Freedom” and “justice for all” would work well, and they’d blend in nicely with an all-out attack on Obamacare.

The GOP also needs better marketing. Desperately.

Democrats have their “Granny Off the Cliff” TV ad suggesting the GOP budget would kill seniors, so maybe Republicans need to respond in kind. Show an operating room with Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) and Sen. Reid (Democrat) gathered around a patient on an operating table. Reid and Pelosi nod approvingly as Obama tells bewildered surgeons and nurses, “Stop. That’s it. Sew her back up. There’s nothing more you can do for the old woman.”

Finally, the GOP effort on Election Day would be helped if current Republican office-holders started doing their jobs and acting more like conservatives.

Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, made that exact point during the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

He tore into Republican Rep. Paul Ryan for his budget that would increase federal spending to $41 trillion over the next 10 years. Bozell to Ryan: “Do yourself and your country a favor. Rip that budget up and come back with one that truly does reduce the size of government.”

Bozell also had words for House GOP leaders. “You, like virtually every single other Republican elected to Congress, solemnly vowed to rid us of Obamacare, which you can do simply by refusing to fund it. Why haven’t you done so?

“You’ve done nothing for over two years but give us excuses and more commitments that tomorrow, yes tomorrow, you’ll honor your promises. Do you want to restore your reputations as conservative leaders? All you need to do is honor your promises. They were good ones. Watch what happens next. You’ll be heroes.”

Indeed and even Thomas Jefferson would stand and applaud them.

George Moore is a retired journalist. Positions he’s held during his 35-year career include newspaper reporter, editor and publisher and executive director of the MontanaNewspaper Association. He and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Randolph County.