The Republican Party is at an impetus. Reflecting upon the 2012 primaries, it is easy for us to see how split the party has become. There was Rick Santorum, running almost entirely on social issues like abortion and family values, who drew a great deal of controversy by talking about bans on pornography and contraception. There was Ron Paul, an unwavering constitutional libertarian who championed Austrian economics and an end to wars abroad. He stood alongside Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who offered up a plan to go to war with Turkey and Venezuela.
Eventually the party was left with Mitt Romney — a flip-flopping moderate who ultimately failed to hit President Obama where it hurts on the economy. Disenfranchised libertarians who had supported Congressman Paul left the RNC to start their own convention across the street. Many either did not vote, or jumped ships to Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, also a former 2012 Republican candidate. Millions of conservatives, who were simply not convinced that Governor Romney was their guy, stayed home from the polls that day.
It is no coincidence that Congressman Paul did the best amongst the younger members of the Republican Party, holding a 30% plurality of voters 18-29. Paul's message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal freedom, and non-interventionism is increasingly popular amongst young voters. In order to garnish the support of these individuals, the GOP must embrace these same principles. This would not be any drastic or fundamental change in the party platform; it is simply reverting back to the fundamental concepts which the party was founded upon.
Liberal Democrats (and even some of the self-proclaimed "moderate" Republicans) have been pulling together a treasure trove of harebrained ideas for how the "dying" Republican Party can revive itself. What a comedy that these folks think conservatives should take advice from the playbook of hypocrites and demagogues. What tactics do the Democrats have to offer us? Pandering, propaganda, stereotyping, emotional appeals, and soft-tyranny. "If only the Republican Party would just fold on its principles and embrace big government!", the left says.
My advice to our conservative leaders in Washington is precisely the opposite. Do not forfeit. Get back to the ideas which made the Republican Party an outlet for opportunity and prosperity. Embrace free market capitalism, and explain to voters how hard work and voluntary exchange pay off. End the wars abroad, and reflect on why government interventionism doesn't work any better abroad than it does here at home. Get back to individual freedom and personal responsibility, and accept that government has no more business meddling in our bedrooms and our restaurants than it does meddling in our wallets.
The Republican Party is not dead; it is not dying. It has been infiltrated. Big government liberals have slapped an elephant pin on their lapel, leaving us scrambling to disavow their destructive policies. The way we can win back young voters will never be to embrace more of these "progressive" boondoggles. Take the advice of Paul McCartney, senators and congressman, and "get back to where you once belonged."