Terry Schilling

Everyone knows why the GOP lost in 2012. Social issues distracted voters from the winning Republican economic message – at least that’s what most people believe.

A new report released by American Principles in Action, a 501c4 organization based in Washington, D.C., states that this theory, while widely held, is incorrect.

The problem with this belief is two-fold. First, the social issues, if played on offense, actually help Republicans win elections. And secondly, the GOP economic message failed to connect with middle class voters immediate economic concerns.

When George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004, the Left never accused him of wanting to ban contraception, redefine rape, or criminalize abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Why? Because the Left was too busy playing defense. They were too busy explaining why John Kerry supported taxpayer-funded, partial-birth abortions.

In 2004 the GOP embraced a strategy of playing offense on social issues, instead of a so-called “truce” on social issues.

Fast forward to 2012 and it’s a completely different story.

The GOP embraced a “truce” on social issues across the country. And instead of putting Democrats on defense, by forcing them to explain why they sought to roll back health standards on abortion clinics, increase taxpayer funding of abortions, and allow abortions up until the moment of birth, Republicans chose to spin it all back to their economic platform.

But it really wasn’t a “truce.” After all, a truce is when there’s a ceasefire on both sides. In this case, it was an unconditional surrender, with the left hammering the right on ridiculous accusations like wanting to make birth control illegal. The GOP waved the “white flag” anytime the social issues came up, instead of fighting back and exposing the extremism of Obama and his fellow cronies on the Left.

National Democrats have never seen an abortion that they didn’t want taxpayers to pay for, and their social agenda is extremely out of touch with voters. In fact, Gallup shows that outside of rape, incest, and first trimester abortions, abortion is extremely unpopular. We’re talking 64% to 24% of Americans saying second trimester abortions should be illegal. The gap grows even more when you ask about third trimester abortions, with 80% to 14% saying these abortions should be illegal.

Terry Schilling

Terry Schilling is the Political Director of American Principles in Action.