The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 18, 2012

Looking back at Election Day

By Steve Fair
Enid News & Eagle

— Since the recent election, many are offering their take on why Romney lost the election. Here’s my analysis:

First, nationally, Republicans concede too many demographics. Political consultants advise candidates to ignore the minority voter, because according to Karl Rove, “97 percent will vote Democrat.” Ignoring minority voters just makes Rove’s observation a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It is true that minorities vote overwhelming Democrat, but wasn’t always the case. During reconstruction, most blacks were Republicans, and as recent as 2004, Hispanics were voting R. Republicans must reach out to those demographics if we are to ever win the White House again.

Second, Romney didn’t fire up the base. In order for a candidate to get elected, he must energize the base. Party regulars must be excited about the candidate. Romney failed to do that. He was consistently boring during the primary, but his campaign organization was solid, unlike his competitors. He won the primary through organization, not through inspiration and momentum.

Third, America has changed. The American Dream is not that you can come to this country, work hard, take personal responsibility and be successful. The new American Dream is now one where a large percentage of the population is on government assistance or working for the government.

The time has come where those who are dependent on government are able to vote into office whomever they want for president. That is a sad fact, but one that hard-working private-sector citizens will have to face.

Government produces nothing — it is dependent completely on the private sector. Government consumes; citizens produce. That is a basic truth, but in the new America, such talk is heresy.

Government has become the ultimate reality for a large segment of the population. In that altered reality, government provides employment, food, shelter, education, health care and security. Personal responsibility is de-emphasized and, in fact, discouraged.

Fourth, Hurricane Sandy helped President Obama. During a major crisis, Americans want to see their government responding. Obama effectively used the natural disaster to his advantage. Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bear-hugged the president and was extremely complimentary when the president visited his state after the storm.

Fifth, the president did a good job of defining Romney and avoiding his record. Whenever Romney would point out something about his record, the president would cry, “negative.” Pointing out facts about an elected official’s record is not negative campaigning, but in our apathetic, sound bite-driven world, critical thinking skills are not the norm.

Sixth, social conservatives didn’t vote in high numbers. Christian conservatives can win just about any election if they just turn out. For a variety of reasons, many choose to stay home and not vote. Many didn’t trust Romney and his position on abortion. He just didn’t talk about it, and if he did he danced around the issue.

Some are saying the Republican Party has to change our message and positions on the issues if we are ever to recapture the White House. It is not our platform that is the problem, it is the candidates we have been running. We keep running safe candidates. We need to take a bold step and run someone who will energize the base and get our voters to the polls.

Fair is national committeeman for the Oklahoma Republican Party.