Some Republicans think they can squeeze by this fall with scare tactics, such as reminding voters of the liberals who would gain leadership positions if they lose their current majority. Democrats are better at scaring voters than Republicans. Traditional GOP voters have been known to stay home to punish Republicans for cross-dressing as Democrats. A visionary and optimistic agenda would be a far better strategy. It also has the virtue of being more likely to succeed.
People want to vote affirmatively for their leaders. That is why the GOP's 1994 "Contract with America" was a politically brilliant document. Republicans put their intentions in writing and a majority of voters believed them enough to toss out Democrats who had been running the House for 40 years.
In this fall's election, can Republicans go to voters with a positive agenda and solid record of accomplishment? From the volatile subject of illegal immigration and lawbreakers demanding "rights" they do not have, to spending on wasteful and unnecessary projects, to a deficit and national debt that would almost shame Democrats (but doesn't shame Republicans), a majority of congressional Republicans are giving voters little reason to vote for them.
How could a party go from a visionary like Ronald Reagan who changed the world, not to mention restoring American optimism, to the tunnel vision of his illegitimate offspring who seem to care less about change than perpetuating themselves in office? They aren't even doing a good job of that as the fall election results may show, unless somebody or something quickly lights a fire under them. Never has the derogatory phrase, "Republican in name only," applied to so many who have done so little for so few.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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