Wednesday, November 5, 2008


John McCain's touching and emotional speech last night reminded all Americans how he came to the brink of the presidency. Quelling several outbursts from an angry crowd booing President-elect Barack Obama, McCain solidified his place in our history textbooks as a man who truly can transcend party lines.

Capturing the eloquence that had been alluding the Senator for most of his campaign, he said "I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president."

Pundits and analysts will most certainly dissect this campaign in the coming days, months, and years. It was a disheartening loss because of the great character of John McCain. He is moving forward, as the party must as well.

Agree with President-elect Obama or not, there is no denying the historical significance of his victory. A nation whose roots are seeded in African slavery has now elected its' first president of color. That is a remarkable accomplishment and reinforces my belief that this nation is the greatest in the history of the world.

Politically speaking, last night was arguably the worst night the GOP had witnessed in over a decade. Continued losses in the House. Stinging defeats in the Senate. Not to mention, a lost presidential bid.

So where do we go from here?

Republicans need to reinvent themselves; plain as that. I will not shift the entirety of the blame to President Bush but he has strayed so far from the conservative ideology on which he was elected.

Was last night a defeat for conservatism in America? Was last night, as some have suggested, America's step to the left of center?

Absolutely not.

Last night was not a conservative loss because John McCain is admittedly a moderate. Furthermore, Barack Obama's campaign took a conservative tone in the last several months. He has defended gun ownership, pledged to reduce the federal budget, and cut taxes. Those are all conservative principles.

This is an incredible opportunity for the Republicans. The American people sent a very loud message last night that the party is severely out of touch. The Reaganesque optimism of the 1980s and a commitment to American innovation has been missing from the GOP for quite some time.

This party is filled with rising young stars poised for national prominence. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Governor Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, and of course Alaska's own Sarah Palin.

These must be the new faces of our Grand Ole Party.

So let us suppress our disappointment over last night's outcome.

Now is the time to start focusing on tomorrow.

No comments: