Don't listen to the leftists, moderates and RINOs. They would have us believe that seismic changes in U.S. demographics, reflected in the results of this month's election, portend doom for conservatives. If conservatives don't become less conservative, they will become increasingly irrelevant and eventually go extinct. Or so it is said.
Our genuinely concerned friends on the left also tell us that as America becomes less white, less religious and increasingly unlikely to be married, the future of conservatism is becoming grim. After carefully analyzing the results of the election, I have been unable to reach the same conclusion. Yes, as the winner of the election, Obama did well with several demographic groups. Obama received particularly strong support from voters under 30 years of age and nonwhites. But McCain, despite being handicapped by an ailing economy and a failing GOP, did well with whites, voters over 45 years of age, and people who make $50,000 per year or more. Among college graduates, Obama and McCain were statistically tied.
Let's get to the bottom of all this and look at the popular vote. Obama got 66,882,230 votes, McCain got 58,343,671. These results hardly suggest that America has become overwhelmingly liberal. 58,343,671 voters said "thank you but no" to vacuous promises of leftist hope and change.
As we look to the future, remember that among the 58 million people who voted for McCain were members of the conservative base (including yours truly) who thought that both Obama and McCain were too far to the left. I held my nose when I voted for McCain. Many like me (probably millions), stayed home. If we want more conservatives to stay home, we should take the advice of the leftists, ignore the base, and promote candidates who are even less conservative than McCain.
Conservatives have a lot of work to do, but with a team of 58 million (give or take a few), the task is not insurmountable. Moving forward, the first and most important task will be to energize the base. If Republicans rally behind a real conservative (not a moderate), this task will be accomplished. But isn't it too soon to give up on moderate Republicans? Glad you asked. Consider this: Obama the leftist liberal got 89% of the liberal vote and 60% of the moderate vote. McCain the moderate conservative got 78% of the conservative vote and 39% of the moderate vote. My question to Republicans...with success like that, who needs failure?
Michael Steele describes the situation well. "True, the country has changed and our party must adapt. However, it is wrong to believe we must change our principles or become conservative-lite. After all, the voters did not suddenly become liberal..."