I don't know about you guys, but it's been hard to avoid some schadenfreude these past couple of days. We beat the Republicans badly in the election, and in doing so, shocked not only Conservative elites (and unskewers) but also much of the mainstream media, which was convinced that we couldn't possibly reproduce our 2008 winning coalition. To rub it in even more, I'm gonna pretend to care about the future of the Republican Party and give them some advice about how to not lose elections so badly.
1. Stop hating on gay people. It is no longer politically advantageous to demagogue the LGBT community. Gay marriage won in all 4 states it was on the ballot yesterday, and the trend against bigotry is getting pretty darn obvious. It not only turns off gay people, but also their straight allies (mostly young people) who might be swayed by the Ayn Rand libertarian stuff but can't be swayed to vote for a party that hates their friends.
2. Stop treating minorities like a bunch of lazy moochers. Bill O'Reilly, Limbaugh and co. seem to be blaming Romney's election defeat on lazy minorities who "want stuff" from government. The view is not only offensive, but also comically false. Bill-O and Limbaugh spend a couple hours a day sitting around and talking at people. This is not very hard work. They make millions doing it. The people who build stuff, who provide us services at the hospital, who prepare and serve our food, who teach our kids...those people are the ones that actually work hard and struggle to get by. They're not asking for "stuff" from government, just a little bit of security so that their hard work can be rewarded.
3. Try a little less Fox Business/Ayn Rand conservatism, and a little more Timothy Carney conservatism. Of all the conservatives I follow on Twitter, Tim Carney of the Examiner is perhaps my favorite. I disagree with him on almost everything, but he's no hack, and he's done some very good pieces on the corrupting power of corporations on government. He wrote a piece today on a new GOP message intended for the working class. Essentially, the message is that big government and big business are stacking the deck against you, and free market solutions will set you free. I obviously think this isn't actually the case, but it's way more politically appealing than constantly defending the wealthiest people as "job creators" and disparaging everyone else as lazy moochers.
4. Along those lines: Go back to pretending you give a crap about the poor and working class. George W. Bush only lost narrowly in 2000, despite a booming economy, because of his message of "compassionate conservatism." The agenda was tilted toward the rich, but serious lip service was paid to the poor and working class. And in fairness, some of his policies were as well, like expanding the earned income and child tax credits. Romney and the current Republicans didn't even try this approach. In fact, most Republicans now argue that the tax structure is TOO generous to the poor and working class and should be shifted to further benefit "job creators."
5. Grassroots conservatives: Stop believing the conservative media. They're doing you a disservice. I think one of the reasons conservatives are so despondent about the election this time is that they were CONVINCED they were about to win. Who was telling them? Everyone! Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Unskew the Polls guy, Michael Barone, George Will. These are the guys that make up the conservative echo chamber. They conned you into a false sense of confidence and made you ignorant of what was about to happen. And to the conservative media: You can still be a good conservative without spewing total BS all the time. For instance, it would have been far more valuable for Jen Rubin at the Washington Post to express her concerns about the Romney campaign (so that there would be pressure to correct them) than to be a pure Romney campaign shill.
So there you have it conservatives. Now that I've pretended to want to help you, I leave you with a sincere message.