Noonan: GOP Will Have to Re-define 'Center-Right'

Monday, 12 Nov 2012 11:27 AM

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In the wake of last week’s election losses, the Republican Party must re-shape its ideas to attract more support, according to Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan.

“It is and has been a proud Republican assumption that we are a center-right country and, barring extraordinary circumstances, will tend to return to our natural equilibrium,” she writes. “We are a center-right country, but the Republican Party over the next few years will have to ponder again what center-right means.”

Mitt Romney’s economic platform essentially reflected the wishes of his donor base, not the broader American public, Noonan says. “Are those the immediate concerns of the middle and working classes? Apparently the middle class didn't think so.” Nor did the working class for that matter, she adds.

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“It matters when you show people you care. It matters when you're there. It matters when you ask.”

So now it’s time for Republicans to get it together, Noonan says. “A big rethink is in order. The Republican Party has just been given four years to do it. . . . For clarity they could start with essential, even existential, questions. Why does the party exist? What is its purpose? What is possible for it in the new America? How can it prosper politically while leading responsibly?”

The party’s fundamental challenge: “how to change its ways without changing its principles,” she believes.

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