Here's the Nonsense: The Republicans just failed in their attempt to get Romney elected. It's time to pick up the pieces and get right back in the contest and start working on the 2016 election.
Here's the Horse Sense: This isn't about jumping right back on the horse that just threw you off. Rather, it's about figuring out what they are doing wrong and fixing it or they won't ever have a chance at winning again.
Less than 3 weeks after the election the Republicans are pushing to pick their candidate for the 2016 presidential election 4 years from now. Clearly they haven't learned any lessons from the beating they just took. Instead of taking a long serious look at their failures in election after election with candidates like Dole, McCain, and Romney, they continue on their path of self-destruction. Their actions show they know nothing about relationship building. And if you can't learn to do that voters won't want to have a relationship with you.
This is not riding a horse where you need to get up off the ground after you've been thrown and get back on right away. That is done so that you don't develop a fear of riding, not so that you'll have a good relationship with the horse.
I remember the first time I was thrown off a horse when I started riding. That horse bucked me off and I went head first over his head and crashed into a fence post and came down on my tail bone cracking it and causing what ended up being years of pain. My arm had been smashed into the old fence post and it had torn it up with a huge gash and caused blood to be pouring down my arm. As I laid on the ground a friend who was an old cowboy was there and he walked over and helped me up.
As bloody and bruised as I was, my pride was even more hurt. That was embarrassing. I didn't learn to ride until I was in my 30s and I felt really stupid. My old cowboy friend grabbed a rag and handed it to me to wipe the blood off to see how bad the gash in my arm was. My tail was hurting (no, not my rear end, the bottom of my spine where your tailbone is) but I thought it was just a bruise. A week or so later I finally went to the doctor and found out I'd fractured it and it would be a long, slow, painful healing process. For years I was hurting when I'd sit the wrong way or in one position too long. And travel where I'd be stuck in a seat for a couple hours or more was excruciating.
Back at the scene of the accident right after it happened my friend immediately caught the horse and told me to get on it and go for a ride. I wasn't feeling much like riding right then but my friend said, "I have spent my life on horseback and the worst thing you can do is walk away. You MUST get on that horse right now before you think too much about it. If you don't, you'll dwell on this and become afraid and probably never ride again. You have to conquer the fear before it shows up." So, I climbed back up and spent the next hour on that horse. And you know what? He was right. I still was a bit spooked for a while when I'd ride, but each time I got a little more confidence. And I realized that I might never have gotten back on that horse if it wasn't for that old cowboy.
Sounds just like the thing the Republicans should do regarding losing an election, right? WRONG! It's the wrong analogy. Political candidates and political parties aren't supposed to be trying to ride a horse, so to speak. That would mean that they are seeing the voter as the horse and are trying to control the voter to do what they want instead of what the voter wants to do.
The proper analogy is a courtship for marriage. In an effective and good courtship you want to woo and interest that potential spouse into a relationship. You want to be open and honest and never be dishonest or disrespectful. You want to build trust and you want to do all this with someone of same values and beliefs if you really want to have a good and long term relationship. When you do you have a much better chance of finding someone who's interested in marrying you and it succeeding. That isn't done by controlling them like you do a horse when you go for a ride.
And when that relationship fails and you break up with that person you were hoping to spend your life with the worst thing you can do is jump right back in to another relationship. When you do you are greatly increasing your chances of failure. If you really do want a long term relationship with someone you need to recover and learn from what happened.
The first thing you need to understand is that you made mistakes. Sure, we always want to think it wasn't our fault when a relationship fails but the fact is that in a relationship there are two people and both people are at fault. One party may hold more fault than the other, but there is still responsibility on both sides. If we want to recover, be healthy, and make ourselves the best we can be for success in a future relationship then we need to take time and seriously examine where we failed. We must discern what went wrong, figure out which party was responsible for what, and then apply the lessons from the mistakes we made to our lives. Then we will be a new and better person and ready to try again. But if we skip that process we will simply do what most people do, and that's to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Did you know that the statistic we always hear that 50% of marriages end in divorce really isn't an accurate representation of what happens? Years ago I read a study about marriage failure and it said that actually 40% of first marriages fail, 60% of second marriages fail, and 70% of third marriages fail. And the reason was because people don't try to learn from the previous experience, improve themselves, and work to avoid making the same mistakes again. Instead, they marry into the same kinds of problems they did before and the situation backfires on them and the marriage fails and usually does it even faster than the first time.
So, if the Republicans want to learn from their failures it's time for some self-examination and introspection. What we do know is that the establishment Republicans are already pushing to get people like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as candidates to be considered. They talk about Bush's favorability in Florida as governor, which is quite high, and never forget to mention his hispanic wife. They talk about Marco Rubio not because he's acceptable on all levels (after all, he is somewhat conservative, which they don't like) but most importantly to them he is hispanic. They think these candidates will win elections because of ethnic background in their families. That's a stupid idea because historically Republicans don't win with hispanics, even when they do things like President Reagan did and give amnesty to huge numbers of them.
To counter the establishment's ideas, more conservative Republicans are talking about people like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He's certainly doing well as governor and is a conservative who has good things to offer. Others are thinking of such people as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul because of his libertarian leanings similar to his father and some are even mentioning moderates like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Whether it's these people or other names who've run before being resurrected to run again doesn't matter at this point. The Republican party has much bigger problems. There is a huge split in the party about where they should go. The establishment wants to move the party to the left and become even more like Democrats than they've already become. (Remember that today's political parties are far to the left of what they were a few decades ago. John Kennedy wouldn't qualify to be a Democrat today. The Republican party of today is more like Kennedy's Democrat party of his day.
Real soul searching needs to be done by the Republicans if they are to unify and have a chance to win again. Personally I believe that unless they move to the right and stand by the principles upon which the party was built they will continue to fail. We will continue to see our national politics be more of a one party system than a two party system. Republicans on state levels that have moved back to the right are winning big in state elections. More Republican governors have been elected than Democrats by a large margin. But the national party doesn't get it.
If the national party doesn't seriously consider what's happening and get control away from the moderate consultants and establishment Republicans they will watch as the conservative and libertarian leaning members leave the party and form a new one. And without them the Republicans have absolutely no chance of winning. We just saw proof of it on November 6th when many of them stayed home, others wrote in other names on the ballot, and still others chose to vote for 3rd party candidates.
No, this isn't about getting back on the horse that just threw you off. This is learning why your relationship with the voters keeps failing and learning what to change to make them be attracted to you.
The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense
“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775
"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell
(c) copyright 2011-2016 Doug Johnson All Rights Reserved. All site content is copyright protected and subject to penalties for infringement of copyright laws.