How Conservatives Stopped Listening and Lost Control of the GOP

Edward Morrissey is the author of the book Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President–and How Conservatives Can Win Them. Here he is writing at the Fiscal Times about the truth:

At a time when intellectual movement conservatism faces a crisis of engagement, the [now defunct David French for president] proposal all but cements the conclusion that the movement has completely lost touch with voters – and, quite possibly, reality.

French is a well-known writer and activist within the intellectual core of the conservative movement, but nearly unknown outside of those circles. Those circles had no impact in the primary cycle of the Republican Party, where their influence would presumably reach its apex. Offering French as a man whose force of influence could offer a major recalculation of the general election might seem to some within those circles as an act of conscience and principle.

To the rest of America, though, it reeks of denial, and also desperation. Mitt Romney, a former candidate with considerable personal resources and residual voter loyalty from four years ago, favors the idea of an independent conservative candidate … but refuses to accept that mantle himself. The #NeverTrump activists have approached others publicly, such as Senator Ben Sasse and retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, only to be rebuffed.

It reduces conservatism to a stunt, a gimmick, and one that could do more damage than all of the good Kristol and French authentically hope to accomplish.

If movement conservatives want to restore their influence, both within and outside of the Republican Party, they need to engage voters in their communities and on the ground. Those activists need to make conservative policies and principles relevant in the lives of voters, not through sound bites about values but through actual solutions to issues in their communities based on those values. That will make conservatism relevant, and its success will give voters a guidepost in national elections.

Read more: Fiscal Times

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