As a conservative, I took offense to the term used by the Republican National Committee regarding its assessment of the 2012 presidential election, calling it an “autopsy” of the GOP. This term is used for the examination of a dead body, and conservatism is by no means dead in this country.
The Republican Party must make some changes in messaging and tone if it is to regain the presidency and control of Congress. We Republicans have become experts in how to provide reinforcement to people who think like us, but we seem clueless about how to attract and welcome those who do not agree with us on every issue.
No wonder we are seen as out of touch, close minded and the party of the rich, white, stuffy old men. Sadly, there is truth in some of those characterizations.
Our message must be inclusive to those who share some, but not necessarily all, of our conservative principles. Instead of sounding like accountants, we must show empathy to the people who need government. When we talk about fiscal responsibility, we must speak out when companies liquidate and executives receive large bonuses, while the average workers are left unemployed.
We must show that conservatives care about people, teaching Americans that big government harms everyone, regardless of demographics. This shouldn’t be hard since most Americans’ liberty is violated by the government on a daily basis.
On social issues, we must change our tone and respect personal beliefs. I’m pro-choice, and even though it is not a choice I would encourage someone to make, I will not judge someone who does. On these issues, we need to be tolerant and respectful of other people’s beliefs and ideas.
We must put significant effort in our message and talk about people and families, not just numbers and statistics.
Danny Coll, Cudjoe Key