Viewpoints 2012: Getting back on track

Viewpoints 2012: Getting back on track

Washington : DC : USA | Nov 17, 2012 at 9:22 AM PST
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Biden: 'This isn't your father's Republican Party'

I've had some interesting times since the election results turned into a disaster for the Republican Party. At first, I was trying to be accepting, but then a few things made me really, really mad.

But it doesn't matter now. President Obama's still in the White House, and Congress is still going to be, more or less, divided right down the middle. I could talk about the symbolic separatist movement going on across the country, but that will only be symbolic. It's not like they could be taken seriously, because any effort to do that would likely end with violence.

Don't get me wrong, the gesture should be counted as entirely symbolic because, in a real way, the country is saying we reject Obama as president and reject Washington, DC, as a governing entity.

I could talk about the potential for voter fraud, something I do believe needs to be seriously considered and investigated, but there's little likelihood that would come up with anything definitive. Still, I do believe it does need to be seriously investigated before the electors in the Electoral College meet.

All these things would be good for a very short while, but in reality it would not last long. If, by some miracle, the Republicans managed to pull an upset and win the White House, it would be a short-lived victory, because many who voted this time around had been disenfranchised by the Republican Party in general and Mitt Romney in particular.

It was just that issue that, I feel, really created the Libertarians because of their belief that both Republican and Democrat are funded from the same source. Clearly, at least in my opinion, they don't, but people see only Republicans bashing Democrats and Democrats bashing Republicans, arguing over news conferences and other sources to try and one-up the other, so people begin to assume that they aren't really that different.

And I fear that the Republicans are heading towards the toilet, about to be flushed away unless they change their image.

So how do they change the image of the party from old men drinking whiskey and smoking cigars in a back room to one that would stand out, making the Republican Party the party to watch out for? For what it's worth, I've made a list of things that, I believe, would help.

  1. Make a plan for the country and keep to it. In the last election, it became pretty clear that nobody had any idea what was going on. It was about like they were thinking Obama would completely screw so many things up he'd be easily defeated, yet nobody had a clue what to do when it was apparent the race was going to be too close. Such problems came up where Obama introduced several attack ads right up front. The Romney camp took too long to respond in kind, which may have led to the Romney disillusionment. If the ads were already in the can, send them out.
  2. Go for the youth vote. By this, I mean the 18-29 bracket, and, maybe, even younger. Nobody ever wants to feel like they don't matter, so the challenge here is to make these citizens feel like they're valued and they're wanted. I remember, back when I was in high school, being invited to a group of kids, around my age, called the "Young Republicans," and we met for a while before it was eventually disbanded. Still, the idea works, and any future "Young Republicans" could start doing community service projects, wearing shirts advertising who they are. This will also do a lot more than just handing them a free cell phone or any free gifts Obama might decide to send their way. It will give them not only a way of feeling like they are needed and valued, it would give them a sense of pride about their community, not to mention some free TV time if, perchance some news van pulls up and hops out to ask them what they're doing. Granted, this isn't a likely scenario, but the idea is sound.
  3. Change the advertising. Sure, while Mitt Romney was running for president, there were many signs up that displayed his and Paul Ryan's names, but here's the problem with that. One, signs in the yards can be stolen. Two, very few people would look up at a billboard that isn't flashy in some way, maybe with bright colors. Three, as the signs in Times Square would display, very few people even bother trying to find out what they say. So what do we do in order to make the Republican Party visible again? First, start going viral. By this, I mean something like a video of a Democrat, or something resembling a Democrat, laughing about the Republican's views when the "grey elephant," for lack of a better name, comes in and cold-cocks the Democrat, knocking him down. Make many more videos on the same line. Then advertise the hell out of other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, among others, and actively keep changing the ads to keep them fresh. At the same time, also advertise the hell out of Fox News and the biggest conservative radio talk shows with the same plan.
  4. Do something spectacular. I believe this should put the Republicans back on the radar while something is being built that would really go for a great-looking America in the future. There are iconic pieces that, to everyone, pretty much define America. These are pieces like Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol and the White House, just to name a few. Create something that says, "We're Americans and we're Republicans," and not the other way around. And no, I would not consider a Republican Party buyout of Hostess as this, but if several prominent business professionals, all of whom are Republican and state it openly, buy it out without government or party interference, that would be a small victory for our side.
  5. Really reform education. I mean, let's face it, one of the reasons so many jobs are going overseas, in my opinion, is because those people are very well educated because their system works. Ours, despite years of learning, is still based on the same models as they were in the 1950s. There's really very little to challenge children and young adults except drudgery lectures on sines and cosines, just as an example. For me, personally, when I really caught onto math was when I could visualize how the two sides of a right triangle, squared, does equal the square of the longest side, but it was difficult for many others because they couldn't visualize it. So, first, no more books from decades ago, and nothing that is incorrect in any case. Second, engage these students in something that would help them really understand these things. I wrote down the start of an idea in an earlier Viewpoint, where I stated my opinion that, if these students were given a competition, they would pick up on the ideas earlier, and then give prizes according to what they scored. Keep track of what each particular student scores, and, at the final high school senior competition, whichever student, maybe even nationwide, gets the highest total score for their entire competitive career gets a full-ride scholarship to the university of their choice. By doing this, obviously working it out better than I have, you have a generation of students that can rise above the median line and raise our education level to a much higher degree. Anyway, it's my opinion on a couple of ideas to get our education from the 1950s to the 21st century.
  6. Be more accessible and more interactive. A couple of years ago, our then-senator was someone whom I thought was completely inaccessible. I wrote this senator, Blanche Lincoln, on some matters I felt were important enough. Or, rather, I emailed her. She sent back the same reply for each email, that she felt "my issue" was vital and that she'd do what she could to help, but that there were other things that needed to be done as well. In other words, effectively brushing me off. When she was voted out, mostly due to a series of commercials pointing out how she wasn't technically a resident of the state (more on that later), I emailed a concern I had to her replacement in the Senate. I received a very nice phone call detailing how the new senator was working on that very thing. Now, while I would agree that a personal phone call would not be a feasible idea, there are others. Putting up a personalized message board for each Republican senator and representative is one, but with the provision that any intentional or perceived attack question will be deleted, and place that right up front. Also, having scheduled chat times may be helpful as well. This would go a long way towards eliminating the idea that Republicans don't care, because if they take time to really communicate with those that voted them in, those that did so would see they are being heard by the Republican Party, and that they're being considered.
  7. Gather in the loose threads. By this, I mean to get all the various branches of the Republican Party under the same roof. Bring the Tea Party back aboard by letting them know their tax concerns and all the other issues they bring up are the Republican Party's as well. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the same thing posted time and time again on Facebook, almost so many that I get tired of it. I'm sure many others felt the same way, but, every once in a while, from a liberal friend, I'd see a cartoon or an image that, although wrong on so many levels, really seemed to be eye catching, but I'd only see that once, unless another liberal friend decided to post it as well. This does go back to the first point I made, so I don't believe I need to say much more about it except this. Deluging the public with too many people saying, pretty much, the same thing would destroy the idea that the Republicans are the party of the future.
  8. Address the concerns of women. While I would still say that contraceptives should be paid for by the concerned parties themselves, and that women should be paid for doing the same job at the same rate as men, there is one issue that seems to come up a lot, that of abortion. I know this is a touchy subject for many, and it's not my desire to enforce my opinion on any. I will just state that I am pro-life and that the rest of this point, if you don't want to read it, can be skipped over. What I feel really could help resolve the issue is a series of advertisements that would help show not only how early on life begins for an unborn person, in my opinion it's at the moment of conception, but also show what really happens in an abortion and how the unborn is really killed off. That, and I'd adopt the same philosophical ads that were running in my old state of residence, Idaho. These ads were an empowerment for teenage girls who were thinking about having sex with their boyfriends, and for those boyfriends to really consider the responsibilities. Nowadays, with the MTV shows centering around teenagers getting pregnant, that would be something to really consider. Sure, there are "disclaimers" up front, but the message is loud and clear. If you want to be famous, be a pregnant teenager. Still, I have to wonder what would happen if they showed the one commercial, from Idaho, that stuck with me. Playing rather seductive music, the camera went upstairs, waving around, showing nobody around, and the seductive voice came on. “You meet a guy you really like. You decide to have sex. No one's around. No parents. No brothers. No sisters. …” The door at the end opens, and a lonely teenager with a swollen belly is looking out the window. “No boyfriend. Sex lasts a minute. Being a parent lasts your whole life.” That's just one idea for how to make protected sex, or even complete abstinence, a more preferable choice than having to go to Congress for contraceptives and having a bunch of girls getting pregnant just to get on TV, and, maybe, even abortion as well. Okay, end of this idea. It'd basically be to show, in very dramatic ways, how there are alternatives that the liberal Democrats don't show at all.
  9. Really come up with a workable solution to the economic crisis, and I do believe that the first step to that is to drill for oil here in America. Here we are, on vast tracts of oil, and President Obama is denying the right to get down there. It's as if he wants to ensure that nothing stops him from buying plenty of oil from his international buddies, but I digress. I've already stated, in an earlier Viewpoint, how the cost of fuel directly affects the cost of everything else, so, to summarize, every product, once it's manufactured, must go through many transportations, each requiring fuel. As the cost of fuel rises, so must the cost of every item we buy. Any other excuse is simply that, an excuse. Back to the original point, a really workable economic solution for balancing the budget and bringing down our debt would be preferable to the deadlocks that keep happening, and would also, hopefully, make it more affordable to continue to live. Just recently, some friends of mine had to give up their car because the economy just wouldn't be able to support keeping it up and operational. They needed to give it up to survive, but what if there was a way they wouldn't need to? What if the economy wasn't in such a mess? Streamline the budget, make it possible to pay off the debt, and the Republicans could be seen as the real heroes while Obama and Harry Reid and whoever else is seen to be the fools they are. Make sure it's known that, when a Republican budget proposal goes up, people know. Don't just assume, make it so people know the Republicans are on the ball about the economy and not the Democrats. Also, find a real solution to the Social Security/Medicare problem. President Bush did try, but it was met with failure and rejection (and the Democrats applauded themselves for it), so come up with a workable, feasible solution and then let the country know what the plan is. This leads me to my final, and most important, idea.
  10. Really reach across the aisle. Right now, there is a very palpable division between the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans. That division could be causing more massive damage to the country as a whole more than anything else. The Democrats are fine with it, otherwise they would have enlisted Republican help a long time ago. But imagine this. A news conference, held by many high-ranking Republicans, where Obama has been invited to attend. One after the other, the Republicans stand to announce their desire to work together, to listen to the Democrat side and to hope their side is equally contemplated, and how they are doing this to help heal America from the wounds it suffered from earlier partisanship, and how they hope Obama and the Democrats can agree to become, instead of a Republican or Democrat House/Senate, a House and Senate comprised of people, men and women of all colors and faiths, with several ideas that can all be heard. This is what they intended with the Constitution when the idea of the Congress was put into effect. But here's the funny part. By doing this, with a huge news conference and all, it puts Obama into a very tight corner. If he rejects the proposal, he is shown to be a weak-minded leader that only has his best interests at heart, and this can be used as fodder for the 2014 election. If he accepts, he will need to be held accountable to that promise in order to try and make himself and the Democrats not look like asses.

In my view, that last one makes it a win-win, but there they are. Ten ideas that, if the Republican Party implements them, would ensure they don't disappear off the map and would eventually reunite the country as a whole.

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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and wife Ann are seen at a campaign event in January
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and wife Ann are seen at a campaign event in January
BenThurber is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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