I'm VERY competitive. I don't know why God put that in me, but it's there in great abundance. If my husband beats me at Wii Fit Soccer Heading, I HAVE to regain my title. He can keep me agitated for weeks by winning our timed Sudoku challenges for days in a row. It's a compulsion. No, it's often a sickness.
But it isn't all bad. When it comes to elections, I really like to win. And there's a darn good reason for that: the stakes. If I am a Republican, I believe the country works best a certain way, governed by people who share my values. If I don't do my best to see that viewpoint prevail, then I'm saying I don't care so much who runs the show.
I'm convinced that some people who feel passionately about the issues are dropping out of the process. They might feel the party is taking a direction they don't support, or that the politicians elected under our banner don't promote the values of the party, but instead their own selfish agendas. And they're probably correct.
But the solution to that isn't to take the ball and go home. The solution is to get back in the game, to be an active part of the process. If your voice of dissent isn't heard, then you leave the works in the hands of people who haven't listened to you BECAUSE they haven't heard you.
The way I explain it to friends is this:
There is only one game in town.
If you want to be on the field, you have to be on a team.
There are only two teams.
Play to win.
To win (and isn't that ultimately what we're talking about here?), Republicans need several things.
1) They need all the groups and factions to realize they have much more in common with each other than they each do with Democrats.
2) They need to recruit, train, and run candidates who can carry the message of our shared values.
3) They need a good organization behind the candidates to mobilize grassroots teams and increase their size and scope and reach.
If the party is falling down on any of these things, it isn't doing its job. Too many Republicans look at results as snapshots. It's time to look at the trends and realize the MOVEMENT that is in them, and then reverse it.
Suit up, Republicans!