Filling in on Rush Limbaugh’s Monday radio show, National Review columnist Mark Steyn said that Republicans lost big on Election Day because less engaged and more uninformed voters turned out in force.
“We do very well in off years, in the midterms — 1994, 2002,” Steyn said. “Republicans can have good years then because essentially they’re low-turnout elections — people who are engaged in politics vote. In the presidential years, people voted — a broader pool of voters comes in, and they’re basically people who swim in the broader culture. They’re not people who know the name of their congressmen or governor, and [they] aren’t terribly interested.”
Steyn, author “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” added that the GOP has had persistent problems getting motivated voters to the polls.
“We face getting clobbered every four years about that,” he said. “Basically there has been no decisive — if you discount the first President Bush in 1988, because that was Ronald Reagan’s coattails — there has been no real active enthusiastic vote for a Republican presidential candidate in almost 30 years. The left had a point — we did lose the popular vote in 2000.”
Liberal politicians are comparatively more successful, Steyn said, because they focus on identifying and targeting abstract problems, instead of specific villains.
“The left tells the same stories — there are no bad people out there on the planet,” he said. “’There are just friends whose grievances we haven’t yet sufficiently accommodated. That’s what the left tells you. … It’s so easy, because it means you don’t have to think about anything. You just can sit on your porch, strum your guitar, do a little dope, or whatever they do these days. And the world goes on its way.”
“If you just say we’re going to retreat, and we’re just going to discuss getting this or that congressman elected, then the sea that your children swim in and the sea your grandchildren swim in will be liberal, and it will be impossible to elect genuinely conservative candidates,” Steyn said.
Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful campaign focused too much on small, isolated issues, Steyn added, instead of reminding voters of the big picture.
“Mitt Romney, who is a good man, an honorable man … fought a small, shriveled campaign. … What was the point of picking Paul Ryan as your running mate and not fighting a big-picture election on where America is? At least then, if we had fought a big picture campaign, we could have at least say we had lost with honor. … The next time, we deserve a candidate who fights a big national campaign on the existential questions facing the United States.”