By Danny Brosnan

Five days after election night, Republicans still found themselves hoping it was a bad dream. There was no way President Obama could have won so decisively. On Saturday evening, as Florida announced Obama’s victory, the dead horse was kicked and the GOP was brought back to reality. Now Republicans are asking themselves, “Are we down, or out?”

This election would have been difficult to win. As the only black president in American history, and by ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama and the Democrats had a lot of good vibes to win over independents. But if Republicans had a chance of winning this election based on the most important issues related to the economy, they lost it when they chose Mitt Romney to be their candidate. After winning the House of Representatives in 2010 by blitzing Obamacare, they decided to nominate a man who was the author of “Romneycare.” The GOP underestimated the awareness of the American public when it chose Romney – a presidential-looking, smooth-talking businessman.

In reality, Romney was a liberal Republican from Massachusetts. He tried to contradict this fact by insisting he would lead the country as a small-government conservative. As he dodged questions about his voting record, it was easy for liberals to portray him as an arrogant CEO who thought he was above middle-class Americans. At one point, he went three weeks without answering questions from reporters. He even turned down an invitation from Nickelodeon. Was Mitt afraid a 5-year-old would ask him how he can be pro-life, after he supported abortion legislation in Massachusetts?

But I digress. June 28, 2012, was a bad day for Republicans. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with four liberal judges and approved Obamacare’s “individual mandate.” This meant that Americans would be penalized with a tax for not purchasing health insurance. Republicans may have felt more defeated on this day than on Election Day – and they were not alone. According to a New York Times poll, only 24 percent of the country believed it was constitutional for the court to uphold the law. If the Supreme Court had overturned the individual mandate, it would have been devastating for Obama. The Republicans could have capitalized … wait – no, they couldn’t. Romney was their guy. Whether they won in court or not, it didn’t matter.

So the GOP decided not to slam dunk the one issue that gave them a chance. They elected a candidate with a voting record that had enough baggage to sink the Titanic. They didn’t trust their principles; they wanted people to like the party. So the they continued to mock candidates like Ron Paul, calling his ideas “crazy.” According to the polls, independents and moderates found it crazier to elect a candidate who was willing to overturn the same bill he passed for his own state. Who could blame them? Throughout his campaign, Romney continued to appear uncertain by insisting he would keep parts of the 2,700 page bill. This didn’t help his flip-flopping image.

Many believe that America is shifting to the left. This might be true, but does the right even exist? Do Americans really have a better option? Or one they can trust? Is there a base of Republicans who truly believe in the principles of small government? The GOP needs to ask themselves these questions.

The left is playing the same game with Hispanic voters that they played with immigrants throughout the 20th century. Republicans have failed to communicate that “conservative” means less rules and more freedom. The left has successfully portrayed the GOP as a racist party that thinks Hispanics are not willing to work for success. Republicans need to find a way to beat this stigma, and teach Hispanics the value of capitalism and the danger of smothering government. Somehow, they need to show minorities that they want to see them succeed.

During a period of segregation, Republicans stood up for blacks by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (a bill Democrats, including Al Gore Sr., opposed). They need to do the same with Hispanics. They need to address illegal immigration, while continuing to teach legal immigrants that big government will restrict their success in America.

If the GOP wants to survive, it must stand for something during the next four years. Republicans need to have leaders who properly represent the party’s most valued tradition of freedom. Party icons like Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. – who have strong records – need to lead the fight in answering questions about what it means to be a Republican. The liberal outlets will continue to provide a platform for Democrats to misrepresent conservative principles to minorities.

This election was over before it started. Republicans need to get back in the ring and throw a better punch. If they don’t, they will not win another presidential election.

Danny Brosnan joined the staff of WND in June, after spending two years in radio and television at Radio America and Fox News Channel. At Radio America, he worked as a writer for “The G. Gordon Liddy Show” and was a field correspondent for the nationally syndicated baseball program, “Talkin’ Baseball.”

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