Democrats, by contrast, have cobbled together an issue-by-issue coalition with bailouts, payoffs and pointillist positions. Free birth control and abortion buy single women. Same-sex marriage buys the gay community. Food stamps buy the low-income community. Auto bailouts buy the Rust Belt states. While Republicans campaigned on big ideas, it was Obama's small ideas that counted. As it turns out, using the government coffers as a piggy bank to fund your political bribery is a winning strategy.
Republicans, by contrast, were relegated to the white population. That population is shrinking, not growing. Republicans must begin to broaden their coalition. And the best place to start would be with a comprehensive immigration plan that takes the illegal immigration issue off the table for Democrats. Once that issue is no longer relevant to the Latino community, traditional values become a big winner among Latino Catholics. And that means victory.
The Ground Game. The Obama camp claimed that they had the world's best ground game. They were right, largely because they are allied with the world's most powerful labor unions, which spend mandatory dues money on political candidates of their choosing. Even in California, where voters had an opportunity to end this perverse process, the unions simply spent enough cash (some $70 million) and knocked on enough doors to shut it down. Wisconsin's backlash against public sector unions is a rarity. Nationally -- and especially in states like Ohio and Nevada -- the unions are the Democrats' ground game. And they're great at it. Republicans, by contrast, have a ground game comprised of volunteers. That's a loser.
The RNC. Yes, our candidate was a moderate. Yes, he was a blue blood. Yes, he appeared to be inarticulate on a regular basis about fundamental freedom and liberty issues. And yes, he did not represent the conservative base. The RNC must be purged. It has been run by coastal elites for far too long -- and that's why Republicans, who will never win the coasts, are losing in states they should win like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. The Reagan coalition still exists. But the Republicans have to embrace it. And they have to embrace candidates who embrace it, rather than shunning social conservatives and Tea Partiers.
2012 was not the end of the world. It was a reminder of just how polarized our politics have become. The only way to break the impasse is for Republicans to broaden their appeal and strengthen their message. And that will require real change -- and real determination by conservatives to make that change happen.