As you’ve probably heard, during a post-election call with top donors, Mitt Romney rationalized his loss by explaining that Barack Obama had offered “gifts” to Hispanics, blacks and young voters.
If the GOP is to overcome Romney’s loss, it is vital they ignore this interpretation.
Successful political parties and movements simply must believe that they are on the same side as the American people. Parties exist to serve the people, not the other way around. And so, the first step is to sincerely believe your policies are in the best interest of the most Americans.
But Romney’s cynical election analysis seems to undermine that notion. Unfortunately, this psychologically fosters a sort of “losers” mentality. And so, you end up with a political party that is aggrieved — that has a chip on its shoulder — that is angry at the very people it, by definition, needs in order to win.
If the GOP isn’t careful, Romney’s theory explaining away his loss could become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Followed to its logical conclusion, it means the GOP should just pack it up. (I mean, it’s impossible that it was Romney’s fault that he lost. There’s no way that he was simply an uninspiring candidate who turned off vast swaths of voter blocs, right?)
It is ironic that Romney seems to be blaming minorities, because what he is advocating for the GOP is precisely what conservatives accuse big government of doing to minority communities: Telling them they can’t succeed — that they system is rigged — that “the man” will keep them down, no matter how hard they try.
In other words, Romney’s argument gives Republicans permission to dwell on the problems — and a convenient excuses for failure: A perfect recipe for losing!
This is bad for individuals’ souls, and it’s also bad for political parties.
Romney’s theory isn’t just wrong, it’s pernicious. Here’s hoping he finally rides off into the political sunset.