May 1, 2009
The switch of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter from Republican to Democrat is a problem for the Republican Party, but not for the reasons they may think. Republicans no longer have an identity because they have abandoned any sense of what they believe in. The public doesn’t know the GOP brand. They said they were for smaller government, less spending and a balanced budget. But when they had the opportunity to advance on all these fronts and more, they grew government and the deficit.
Republicans had better stop playing to various wings of their party and the media and start demonstrating what works. They should publicize people who have overcome poverty and dependence and now stand on their own after adopting conservative and Republican principles.
Republicans can’t win by pretending to be a skim milk version of Democrats. We live in a world of feelings, not intellectual persuasion. It no longer matters if something is right; only that it makes people feel better. Republicans can demonstrate their ideas work and make people feel better as a result. It’s going to be a long time in the wilderness if they don’t.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.