Editor's Note: PolicyMic is hosting a series of conversations with millennials & high-profile conservatives on the future of the GOP this week, timed with CPAC 2013. This article is a part of our series. Read more here.
The liberal – sorry, "progressive" – elites love to talk about the fictional death of the Republican Party; truthfully it helps them rest their minds easy. What these observers fail to understand when assessing the Grand Old Party's future is the nature of both ideology and conservatism.
In essence, liberalism, in the sense that the Democrat Party understands it, is the rapid change of the public sphere to encroach on the private sphere. Conservatism, however, is a reactionary response to liberalism, which endeavors to shrink government and move toward a desired future with a bias toward the past: trying to keep the private and public spheres separate, with the latter being as small as possible.
Thus, there will always be conservatism. Truthfully, I would be more worried to ascribe to ideological liberalism. The propensity to put forth policies rapidly can invite more danger to the future of a party, than does the propensity to move forward more slowly.
The future of the Republican Party is bright, as bright as it has always been. No, this is not the optimist in me speaking. No, this is not my push back against the inane dominant narrative of the punditry class. This is my ardent belief. The president was not re-elected because liberalism is the dominant ideology of Americans today. The president won because of a superior campaign organization, which Republican strategists either did not see, or saw but chose to ignore. Make no mistake, "Obama for America" did not need to break into the Watergate Hotel, they knew their opponents were playing by last century's campaign playbook. The turnout was also a factor.
How do the Republicans win in 2014, 2016, and beyond? Some of the libertarian voices may become dominant in certain policy areas. Ultimately though, the party must expand its base. It is not an accident that the president garnered a significant share of the growing Hispanic population in the United States. It is also not an accident that single woman overwhelming broke for the president. The brain trust of the president's campaign arm led by Jim Messina, aka the creepy photographer in Blacksheep, and David Axelrod, aka the shady car salesman with a mustache, exploited these demographic divisions by messaging to them, mostly negatively. Therefore, the Republican Party must nominate a candidate who can not only bridge these divisions, but also do so effectively to re-align the electorate long-term. The obvious candidate to do that is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. However, the Party may also like a tough-talking New Jersey governor to give them "just the facts." Or, maybe, voters want to hear the inspirational story of a son of immigrants who became governor down in the Bayou. Or we may see a campaign by the Spanish-speaking Bush, or perhaps the dark-horse candidacy of the current New Mexico governor. Do not be shocked if the South Dakota senator or the senator from Kentucky decide to pull the trigger next time too.
The Republican Party's future is as bright as ever. The liberal elites know that. It is not the principles of conservatism, individual liberty, and personal responsibility which should be "moderated," it is the principles of conservatism, individual liberty, and personal responsibility which should be revitalized and articulated in conjunction with a vision for the future of the U.S.in the 21st century. By the time the calendar reads 2016, the GOP will be ready to secure the White House, handily.
Article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.