On reading the Dec. 7 letter from Sharon Fowler, I see that recrimination and political hit pieces keep on coming from the angry right. The context of Fowler’s letter seems to infer that people wanting free money and government handouts are the reason President Barack Obama was re-elected.
Under the veneer of Fowler’s insinuations about poor people who are obese, I saw a predictable line of argument: Blame somebody. Find a target group and make it the scapegoat for your ire and anger. Ironically, targeting the poor sounds a lot like class warfare to me.
However, the critical point so many conservatives continue to miss is simply this: stop. Stop looking for a scapegoat to blame. The problem is not who gets to vote. The problem is not insufficient culling of the electorate to shape a desirable outcome. Nor is the problem in the packaging of the party message. The fundamental problem is Republican policies on economic and social issues that a majority of Americans do not support.
Now, you can continue to blame others for that, or you can accept responsibility and determine what policies you must modify if you wish to regain an advantage at the polls. It may be a bitter pill, but the GOP will recuperate if it takes its medicine and learns the proper lessons from its mistakes.
These lessons should be evident for both parties. It’s fundamental stuff. For starters, a successful party must adopt political positions that reflect the will of a majority of the electorate. Stubborn adherence to unpopular positions means nothing if those positions cause you to fail at the polls.
Further, attempts to manipulate the will of the electorate to match your party policies through massive ad campaigns and divisive wedge issues are just time and money wasted. Fear and smear can be effective, but they are not wise campaign tactics. The electorate can tell when one party intentionally tries to obstruct government and sink the economy to gain a political advantage.
No party should expect to succeed at the polls when their leaders brazenly announce their No. 1 priority is to undermine and obstruct their opposition and make the current president fail. That absolutely does not serve our interests. Filibusters are not a weapon and should not be abused.
Lastly, people are smarter than politicians think. We have a long memory and a well-tended political scorecard. We can remember what party A or B did in the last three election cycles. If you honestly and consistently do right by the majority, you wont have to rely on electoral tricks and gimmicks to stay in office.
Put another way, if you hear the people, you need not fear the people — or their votes.