John Andrews

Win-win thinking isn’t easy for Republican individualists, the so-called “leave us alone coalition.” But without it we’re toast. Our ethic of responsibility and opportunity has much to offer women and youth, blacks and Hispanics. Get better at communicating that or prepare to be a permanent minority.

Seeking first to understand, then to be understood, is crucial as a habit-breaker for the refusal to listen that undid both the Bush presidency and the McCain campaign. This doesn’t just mean polling. It means listening with the heart. Millions more “felt heard” in 2008 by their side than ours – and voted accordingly.

Synergizing sounds like Oprah babble, but we’ll be uncompetitive until we catch up with the Dems in using social networking and Facebook to make one plus one equal three. Sharpening the saw sounds like Huckabee cornpone, but we’ll be perennial losers until we commit to habitual self-improvement and the endless campaign ala the other Man from Hope, Bill Clinton.

The political pendulum has swung left. The right can either wait for it to swing back, or we can form new habits and pull it back. I’m for the Covey cure.

John Andrews

John Andrews is former president of the Colorado Senate and the author of "Responsibility Reborn: A Citizen's Guide to the Next American Century"