Jackie Gingrich Cushman
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Any change requires pain. Whatever we are doing now is easy (we think) compared to change, whatever it may be. Changing is hard. It requires us to think anew, to change our habits, our processes, our language. It's venturing out into the unknown. Without a compelling reason, people will stay the same and not change.

People begin to change only when the pain of what they are doing becomes more painful than the pain of change.

Republicans -- it is time for change.

The election last week was painful -- at least for me, a lifetime conservative.

It was an election that, based on history (bad economy and an incumbent president), conservatives could have won -- should have won.

But conservatives didn't.

How incredibly painful.

It's time to change.

It's time to renovate the Republican Party.

If you have ever gone through a home renovation, you know how dusty, dirty, slow and frustrating it can be. The process is long, arduous and exhausting.

The beginning is envisioning what the remodeled area should look and feel like. To do this properly, one must think about who is going to live in the space and how they are going to use it. A kitchen designed for a retired couple whose children no longer live with them would be different than a kitchen for a young family with three toddlers, or for a bachelor. Is this a kitchen for a cook, or a kitchen for someone who prefers takeout?

We have lived in our home for more than a decade and began thinking about renovating the kitchen even before we moved in. Just this year we began the process in earnest.

During months of clipping photos, visiting showrooms and searching online, our vision for what we wanted in our kitchen became more and more clear.

We wanted to create a family-friendly place for our two children, with plenty of storage for drinks and snacks for them and their friends. We envisioned a space that would include a raised bar for breakfast, a table for family dinners and bright colors for cheer.

We had drawings made, we moved the layout around on paper, and we picked out appliances, cabinets and flooring materials.

Often, we began going down one route (bar the same height as the countertop), only to change later (raised bar).

The process has not been easy (dust everywhere, eating out of a temporary kitchen in the basement), and it's not over, but we have no doubt that, in the end, it will be worth the time, money and effort.

The same is true of the renovation of the Republican Party.
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Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.