Dear Fellow Conservative:
Election Day 2008 produced a liberal governing majority that no one envisioned even as little as two years ago. The Democrats control both chambers of Congress as well as the Presidency. And while they are motivated by politics rather than solutions, Americans perceive them as the true agents of change and reform.
Buried within election data is troubling news. The Republican Party is losing grassroots support, and conservatives are peeling away from the party. According to exit polls, one-in-five self-identified conservatives voted for Barack Obama, clearly illustrating the Republican Party’s inability to project conservative values with credibility.
And this reality has been manifested into a set of greater truths: Americans in 2009 believe that Republicans are tied to the status quo, cannot be trusted on the issues that matter most to them, and are incoherent when articulating a positive vision for the future.
But in light of this, I believe Republicans, by firmly embracing conservative solutions-based traditions, can rise again and set the best course for America. From the desk of an eternal optimist, better days are ahead.
Before coming to Congress, I helped transform the Republican Party in the State of Georgia from permanent minority party status to a governing, conservative, principled and solutions-based majority. Now, it is some of the most fertile ground for conservatives in the nation. This happened in Georgia because of a commitment to what is at the core of leadership: to lead with principle! Yet right now, conservatives are correct about a Washington in which too few are fighting consistently for their values and concerns.
The Republican Party is at its best when its leadership has a bold vision and is rooted to conservative principles: personal responsibility, liberty, limited government, traditional values, providing for the common defense, and optimism about the future. But Republicans seem to have lost the ability to intelligently or ideologically define these principles and convey them to the American people.
Moreover, elected conservative leaders need to act immediately in order to facilitate the rebuilding of the Republican Party and reconnect it to the conservative movement.
• Back to basics: The first step starts with a little bit of self-reflection and “re-learning” the core principles of conservatism. Only through understanding the past can our core principles be applied and developed into meaningful solutions to tackle the challenges facing America.