With the losses statewide last week, Republicans throughout Delaware should re-focus on 2012. While the election losses of 2010 may sting for a while, crying over spilled milk will not do any good. In analyzing the carcass of what is left of the Delaware Republican party, there is plenty of work to be done. And besides, we only have 717 days until November 6, 2012.
If Republicans and the conservative movement are going to win in 2012, we must unite and address the serious road blocks that have plagued us for the last twenty years. These road blocks are not new, but have failed to be addressed by the Republican Party leadership since the Delaware GOP lost dominance due to the local power loss left by the Du Pont Co. Ever since the Du Pont Co. focused on its global businesses, the Delaware GOP has been seething from loss after loss.
So how do we fix this? We must fix three things: leadership, minority outreach and technology.
Clearly, the leadership of the Republican party is more interested in protecting its own power, than winning elections. We must re-organize the Republican party as one not of a few, but one that identifies with like minded citizens who wanted a limited-government, and want to keep more of what they earn.
In May 2011, Republicans will convene for its annual convention. This convention will focus on who will be the new face of the Republican party and who will take us to victory in 2012. Clearly, we cannot continue to move forward with the same leadership team. The new leadership team must unite the conservative movement, and those that consider themselves 'moderates'.
With that unity, the challenge of uniting the very conservative Sussex county and the more liberal New Castle county is a tall order but can be done. A one-size fits all model for all three counties will not work. What works in Sussex, will not work in New Castle. However, competent leadership teams in each county can unite behind a fiscal conservative message, and with that we can win in 2012 statewide. In pockets where social conservatism can gain ground, go for it.
The second item on the list, is to bring like minded Delawareans of all races and religions into the Republican party. Three initial and separate initiatives should focus on reaching out to the African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian Indian citizens. The Republican party must be willing to go into these neighborhoods and barrios to communicate and reach out them.
Many African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are deeply rooted in faith, and share the same values the Republican party does. They share family values, but more importantly, it is the fiscal conservative message that will unite them behind the Republican brand.
The Delaware Republican party has ignored the city of Wilmington to its detriment, and with the 2012 mayoral race we can reclaim it. Rumor has it, Republican Councilman Michael Brown will be seeing the mayoral nomination. If the Republican party can elect Mike Brown as Wilmington's next mayor, we can make serious inroads into the African-American community in Wilmington.
Republicans statewide must also be willing to reach out to the Hispanic/Latino community. With this, we must be willing to speak the language and understand their culture. Many Hispanic/Latinos have deeply rooted faith and family values, and the conservative message is a natural fit. If we embrace them, and do not ignore them, they will come back to the Republican camp.
The last demographic that must be embraced is the Asian-Indian community. Many in this community are small business owners and professionals who are natural fit to the fiscal conservative message. This is a must for the Republican party, if we are to remain competitive in the state electoral politics. This demographic, as well as the Hispanic/Latino demographic are the fastest growing.
The last item on the repair list for the Delaware Republican Party is to address its reluctance to embrace technology. While the party does have a web site, it is not engaging nor welcoming. The web site must be interactive and relevant with the aim to sell the reader on the party platform, how to get involved and how to contribute. The Party must also leverage its Twitter account and engage Facebook to build a community of its members.
Currently, the Delaware Republican party is using the same technology model that plagued John McCain in the 2008 Presidential race. John McCain with a IT staff four was dwarfed by now President Obama who had an IT staff of 96. The Obama camp also had its own social networking site, and leverage mobile technology.
In politics, you cannot run an Eisenhower campaign in an Obama world. This is so true, especially in how politics and technology fit hand in glove. Technology is the vehicle to deliver the party platform to the voter, and if done right, engages them into the process. Technology must be a major focus , if Delaware Republicans want to win in 2012. Ignore it, at your peril.