There was a really interesting piece by FoxNews’ James P. Pinkerton yesterday called, “How ‘Les Misérables’ can help lift Republicans out of their misery“. The premise was basic but brought forth through a complex string of thought that circled through historical references and reformist sentiment back around to how the recent movie and the book it’s based on hold inspiration to solve many of the problems of today’s republican party and the country in general. I’d like to continue this train of thought; please read his article first.
The most striking part of the argument is that, by all reckoning and logic, there’s no way that Barack Obama should have won a second term. The country is in worse shape than when he took over. Most of the promises that he made to get elected the first time were not fulfilled. In some cases, the exact opposite of the promise was fulfilled, such as the case of a promise he made in the first month of his first term when he said he would reduce the $250 billion in interest we were paying every year on the debt. He did not reduce it. He doubled it.
Despite all of this, he won by an extremely comfortable margin and the GOP suffered embarrassing losses in congress. What went wrong? As Pinkerton points out, it’s mostly in the messaging. The GOP message isn’t working. It’s not resonating. It is by far the more responsible and likely successful course of action for the country. It will help all of the people more than the current path – poor, rich, and the middle class will benefit in the long term by reduced spending and improved conditions to operate business in America. More jobs, sustained tax rates, and greatly reduced spending will help to return us to a path towards prosperity, but the American people didn’t buy it.
The message needs to be refocused. It needs to be centered around doing what’s right, about empowering people to achieve success, and about following a path of redemption and Biblical righteousness. Jean Valjean, the main character in Les Mis, was a good man driven to desperate measures due to the strains of poverty. It wasn’t until his soul was “purchased” for God that his path became clear. He emerged as a good and successful man who was driven by faith and acted with piety.
Is that to say that the GOP must take on a method of faith in order to reach the people? That would be nice, but it’s not going to happen. We can all see the path that country and the world is heading. We’re pulling further away from our Christian roots, denouncing them at every turn and trying desperately to make the will of man as detached from the will of God as possible. As much as I would love to see the country embrace a Judeo-Christian path with empathy towards other religions in order to bring them to the light, it’s something that even the most devout and patriotic Christian American’s could never hope to see in our lifetime. We can, however, learn from the left’s ability to touch the hearts of the oppressed poor and the burdened middle-class.
The actions of liberals are designed to keep the poor as oppressed as possible and to increase the burden on the middle class, but their message says otherwise. The conservative truths, particularly being fiscally conservative, are designed to lift the oppressed and relieve the burden as much as possible on the middle class, but the message doesn’t resonate. If there is any hope for the country, it will be through the messaging of the conservatives that being responsible with the country’s money will help us all. Right now, we talk of cuts. It sounds bad, particularly to a growing population that depends so much on the government to be able to support themselves. Cuts means less. It’s a poor message to try to sell to those who do not want to do the homework and understand the math behind the US and world economy.
Lastly, the concept that a non-Christian GOP will reach more people is ludicrous. It’s not that it might not be true today. It’s that it cannot be true for a sustainable tomorrow. It is growing less and less popular to discuss God or Jesus, especially in regards to politics, education, or economic reform, but that’s exactly what the message needs to be. We need Christians to lead this country or we will not have a country for very much longer. There are intelligent non-Christians, but their ways are misguided. Whether we want to admit it or not, the GOP is losing faith in the message of faith itself. That is a mistake.