Another View of Romney’s Loss II

National Review Online‘s Ramesh Ponnuru does not believe that Mitt Romney’s problem was that his economic message was drowned out by social issues; he argues the Republican economic message heard by voters lacks broad appeal…

Romney was not a drag on the Republican party. The Republican party was a drag on him…
The Republican story about how societies prosper — not just the Romney story — dwelt on the heroic entrepreneur stifled by taxes and regulations: an important story with which most people do not identify. The ordinary person does not see himself as a great innovator. He, or she, is trying to make a living and support or maybe start a family. A conservative reform of our health-care system and tax code, among other institutions, might help with these goals. About this person, however, Republicans have had little to say…
The perception that the Republican party serves the interests only of the rich underlies all the demographic weaknesses that get discussed in narrower terms. Hispanics do not vote for the Democrats solely because of immigration. Many of them are poor and lack health insurance, and they hear nothing from the Republicans but a lot from the Democrats about bettering their situation. Young people, too, are economically insecure, especially these days. If Republicans found a way to apply conservative principles in ways that offered tangible benefits to most voters and then talked about this agenda in those terms, they would improve their standing among all of these groups while also increasing their appeal to white working-class voters.

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Dan
Dan
9 years ago

He raises one good point: Romney lacked specifics. People want to know how much a policy is going to save or cost them in real terms.
Republicans should have highlighted:
– The failure of government investment in private companies (stimulus), with all the horrific examples and amounts lost. Solyndra, A123, Amonix, Abound Solar, Evergreen and all the rest.
– How federal student loans are pushing up tuition and driving students further into debt while taking advantage of students and low-income individuals. Instead Romney promised more federal loans – wtf.
– The unfair auto industry bailout, which didn’t fix any structural problems or stop bankruptcy but did move union pensioners to the front of the line.
– The no-strings-attached bank bailout and huge bonuses paid with taxpayer money.
– National debt and what the share per person in dollar terms.
This can be wrapped with the overall message that central economic planning doesn’t work and corrupts our government and what America is supposed to be. I think most U.S. voters would agree that all of the above is bad (mmmkay).

Mike
Mike
9 years ago

All the stuff you just mentioned, however, are abstractions that still do not address what Ramesh writes about: I really don’t care about the auto bailout and the Union pensioners. What I see are jobs that still exist. Done deal. I don’t care about the failure of the companies that the gov’t invested in. I see a lack of accountability and an inability to invest broadly in regulatory reform, small business incentives, and fair trade for American businesses. It’s hard for most kids to see the connection between student loans and price of college, and worse, hard to see what debt burdens do overall until after you’re already 30K in debt (that is, before even getting a job, buying a car, etc.) When you’re a “liberal” you blame “conservatives” for all that stuff too. It works both ways and everyone assumes that the sky is falling. Republicans, as Ramesh is saying, are doing a piss-poor job of making the direct connection between a conservative policy regimen, and the direct and tangible benefits that an individual, lower-middle class voter will experience. So who do they vote for? The people that promise a tangible benefit. Conservative talking points are all about Big Gov’t, and for liberals its all about Big Business. But Democrats know how to reel it back in and talk about the little guy far better than Repubs, because when the time comes to talk about the little guy, Repubs cater to a lot of social fears that, frankly, we’re all moving on from. I, for one, am not concerned about let alone afraid of black people, lesbians, abortions, atheists, unions, hispanics or welfare moms. When the Repubs want to appeal to the little guy, they try to drum up fear about all of the above. Its not working, an… Read more »

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
9 years ago

All the generation miseducated in the pedophile infested NEA/AFT schools know is:
1. Santa Claus gives them free stuff.
2. The Grinch takes them away.
We need to accept that The End is nigh. See:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

“I really don’t care about the auto bailout and the Union pensioners”
You should because it cost you a lot of money and corrupted the normal and healthy bankruptcy process.
“I don’t care about the failure of the companies that the gov’t invested in.”
You should because it cost you a lot of money and turned a non-zero-sum market economy into a zero-sum crony capitalist economy.
“fair trade for American businesses.”
I don’t know what this means. Is this a shot a China? They are our trading partner. We should stop abusing them based on crackpot economics like “currency manipulation.”
“It’s hard for most kids to see the connection between student loans and price of college, and worse, hard to see what debt burdens do overall until after you’re already 30K in debt (that is, before even getting a job, buying a car, etc.)”
Kids don’t vote, but their parents do. If they don’t understand it, explain it to them. It’s not complicated: government is driving up the cost of college and taking advantage of poor people by loaning them money they can’t pay back.
“Republicans, as Ramesh is saying, are doing a piss-poor job of making the direct connection between a conservative policy regimen, and the direct and tangible benefits that an individual, lower-middle class voter will experience. So who do they vote for? The people that promise a tangible benefit.”
That’s my point exactly. Explain to them how government is stealing their tax dollars in real dollar amounts and wasting it or giving it to crony capitalists. Explain to them that central economic planning is inefficient, rewards political insiders, and leads to fewer jobs.

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