If you need to blame someone for our election losses, blame me.
I Let You Down
I could have done more. I could have spoken up sooner. I could have been more honest with you about the mistakes we made and the opportunities we ignored. I could have worked harder on what I saw as the most important work we could do.
I let you down. I focused on petty issues of the day, too, instead of working on a different future.
It’s Time To Look Ahead
But it’s Sunday morning. Obama’s been re-elected. The debt is growing as fast as ever. People lose personal power every day.
It’s time to stop blaming bogeymen for the 2012 election and start building a coalition for victory in 2014 and 2016.
Young Voters Matter
Between 2008 and 2012, 9.8 million Americans died. The vast majority were over 65, voted in every major election, and voted Republican over 60 percent of the time.
They were replaced by 16.8 million young people who reached voting age. These new Millennials are much less likely to register and vote, but the ones who do cast votes for Republicans less than 40 percent of the time.
If we do nothing between now and the next presidential election, six million Republican voters will die and 7.2 million kids will become Democrats. The next election will be over long before November 8, 2016.
We Have Hope
Several surveys late in 2012 found that younger Millennials—between 17 and 21 years old—are far more fiscally conservative than old Millennials. On social issues, especially same-sex marriage, they remain liberal.
As young workers struggle to find meaningful jobs, as their debt burden continues to swell, as the world becomes more dangerous, expect this trend to continue.
If we are serous about restoring the balance of power away from central authorities and toward the people, we have to stop fighting the last election and start helping young adults.
Here’s What You Can Do Now
I’ll write more about this over the next week, but here are four things you can do right now to help win future elections.
- Blaming the election on vote fraud
- Talking about social issues unless they obviously tie to economic issues
- Hanging around in conservative echo chambers
- Talking about secession, nullification, and disrupting the Electoral College vote
- Helping young people find jobs
- Treating young adults like adults
- Explaining the virtues of being free to choose
- Subtly explaining the failure of planned economies
That may not seem like much, but it is. Especially the Stops. If we don’t stop turning off potential allies, we’ll continue to lose election after election.
Build On These 4 Pillars
That doesn’t mean we change what we believe. It means we advance the ideas that don’t turn people off. We have many such ideas like:
- A strong economy
- A smaller government
- A safer world
- A sustainable immigration policy
We can build Big Ideas from these four pillars. We can take on the other problems later.
Please check back here tomorrow to find out how our passions are making us sound ridiculous.