Back to the Future for the GOP?

Philip Klinkner
Philip Klinkner

In a Huffington Post opinion piece appearing on the site’s “Republican Party” homepage, James S. Sherman Professor of Government Philip Klinkner pointed out similarities in arguments and predictions among Republicans in the aftermath of Mitt Romney's loss to Barack Obama and after Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976. Klinkner warned of “the danger of over-interpreting election results,” in the Nov. 19 “Back to the Future for the GOP?” blog.  “As it turned out, the Republicans [in the late 1970s] weren't doomed to follow the Whigs into the political graveyard and they bounced back very quickly.”

“The 2012 election was not a massive rejection of conservatism or the first in a series of exploding demographic time bombs that will doom them to an ever shrinking share of the electorate,” Klinkner continued. “In fact, Mitt Romney lost a narrow race under difficult circumstances for a challenger.”

In suggesting ways in which the party might emerge victorious in 2016, Klinkner wrote, “Republicans could also benefit from a serious discussion about their approach to issues. Talk radio and cable news shows might be entertaining and important for rallying the troops, but they are terrible for developing substantive and creative ways to address important problems.”

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