RMC Friends Discuss the Future of the GOP, Charting a New Path

ImageLast week’s reception and political roundtable, ‘Charting a New Path for the GOP’ was a huge success! Thanks to the continued support of our committed members, friends, and esteemed guests, we enjoyed a thought-provoking debate about the rebuilding of the Republican Party.  Our incredible panelists, Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY), acclaimed Writer and News Anchor Campbell Brown and Political and Media Strategist Steve Grand, shared their knowledge and insights in a discussion critical to the Party’s efforts to rebrand in the wake of the 2012 elections. We were pleased to also be joined by 2012 GOP candidates who were brave enough to put their beliefs into action and run for public office. It was an honor to have the opportunity to present them with RMC’s 2013 Courage Award.

Some takeaways from the evening:
ImageWe know that the 2012 elections were a disappointment for the Republican Party, lacking support from women, minorities and immigrants. We also know that the radical anti-choice positions held by extremists, such as Congressman Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, among others, severely damaged the party’s image and contributed to the losses. But is it really just a matter of putting a new face on the same Party– or do we need to evolve in policy as well as presentation, particularly on social issues?This election cycle not only proved that candidates matter, but that sentiment matters. Too many Republicans were more concerned with survival then sentiment- and in order to survive competitive Primary contests, candidates got caught up trying to “out-right-wing” each other. The GOP needs to bring compassion and true sentiment back. “People want to like you before they’ll vote for you,” said Congressman Richard Hanna. “Some Republicans must stop making certain voting groups think we hate them,” said GOP media expert Steve Grand. In a competition against an incumbent President with low approval ratings, and a nation suffering high unemployment, the Republican should have won. But the GOP vilified itself, revealing a willingness to cater to the extremes over the mainstream majority. The Party has to stop pushing policies that portray it as the anti-party and return to a more welcoming and inclusive message.

RMC Recap Pic3We, as mainstream Republicans, believe in the big-tent and encourage tolerance for differing viewpoints. We know that commonsense solutions are achievable.  However, we cannot ignore that socially extreme GOP leaders are themselves a brand, and their ‘base’ may never willingly move to the center. The question is can we live and work together, and form coalitions and alliances, while agreeing to disagree on some issues? Bringing more mainstream Republicans into the Primary process should be a top priority, but at the end of the day politics is a numbers calculation, and the GOP needs a far stronger coalition. The Republican Party must be less concerned with exclusionary labels like pro-choice vs. pro-life, and approach issues with successful outcomes and real solutions in mind.

As the Party continues on the rebranding path, they must reconnect with the founding Republican values of limited government and personal liberty.  The GOP must stay true to these principles while modernizing their agenda for a changing world.  This directly supports our belief that by finding areas of common ground— such as the shared desire to prevent unwanted pregnancies—and working together, we can create long-term cost-effective solutions to our nation’s problems. After all, that’s what makes us real Republicans.

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