Tuesday night was truly a bitter, disappointing result. There is no way around it.
My thoughts for the conservative movement: now is not the time to be discouraged. Now is not the time to point fingers at candidates who gave their all or at allies within the movement. Now is not the time to lash out at our opponents on the Left. And lastly, now is not the time to wonder whether or not we can turn things around. Of course we can. Of course we will.
In the months ahead, we are going to carefully study what we did right and what we did wrong over the last year - from messaging to activist mobilization to technology, to new media. We will examine in detail what the Left did as well. Then our movement is going to become bigger, stronger, better organized, smarter, more nimble and tougher so we can advocate for our issues and promote economic freedom.
We've won major victories -- defeating cap-and-trade, stopping card check, and countless state policy wins.
And yes, we've suffered grievous defeats including the heart wrenching health care issue in 2010.
Conservatives have been knocked down before and gotten back up. This time will be no different.
Next week begins the lame duck session of Congress where they’ll be deciding your tax rate, energy policy and making final decisions on the spending cuts we fought for all year. Americans for Prosperity will be engaging our activists in this crucial policy battle. Let’s not allow one night of disappointment to erase the years-long effort to trim the bloated fed government and force them to cut spending.
In 2004, the Left failed to defeat a sitting President they thought was disastrous to their agenda and vulnerable politically. However, during the early years of the decade their movement built powerful capabilities and strengthened their effectiveness in the face of withering electoral defeats in 2000, 2002 and then 2004. They ignored talk of a "transformation" in the electorate that would doom them to long-term decline. Two years later they captured Congress and then won the presidency in 2008.
So it's ironic to hear them telling us that we are on the path to long-term decline! We control our destiny.
Recently I finished reading a book by A.J. Langguth called Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution. In the early 1770s, the fledgling Patriot cause -- really nothing more than a grassroots movement at the time -- suffered political and issue defeats time and again at the hands of a seemingly invincible British Empire and their Tory allies in the colonies.
After one such defeat a key lieutenant of Samuel Adams canvassed a number of Massachusetts towns seeking to rally support for the cause but he reported back that "They are dead, and the dead can't be raised without a miracle." Adams replied, "Nil desperandum. Never despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it."
So take it from the original community organizer Samuel Adams. There is no need to despair. The American people are still a great and wise people. They want individual freedom and a more limited government.
And, we will be triumphant in the end. Much lies ahead.