But it can only if those principles express themselves in bold and innovative ideas, ideas that are reflected in a coherent series of specific policy proposals that are persuasively communicated to the voters. The Republicans did not do that in 2008, and lost.
Republicans lost more than the White House. For a second cycle in a row, the GOP suffered massive losses in the House and Senate, and in state races as well. The GOP appears to too many voters to be self-serving and ineffective. This appearance comes from the negligent and even criminal actions of some, actions that betray the principles Republicans are supposed to uphold. These actions are in turn a reflection on ineffective party leadership and a lack of party discipline, which is something the rank-and-file members of the party must remedy immediately.
Republicans will not regain power by becoming Democrat-like. They must instead come up with new ideas and proposals that will appeal to Hispanics, working-income families, women, young people and older people. They must communicate an agenda that effectively addresses education, retirement, jobs, the environment and the economy.
We don't just need better candidates and better campaigns. We do, but those will be insufficient if they are not built on the foundation of better ideas that embody our principles. Republicans lost because they deserved to lose. As a result, the American people have chosen to put the Democrats back in control of all of the levers of power at all levels of government.
That is the challenge facing the Republican Party. It's time to quit whining, acknowledge the problem, and then find a way to solve it. Republicans must offer a compelling vision of the future. If they do, the voters will trust them again and put them back into power.