How do Republicans win in New England in 2014? It’s very possible that they just can’t, that the national brand is so beaten up, and the Democrats’ identity politics/taxpayer-cash combine is just too strong.
But we know this: the John McCain/Mitt Romney brand of Republican politics isn’t going to work. So what might?
As a full-throated supporter of the “Leave Me The Hell Alone” Party, I think the GOP’s best bet at the moment is the small government approach of libertarian Republicanism, currently represented by Rand Paul. I don’t know if Sen. Paul is the best candidate at a national level to win the White House, but his message is a strong one for Republicans in New England.
It works for two reasons:
First, it has a positive appeal to younger voters and economic voters. His arguments make younger voters look at the GOP in a new light, it gives them room to vote Republican and feel good about it. It also energizes people who vote on the issues of taxes and spending–another strong strain among independent voters in New England
Second–and just as important–it highlights what many New England voters don’t like about liberals: their obsession with telling us how to live our lives. What to eat, what to drink, what you can’t buy, what insurance your must have, etc. etc.
I don’t think the government goons of Boston, for example, understand just how stupid they look when they ban outdoor e-cigarette use. I think they liberals gets the gut-level reaction when they tell people under 30–who can buy Brazilian/Asian fusion food on their iPhones while riding on the T–that they have to fight through an ObamaCare website that doesn’t work to buy an insurance plan they don’t want that cuts off their choices of doctors and hospitals.
Millenials don’t like being told what to do, particularly by grannies like Liz Warren.
Rand Paul’s arguments are serious. He’s not some pot-smoking character from Clerks or some “9-9-9″ Herman Cain buffoon.
And as the Obama administration proves, modern liberals are awful at making arguments. (Mostly because their ideas are difficult to defend).
The more “redneck” Rand Paul talks about lousy government, individual liberty and abuses like the NSA, the better it is for all Republicans north of the Mason-Dixon line.