How Republicans can WIN in a Changing America:
The Art of War with Lesson Plans
By S. J. Helgesen and V. Lance Tarrance
Book Review By John E. Wade II
This is an extremely well written, concise, and realistic book that I highly recommend to all fellow Republicans, as well as anyone else who would like to understand the elections of 1980, 2012, and the coming elections of 2014 and 2016. Lance Tarrance has a wealth of experience conducting hundreds of polls, and is both a consummate pollster and a strategist. Stephan Helgesen has served in the Foreign Service for thirty years and managed a campaign. Both have written previous books.
Why did such a smart, attractive candidate like Mitt Romney lose in 2012? The short answer is “The Machine” of the Obama campaign. Secondly, it was Romney’s “…own campaign which, according to some, ‘held him back and kept him on a leash of civility…’”
“Crunch the numbers and the unmistakable conclusion you’ll draw is that the Republicans lost because of:
1. A higher Democratic turnout,
2. A lower Republican voter turnout and
3. A higher percentage of Blacks [93 percent], Hispanics [71 percent] and young women [60 percent] voting for the Democrats.”
The authors explain “…that all campaign strategies will need to be more attentive and more nuanced to appeal to the ethnic voter, the low information voter, the emotional voter and many other single-issue voters. The colors of the campaign world today are much more than just Red, Blue and Purple.”
The authors did a good job of summing up the media, something that is both truthful and unfortunate in terms of informing our electorate: “If you’re on CNN regularly you’re probably left of center, MSNBC, ultra left, PBS, left of center to Progressive, Fox News, center to right and mixed, and on the ‘mainstream media’ TV you are left to center.”
A key factor in 2012 was that “…our deteriorating economic condition was successfully blamed on the Republicans (and the do-nothing Congress) by the Democrats instead of where it belonged…at the doorstep of an inept tone deaf Administration and a divisive President…Republicans lost the argument because they didn’t make a clear cause and effect connection between economic growth and a proven private sector empowerment model.”
Looking at the House and Senate races in 2014, “it’s too early to say what exactly is motivating the Democratic voters to ignore the reality of a failed Obama economic policy, a divisive social policy, a flawed energy policy, and an amateurish foreign policy.” We just can’t afford—for our nation, its people and the world—to again underrate the Democratic Machine.
I agree very much with the authors that money has gotten too big in elections, and that campaign reform should be high on our agenda—“Our elections are important to our democracy.” Having to raise a billion dollars for each presidential race, not to mention the millions for senate and house races, puts fundraising too high on everyone’s priorities.
A host of sad personal economic stories are in progress during the Obama administration. “Republicans would be wise to start gathering these personal stories now. They will need them, later.” In 2014 and 2016 it will be critical “…to show HOW the values of the Republican Party can turn around our current economic malaise.” Republicans must “Shore up the base with an optimistic and uplifting Reaganist message that is rooted in history and makes a clear cause and effect connection to today using recent historical comparisons that fit within the voter’s generational frame of reference.” Republicans would do well to highlight their successes in the Red states.
The book has a multitude of advice for Republican candidates, including, “Never speak ill of another Republican.” I like that one.
The authors state, “Hillary’s time has come…unless she is unmasked and viewed as many see her: an ultra-liberal, highly impatient, chronically intolerant, extraordinarily calculating and sometimes vengeful person.” They explain, “Her biggest asset is her live-in banker, mentor and sometime sparring partner, the 42nd President of the United States. Bill Clinton’s foundation, his contacts, contributors, venues and microphone are all Hillary’s for the asking, and the use of them she will.”
The authors caution, “If Republicans truly want to win in 2016, they must acknowledge the new reality of the changing voter ‘marketplace’ that includes style over substance voters and watch how the opposition courts them.”
I agree completely with the authors that the 2014 elections are critical if we are “…to reclaim America’s core conservative values.” Loses would “…give the President and the Progressive Democrats carte blanche to finish their job of taking the world’s most powerful country on an orgiastic spending binge, destroying America’s financial future.”
In Louisiana, I am supporting Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D. for the U.S. Senate in 2014. He’s an outstanding public servant, both as a doctor, and previously in both the state legislature and Congress since 2008. Completely out of sync with her constituents, Senator Landrieu cast a deciding vote allowing Obamacare to pass, and her voting record is 97 percent aligned with President Obama. Most of the citizens of Louisiana just don’t espouse the liberal ways of Mary Landrieu or President Obama. I believe Congressman Cassidy will soon be our next Senator.
The authors suggest that Republicans select a third way candidate for President in 2016. Past examples of third way candidates include Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. It’s important to select “…another outsider who can change the landlocked polarity in WASHDC. It has been done before, and it is time to do it again. It just takes common sense and uncommon courage.” As the authors state quite dramatically, “The third way is the only way Republicans can win in a changing America.” I agree.
I highly recommend the Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, as a third way candidate. Scott Walker has dramatically demonstrated courage, leadership, wisdom, competence, and honesty. I highly endorse his book, Unintimidated, as a way to get to know a Republican who is in tune with the Innovation Age, and one who can WIN the office of United States President in 2016. My review of this book will be posted to my website in the very near future.
How Republicans Can WIN is a must-read manual for all serious Republican candidates and supporters, not to mention all American citizens who sense that all is not right in Washington. I have only touched on the high points of this work of clarity and reason. I encourage you to dig deeper by reading this book. Here’s a link to purchase the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/How-Republicans-can-changing-America/dp/061588427X.