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THOMAS: Republicans must try to inspire hope

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas

You've got to hand it to Democrats and the Obama re-election campaign. Like a quarterback who looks left to draw the defense away from his intended target on the right, Democrats have managed to divert our attention. Instead of debating President Obama's dreadful record on just about everything, Democrats have managed to get Republicans talking about sex and morality. Rather than figuring out what to do about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, Democrats have put Republicans on the defensive over the use of vulgar words applied to liberal women. For their use of equally offensive or similar words applied to conservative women, they mostly get a pass, because this isn't about the words; it's about politics.

The strategy seems to be working. After a week of debating, discussing and deploring what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke, the Democrat-friendly Washington Post ran a front-page story last Saturday announcing "GOP gains dwindling among women." They must be toasting each other at President Obama's 2012 national headquarters in Chicago.

How did Republicans allow themselves to be outmaneuvered like this? Why do they think that talking about sex, much less trying to regulate it (some might start with regulating themselves) is going to gain votes for the party in a hedonistic age where worship of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and pleasure trumps a Higher Authority? The public has little faith in the ability of politicians to run the country. The approval rating for Congress just hit an all-time low of 9 percent, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll. That's lower than the approval rating for pornography, polygamy and human cloning, as cited in Gallup's 2011 Values and Beliefs poll.

Republicans are missing an opportunity to outmaneuver Democrats. Instead of playing the Democrats' game, Republicans should embrace a positive and optimistic vision. It worked for Ronald Reagan -- the president whom Republicans so revere and wish was still around. Does anyone believe if Reagan were alive today he would be happy with the way the party is destroying itself?

I have made this argument before in different ways and with different analogies and I will continue to make it until someone takes it seriously. Stop arguing about philosophy and morality and instead feature people who have embraced Republican principles and whose lives are better as a result. These would include a single mother who is now independent of government assistance and either has a job or operates her own small business, thanks, perhaps, to a microloan.

Show me people who were brought up on "the wrong side of the tracks" with an alcoholic father, or absent mother, but because someone took an interest in them (a teacher, a mentor), managed to make something of themselves.

How about an example of a man who was mired in debt but decided to stop spending money he didn't have, paid his bills and is now debt free with a good credit rating? He could provide an example for what government should do.

America has always been a storytelling nation. We love stories of people overcoming through hard work and personal integrity. The late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey made a career of telling inspirational stories. Why aren't Republicans telling positive stories, instead of so often labeling and condemning people? The smallest light can pierce the darkest room. Hope dispels despair. Confidence builds strength. "You can do it" beats "you'll never amount to anything."

Republicans should find people in small towns and big cities who would tell their stories. That's what voters want to hear and see. It's called leadership. It inspires people to believe in themselves and, ultimately, in America. It's what Reagan did. Go to YouTube and watch that 1984 campaign commercial "It's Morning in America."

For too many Republicans, the sun is setting on America. The return of Daylight Saving Time isn't going to help.

Email nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/calthomas.

Comments

rco1847 2 years, 6 months ago

This guy is as right winged as is the Daily Post. Only Republican, only conservative, only fundamentalist, always paranoid about the "conspiracies" in society, always judging and critical of amy one not in agreement, always hateful.He's a perfect match for the Post.

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Sthrnldy 2 years, 6 months ago

Bless your heart, at the right winged Daily Post comment. I have had a few conservative minded posts deleted on this site! rco1847 you are more than welcome to go post with you friends at the liberal AJC. They probably pay posters over there!

A Liberal = always paranoid about the "conspiracies" of conservatives, always judging and critical of any one not in agreement, always hateful of anything with an (R) benhind it. rco1847 is perfect match for the AJC, HuffPo, etc, etc, etc ...

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rco1847 2 years, 6 months ago

Hair dye, pancake makeup and lipstick. A true conservatiove.

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Sthrnldy 2 years, 6 months ago

Bless your heart rco1847, you libs love that stuff during Pride!

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Dubbin 2 years, 6 months ago

Why is it that when a liberal can no longer support their argument with any logic that they revert to insults?

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RiggaTony 2 years, 6 months ago

I usually agree with the esteemed Mr. Thomas. While I think he's correct on the basis of his argument here, I don't quite agree on his conclusion. 'Hope' is an illusion to be peddled by the current liberal secular humanist foreign-born Sharia-loving occupant of the White House.

What the Republicans have been good at propagating - and should continue to push - is not hope, but fear. We need to instill fear in the populace, fear of what will happen if these liberals and their "Chosen One" are allowed to continue their abortion pushing, homosexual, forced birth control for everyone agenda.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 6 months ago

Just out of curiosity, how can one be a secular humanist and still love a religious-based system of law (Sharia)? The two are fairly incompatible.

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RiggaTony 2 years, 6 months ago

Because Sharia is tenet of Islam, which is a culture and a cult, not a true religion.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 6 months ago

How are you defining "cult?" Because it seems like, under your rules of definition, someone could easily say that Christianity is a cult. Please define your terms.

You want to be afraid of the Obama Administration? Fine. But fear them for the right reason. Fear them because a) they are continuing the spending practices that exploded under George Bush; b) because he has no qualms about using Executive orders to circumvent Congress; c)because they're spending $11 Billion a day, and 43-cents of every dollar spent is borrowed money; d) because he said during the '08 campaing that he would shut down Quantanamo Bay, but instead he has instituted his own version of unlimited dentention of US citizens; and e) because the Justice Department under Obama seems all-too-willing to play the race card (dropping the Black Panther voter intimidation case).

And if you want to talk about religious crazies, then take note of Rick Santorum. He may be running as a Conservative, but because of his constant harping that the government should be involved in the sexual lives of its citizens, don't be surprised if he tries to institute an underhanded theocracy.

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Braveshopr 2 years, 6 months ago

Thomas said: "Democrats have managed to get Republicans talking about sex and morality" How can he possibly blame Democrats for these actions? No invisible Democratic vestige whispered in Rush's ear -nor did a party of Washington's finest lobbyists make a secret deal with the Republicans to use women's rights (the lack thereof) as their platform. Mr.Thomas, your theory is nonsense of the highest order.

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news2me 2 years, 6 months ago

The liberal media has done an excellent job in helping to get every hot social topic out there EXCEPT the economy. The Obama re-election campaign is in full swing. Making republicans and conservatives look bad and keeping Obama in the Oval Office trumps the well being and economic status of our country.

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