Just so you know, it's been a slow day in terms of news. Much of what I've seen is incessant analysis of the election – what the GOP did wrong, how wonderful the world is now that Obama won, etc. The bottom line is this: America got what it wanted, but we'll find out over the next two years or so if what it wanted was what it needed.
Remember all that talk from long ago about how there was a war going on inside the Republican party? It was the big government, moderate types versus the conservatives. McCain was the guy the big government types wanted to lead the party, and they insisted that the only way the GOP could hold onto the White House was by inviting Democrats and Independents in. Conservatives, on the other hand, said that diluting the party's core principles was the wrong way to go about achieving victory, and that the conservative message needed to be explicitly refined and staked out as the position of the party.
The big government types won the GOP battle, but the GOP lost the election because Dems and Independents overwhelmingly supported Obama. The big government types were wrong.
Conservatives have a good opportunity now to pull back the Republican party back to its base: core conservative principles. They always win at the ballot box because this is a center-right country. For example, look at the ballot initiatives in California:
– ban on gay marriage — passed 53%-47% (similar measures also passed in Florida and Arizona by wider margins)
– require 50% of energy to come from renewable sources — rejected with 65% of the vote
– rebates for alternative fuel vehicles — rejected with 60% of the vote
And this is in California! This is one of the most liberal states in the country where these conservative principles passed easily. If this can happen in California, there is certainly no reason it can't happen across the the nation.
The root of this is that, while there were some moments where conservatism was showcased, it was never really on the ballot in a big way. Sarah Palin was the only true conservative throughout the entire process, but as the VP she was not the main event, and thus somewhat limited in what she could do and say. She followed McCain's agenda, not her own. None of the GOP candidates were a complete conservative, certainly not McCain.
The argument now needs to be made that conservatism is the way to go. We need vocal, capable, dedicated elected leaders around which to build this new movement. Sarah Palin could be a key figure, as could folks like Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and others. One good thing about this election is that it really smoked out many so-called conservatives who bailed when the heat got turned up. Now we know who they are, and where they stand. They're welcome to come back and join us, but they cannot be given the leadership roles anymore.
So, this is the task now in front of us: to rebuild, this time around our core principles, with people who will not compromise and change positions once they arrive in Washington.
Let's keep an eye out for those leaders of the next Conservative Revolution, and follow them to our next victory.
There's my two cents.