The title is Jonah Goldberg’s. Apologies for forgetting who/what tipped me off to his recent speech. It wanders, but covers much interesting ground.
- On the 2012 election: Romney is a good man, but was a poor candidate from a poor field. His consultants’ disdain for ideas and making conservative arguments led to Romney often sounding like nothing more than a right-wing greeting card. This let Obama paint him (however wrongly) as a rich, greedy prude and to win voters on the basis of “who cares more about people like me”.
- On the 2016 election: It’s rare for a party to win a third term, and we can be sure the Democrats won’t do it with Vice President Biden. Meanwhile, the Republicans will have a stronger field.
- On the GOP’s long-term prospects: The GOP has the right ideas, the ideas that work, but a huge ‘persuasion problem’. Democrats are better at deploying the language of community – such as “government is the one thing we all belong to”, or Clinton’s remark on the politics of “you’re on your own” vs. the politics of “we’re all in it together”. This is a pity, because in real life, conservatives tend to be better involved in their families, communities and causes larger than themselves.