I'm a businessman. One thing I’ve learned: the customer always teaches me. If I listen carefully, even when it hurts, it’s amazing how much value I can create by learning from my customer. The Republican party has a new opportunity to learn and lead from their customer – the voters. Before leaping into what the Republican party should learn, let me give you an illustration of a humbling learning experience I had as a business person. I am part owner of a homebuilding operation in Salt Lake City. The operation was floundering. We had come in from California and thought we could build a new high- vaulted ceiling product that Californians’ loved. Unfortunately the sales in Salt Lake City went poorly. We finally listened and learned. The customers did not want homes with lots of features and high ceilings. They wanted homes that could accommodate an ever-expanding family with lots of bedrooms and baths. Once we made the correction, the home sales soared. It was humbling to lose a lot of money in our grand start, but we made the corrections and are now the second largest homebuilder in Utah.
Last week Republicans got some very tough feedback from their customer – the people. The question now is, “What’s the lesson?” Joe Klein, from Time Magazine, says the lesson to be learned is to move more to the center. In some respects, especially Congress’s ability to play down partisan politics, I think he’s right. However, before Congress moves too quickly, I think they would be well served to review two very important statistics.
Doug Wilson is the the co-author, with Edwin Feulner, of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today.
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