No this is not a book report on the famous management book How to Win Friends and Influence People. But a lot of what is in that book can be applied to rebuilding the Delaware Republican party. At a time when it may appear the Republican party or conservative movement is fractured due to the recent primary, it really is not.
For the Republican Party to win in 2012, we must unite and remain focused on one goal - winning in 2012! Winning elections for Republican candidates cannot be done with the conservative gloating and chest thumping because of the primary victory over moderate Mike Castle. Nor can the leaders of the Republican party dismiss the conservative victory of the same. The conservatives movement made significant strides in that primary win, but the path forward is a complicated one.
As written in the Picking Up the Pieces post, their is only one size fits all message that can applied to all three counties. For Republicans to win in New Castle County, Republicans must run on fiscal conservatism. This is much different than Sussex, which can run on both fiscal and social conservatism. As the two factions of the conservative movement go head-to-head, one must realize that a victory on fiscal conservatism alone, is a victory for the conservative movement. The movement wins, and taxpayers regardless of political party affiliation benefit with a greater chance of living the American dream.
This notion of advancing limited government, fiscal restraint, and lower taxation resonates and is emboldened by the various Tea Party groups throughout Delaware. This group must also be given a seat at the table of how the Delaware Republican Party operates and chooses candidates moving forward. The Republican Party of Delaware cannot survive without the Tea Party, and nor should the Tea Party operate without encouraging candidates to run under the Republican banner. For limited government and fiscal restraint is the cornerstone of both the Republican party and also of the Tea Party.
As the two worlds collide, calm heads must prevail. Past differences must be forgotten, and concrete discussions on building on what has been accomplished must commence. Both sides are coming to the table with valid points that both deserve thought and consideration. The months ahead as we move forward to put in new leadership and build the leadership will require listening on both sides of each other. It will tough, as either side will try to make their case. The Tea Party won the primary, and the leadership failed to back those victors. The Tea Party cannot steamroll its way in to the leadership without a clear plan, for the old guard will push back hard.
A united Tea Party and Delaware GOP can move forward and turn Delaware red once again. But the Tea Party must become part of the party. It must put up delegates. It can challenge leadership slots, but based on principle and in a democratic forum by all registered Republicans. And in turn the leadership of the Republican Party must respect the fiscal conservative message of the Tea Party for if it is loses this, it will die its own death. Painfully and with loss dignity.
No matter who is at the table, or in charge - planning for victory in 2012 is vital. Remember this passage from a dear friend of mine: If you fail to plan, plan to fail.