Mona Charen

The decline of marriage is far more than just a political problem for Republicans. Unless reversed, it may represent the unraveling of our civilization. But it is also a political problem. The Democrats' message to single women is simple: We will give you free stuff. Free birth control. Free medical care. Welfare payments for your children if you are poor. Food stamps. The whole welfare state package. Women want security above all. You don't have to be a political wizard to sell that message. If it's not Santa Claus, it's certainly Mr. Rogers. Ironically, the worse the economy gets under Democratic governance, the more single women cling to Democrats to protect them from the consequences of that failure.

A Republican has the much more demanding challenge -- to persuade voters that smaller government and more free enterprise will improve their lives, their incomes and therefore their security. A good paying job is far superior to even the most lavish welfare benefits. That message has the advantage of being true, but it just may require a bit of political genius to sell it effectively.

That's not to say it cannot be done. If Republicans can find a candidate who conveys the requisite concern for the struggles of the ordinary person, whose personal story is not one of privilege, who conveys a Kempian enthusiasm for the glories of free markets and free peoples and who is pro-immigrant, that person could win. It may be Marco Rubio. There are other possible contenders: Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz and Susanna Martinez all spring to mind.

To be a successful Republican requires more brains and imagination than to be a successful Democrat. Fortunately for the party and the country, we have a deep bench.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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