So what do they see as the failings of the GOP? It seems it does not appeal to women, youth, blacks, and Hispanics. OK. First, using that criteria I would note that the Democrats have a major problem with white people, especially men, and with business owners. I don't see a lot of analysts worrying about that. Second, I would note that Romney's loss was pretty slim. It will be a while before we get the final vote tallies, but I suspect we will see perhaps a two or three point difference between Obama and Romney. The GOP also has kept control of the House of Representatives, and thirty out of fifty state governors are Republicans. The election, therefore, is not a sweeping rejection of the GOP by the American people. This loss could be attributable to fluke occurrences, e.g., trashing of Romney in the GOP primaries from which he could not recover in time; pernicious effect of media bias; the impact of hurricane Sandy and the bizarre actions of Governor Christie; decision not to raise Benghazi and Fast Furious; and even the historically well-known Democrat penchant for voter fraud in some locations. Who knows? The pundits will be yapping away and making money on this for years.
All that said, however, the historical trend line does appear running against the GOP, at least when it comes to winning the White House. America is a politically centrist and cautious nation; our voters are suspicious of sudden change, whether rightward or leftward. We see, for example, the great suspicion, rightfully so, of Obamacare and the draconian effect it will have on our lives. If, however, Obamacare gets installed, and becomes the new normal, then, as with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the public resists efforts to get rid of it. That means that there is a relatively small window in which to undo vast expansions of government power--the window on Obamacare is still open, but not for long. When, therefore, GOP politicians speak of reforming or otherwise greatly modifying already accepted programs such as Social Security, Medicare, etc., they must do so with great care. In theory, we are all against "free stuff," in practice, however, well . . . hard to resist.
The solution for the GOP, and the way to win voters from thus-far resistant groups, is to become libertarian with an asterisk--in some areas, I admit, a pretty large asterisk. Many libertarian concepts can be repackaged and given a glossy "progressive" sheen. The GOP goal should be a government in which 95%-98% of the time it makes no difference to the average American citizen who is president. The US President should matter more to foreigners than to Americans. Except for foreign policy, national defense, times of national crisis, and providing a very broad economic vision, it should not matter who controls the White House. That means keep the government out of as many areas as possible, and where it has been involved deeply and for a long time, try to push the responsibility and resources out to the states, counties, cities, and people.
The most overlooked Constitutional amendment is the tenth amendment. That amendment is the GOP's friend. The default setting on most issues now brought to the feds, should be to push them back out as close to the people as possible. Some of this will be hard for social conservatives. Why should the President have a position, other than his personal one, on abortion, death penalty, gay marriage? Let each state decide its own policy. Some times there will be an impact on federal policy: gay marriage, for example, has implications for tax policies, survivor benefits, etc., which can be debated at the national level.
We need a party that focuses on freedom and remains faithful to individual rights, and federalist traditions. Low taxes, few regulations, dump big bloated unnecessary bureaucracies such as Labor, Commerce, Education, and Energy; radically cut bureaucracies such as EPA, USDA, State, AID, Veterans Administration, Justice, Interior, and parts of DoD, e.g., the whole domestic PX scam.
Certain sacred cows need to be targeted. Hollywood and universities, for example, get all sorts of preferential treatment. Do away with Hollywood tax breaks. Call in those very well paid university presidents and make them explain why their tuition rates keep going up; make it clear that federal support for tuition hikes is coming to an end. Then we will see, as we have, for example, with lasik eye surgery, how the market pushes prices down.
Along with defense, immigration is a legitimate area for federal action. Here I have a proposal that does not sit well with libertarian friends but seems to be a common sense solution, and one that could be adopted without appearing to target any specific group: a national id card. Every other country has one, the feds already have the data on each of us, and it would almost overnight put an end to the whole nasty issue of illegal aliens working and voting.
My own personal pet peeve, as I have written here many times, is the drug war. I see it as an outrageous expenditure of lives and resources, and a growing threat to freedom. Drug abuse should be an issue for education, medical professionals, and the market. In other words, run our drug "policy" akin to what is now done on tobacco. If you want to use drugs, fine, but you can't be a soldier, teacher, cop, pilot, bus driver, surgeon, etc. That, however, is probably still too far in the distance to spend too much time worrying about now.
The party needs to reform its selection process and reach out to new people, e.g., there must be many more people like Allen West, Marco Rubio, Mia Love, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, and Susana Martinez out there. There is no reason why the GOP should forfeit Hispanic, black, and women voters. I think the GOP can attract them and keep the base with an agenda that supports freedom and individual rights, and opposes unnecessary government involvement in our lives. The primary process is much too long, expensive, destructive, and provides fodder for the Democrats in the general election, e.g., "Vulture capitalism" was a Newt phrase which the Dems picked up and used against Romney.
Just some thoughts as we look over the political panorama for the next four years. More later.
UPDATE: A perceptive comment from reader, Penny
The Dem's "war on women" propaganda worked well for them. You can thank idiots like Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, cannon fodder for the Obama water MSM carriers, for that. Both were stupid Tea Party darlings. And, it's not that I don't appreciate the Tea Party folks a lot, but, hey, they threw away Richard Lugar too and what did they get for that hissy fit? Look at the election stats - Obama did amazingly well with women.
We will never turn back the cultural clock to the 50's when their was a dad and a single pay check in most homes. America has become much more secular. It's time that the Republicans took a cold hard look at the today's electorate.
I have my moral compass, so do you. My kids know what is acceptable behavior. Many do not. It's fruitless to try to convert them to my moral position.
I guess my point is, how many elections are dedicated fiscal, constitutional and foreign affairs conservatives like myself willing to lose, killing this once great democracy with these lost elections, for the sake of appeasing the Christian evangelical folk's insistence on mandating their morality issues on abortion and gay marriage to others? It's really that simple.
The next Republican candidate up at bat needs to not get enmeshed in the cultural/social wars and salvage the Constitution and American capitalism.