The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Can the Republicans come back?

With the Republican loss of control in the House of Representatives and the Senate in the last few elections, and now the Presidency, the future appears very grim for the Republican Party. Now that the Democratic Party dominates two of the Branches of Government, it is obvious that the Republicans have their work cut out for them.

In order for the Republican Party to make any progress in gaining back a majority in Congress and control of the Executive Branch, they must evaluate the reasons for this recent loss.
For example, Republicans need to look at ways to improve their campaigning. The Republican Party needs to reestablish itself as a grassroots conservative party in which they reach out to the average person.

In addition, the GOP could learn a thing or two from Barack Obama’s very successful campaign. Obama was able to attract large contributions from a number of very wealthy people. He was more successful at receiving small contributions from average people.

In addition, Obama put most of his campaigning efforts into battleground states and had his campaign members and volunteers work tirelessly, reaching out to everyone to get them to vote in favor of their candidate. The Republican Party needs to reach out to people as well and spend the time and effort with them on a grassroots level.

Perhaps the main reason for McCain’s loss is that Obama was able to imply guilt by association between McCain and President Bush. He used the current economic crisis and pointed the blame for it on Bush, and made the argument that McCain, as a member of the same party as Bush, would not be able to help get America out of the economic jam.

In addition, the Republican Party did not define itself well enough throughout the campaign; the end result is that the media and the Democratic opposition defined them for the country.

Only if the Republican Party can pinpoint the reasons for its loss will the future of the party get better. Learning from one’s mistakes and changing strategies is the surest way to succeed the next time.

The Democrats dominated Congress for 40 years and the Republicans were able to bounce back and gain back the majority in the 1990s. Fortunately, our system of governing guarantees that every four years, there is a chance that power can be transferred to the opposing party.

Additionally, the Republican Party has a number of up-and-coming leaders poised to run for higher positions in the future: former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, to name a few.

These leaders have been assets to the states they represent and all have a good deal of electability on the national level.

Governor Sarah Palin recently said that the Republican Party must not focus on the 2012 presidential election yet but instead focus on the current issues in our country, including the economic crisis, illegal immigration, and the war.

With a loss of seven Senate seats and 20 in the House of Representatives, it is clear that there is a long road ahead for the Republican Party.

Reclaiming the majority in two years is highly unlikely, though a focus on future leaders of the party and a return to grassroots conservatism could help the party to regroup in the aftermath of the loss in 2008.

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