Outgoing New Hampshire GOP Head Fergus Cullen: The Republican Base Is Not Enough
It’s about time somebody said it.
And, from a simple electoral math standpoint, Fergus is absolutely right.
Both for New Hampshire Republicans and for Republicans across the country.
No swing voter appeal by Republican candidates = no election night party.
But Fergus has a plan to save the GOP from itself, which he writes about in today’s Union Leader:
To appeal to a broader segment of the electorate, Republicans need to talk about a broader range of issues that swing voters care about. Specifically, Republicans need to offer positive proposals dealing with education, health care and conservation. I’m not saying we need to moderate our positions or move to the middle. We can talk about a broader range of issues while still offering conservative, free-market alternatives that are consistent with our principles. But it can’t be all about taxes and social issues all the time.
A new GOP agenda for education needs to be emphatically pro-public education and transcend school choice by allowing students to get credit for real world, out-of-classroom learning. It needs to address the affordability of higher education that makes parents worry that even if they open a college fund and put money away, their kid who works hard and gets good grades still won’t be able to attend the best school she can get into because of cost.
A new GOP agenda for health care would embrace the idea of universal coverage instead of defending a system in which people without insurance are left to hope they never get hurt or sick, and to go to the emergency room when they do. Republicans should fight for using market competition to control costs so more consumers shop for health care like we shop for other goods and services; Republicans can be for universal coverage and still oppose government as the single payer. Accessibility and affordability are the two health care issues voters care about — for themselves, for their children and for their elderly parents.
A new GOP agenda for conservation and open space preservation — which are fundamentally conservative ideas — gives our party something positive to talk about with voters who have bought the left’s theories about climate change and who are turned off by the GOP’s perceived indifference to environmental issues.
Read the whole thing.
Fergus will be stepping down shortly as NH GOP head. To be replaced by John H. Sununu.
But Cullen’s editorial today makes more good sense on the concrete steps that Republicans can start taking to start thinking about moving out of the wilderness than I’ve heard from all sorts of people getting paid all sorts of money to tackle this problem but who end up saying absolutely nothing.
Think about it.