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What does President Obama and the GOP leadership have in common? They’ve both become reactionary rather than visionary. This is but one of the reasons that led me to conclude the GOP’s 2016 hopes aren’t as bright as I hoped for 2016. I’m not even convinced 2014 is a lock.
I live in Orlando, Florida, home of the “I-4 Corridor.” After my congressman John “bring home the bacon” Mica handily defeated his primary challengers by running a dirty campaign and using the power of his incumbency to both implement and take credit for some of his opponents ideas he’d heard on the campaign trail before primary day, it became clear to me why there was such an abysmal turnout of just less than fifteen percent of registered voters. Republicans of all backgrounds feel disenfranchised. Orlando was a microcosm of the political landscape all across the nation. Incumbents won big! This may bring comfort to the Republican establishment, but it says a lot more about their chances in 2016 than they realize.
I wrongly predicted Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama in 2012, and I wasn’t alone. However, this go round is different, and the evidence is indisputable. Recall the 2010 midterms when conservatives swept the GOP primaries, because voters like myself were excited to come out in droves for the general election. Unlike 2010, this is Obama’s second midterm, and all sides have lost credibility in the eyes of their constituents. We have yet to hear a cohesive message from establishment Republicans – unless they’re blaming the Tea Party for last year’s government shutdown. Since we conservatives experienced such sweeping success in 2010, thanks to the Tea Party, we wrongfully expected that enthusiasm to carry over into the 2012 presidential election. It didn’t. Approximately four million uninspired registered Republicans stayed home. Should we expect better results now that Congress has a single-digit approval rating?
In fact, according to Pew Research “in surveys going back to last October, neither party has opened up a large lead in the generic ballot.” Compare the bit of history in the above mentioned paragraph to what we’ve just seen happen in the GOP primaries across the country. Couple that with the fact that generic polling seems to indicate a tightening of races instead of a runaway election for the GOP, and you have a recipe for disaster. The Arizona gubernatorial race is a prime example. “Status quo” candidates easily won by outspending their primary opponents and essentially suppressing a more conservative messaging. The problem is GOP leadership has been virtually silent since Romney’s defeat in 2012. Outside of D.C. and talk radio, no one knows what the GOP stand for, and it appears far more of the base is uninspired about their GOP candidates than in 2012.
Democrats have effectively suppressed the GOP message by race-baiting them into submission. Obama may not be a good president, but he’s an excellent campaigner that knows how to use his race — or at least one of them, to get what he wants. He’s sown disunity amongst Republicans so much so that the GOP could only get fifteen percent of their base to come out on primary day this year, in a swing state like Florida no less! Republicans no longer trust Democrats or Republicans to solve our nation’s problems. Despite Obamacare, Benghazi, new revelations on the IRS scandal, the ISIS debacle, the phony outrage in Ferguson, and a horrific economy, Republicans simply aren’t excited about their candidates. Just like ISIS, Vladimir Putin, Assad, and Boko Haram, who have called Obama’s bluff, likewise the Republican base is calling the GOP’s bluff when it comes to putting a stop to the Democrats’ out-of-control spending and President Obama’s usurpation of the Constitution — our referee in the game of freedom.
Establishment money may have worked for the GOP primaries in 2014, but finances are unlikely to be a factor in the general election since Democrats have out-raised Republicans. The Republican base is sick of our politicians being reactionary! We want visionaries! In 2016, the GOP will likely have the same leadership and many of the same congressman we see today. It’s been virtually crickets on Capitol Hill, with the exception of a few Republicans. Do we really expect John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to sound the alarm for 2016 in the face of political correctness?
Their silence has been deafening against a black president who is an extremist and mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants crossing the border. Can you imagine how far they’ll shrink back if the left nominates a female candidate for president? Unfortunately, momentum is rolling on the wrong side of the aisle in D.C. leading up to 2016; not because Democrat voters are enthusiastic about their prospects per se, but because the GOP base is unenthusiastic about ours.
Short of a charismatic constitutionalist for our 2016 GOP nominee that’s capable of electrifying the base, dismantling extreme left-wing arguments, connecting with average everyday Americans as Reagan did, devising a simple five- to ten-point plan of action for American prosperity going forward as Sean Hannity has suggested, and ungluing the mouths of our current leadership, the road to 2016 will be a bumpy ride, and the race to victory even more treacherous.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Carl Jackson is a radio talk show host – his web site is www.carljacksonshow.com