Dec 1, 2012

Scott Armstrong:Morning Call Editorial

Republican Party Needs An Urban Strategy, Not A New Message
Since the presidential election, much of the political discourse has shifted to an analysis of why Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lost and what the Republican Party needs to do to win in 2016.
Much of the talk mistakenly focuses on the idea that the GOP needs to reformulate its message to gain a larger share of minority votes. In other words, the Republican stand on important issues such as abortion, amnesty, tax cuts, small government and limited entitlements must be reformulated to match what pundits pronounce is the more left-wing outlook of America's urban poor.
Adopting this strategy would, in my humble view, be a huge mistake for the Republican Party. The Republican message is not the reason we take such a drubbing in the cities; the real fault is the complete failure of the Republican Party to communicate its message in these areas.
How are people expected to vote for a party they have never seen in their neighborhood? Why would it be logical to expect people to endorse a message they have never heard?
Republicans need to face the fact that America's urban residents vote Democratic largely because Democrats have been selling the party's message on the residents' radio stations, on their local television stations, at their doors, on their streets, and at their polling stations. Until the Republican establishment commits resources to a long-term strategy to compete on this level directly to the nation's poor and minority urban residents, we have no hope of winning their votes no matter what our message is.
One more warning to Republican Party leaders: Any plan to attract the votes of America's minority voters that puts reformulating the party's tenets ahead of an effort to communicate its philosophy directly to America's urban neighborhoods will fail completely and create a wider divide between the Republican establishment and its conservative base. That will guarantee failure in 2016 and beyond.
Scott Armstrong, a member of the Allentown School Board, is former chairman of the Allentown Republican City Committee, former member Lehigh County Republican Latino Committee and former member of the county Republican Executive Committee.

The above Your View Editorial appeared in The Morning Call on Saturday Dec. 1, 2012

31 comments:

michael molovinsky said...

although i was glad to accommodate scott's well versed views on politics, and expose the blogosphere audience to his view about the election, i can't say i agree with his conclusions. while the republicans certainly lost in the urban centers, especially with minorities (or they used to be a minority) voters, they also lost the gender gap and other segments. they lost the asian americans, who are quite business orientated. i think the republicans might have to rethink their position on women's health issues, gay issues and immigration somewhat; but only if they want a chance at winning.

Anonymous said...

Michael, so anything goes, and we better get used to it?

How 'bout if I want to marry a goat?

Anonymous said...


Mike,

The election loss was narrow. We can win a future election without those who want to be wards of the state and/or those who want to empower the state to rectify every societal injustice. There are plenty of people in urban areas who want to live out the American dream. The Republican Party is their natural home. These are the people we need to reach.

Scott Armstrong

ALFONSO TODD said...

I agree with Mr. Armstrong's view as well as MM's. The bottom line is that, believe it or not, Romney's plans were not all bad, it was just his presentation that sucked. Many of us 'minorities" absolutely believe in self-sufficiency and allowing your hard work to equal what you obtain in life, but when you have alliances/representation by and with Rush Limbaugh and others who cater to the lowest common denominator of thoughts/beliefs then you will cause a people to feel cornered and like any cornered being, they rose up and fought back, thus causing President OBAMA to win by a landslide. Th message DOES matter, but so DOES the implementation. In 2013 I plan to inspire and show many Allentownians that they HAVE power to change any detrimental action they feel the "powers that be" may have performed; it' time for us all to realize if we KNOW better, we DO better...

Alfonso Todd

www.alfonsotodd.com

michael molovinsky said...

before the election, scott armstrong handed out the following flyer, in both english and spanish, at his own expense:
Neighbors,

Four years ago the Obama Campaign knocked on your door, took you to the polls and promised you Hope and Change. Now four years later they are preparing to do the same. They will expect you to again go with them to the polls and do as you are told. We aren’t supposed to know that nothing has improved. That none of their promise have been kept. In fact our lives and situations have gotten worse. We have less money, less opportunity. Food and gas prices are higher, some of us have lost our homes, rents have gone up. There are fewer jobs, and those lucky enough to be employed are working harder with little hope of a raise or advancement. Our children are attending schools filled with violence and low test scores. What jobs are there for them in the summer or when they graduate? Our good students see the cost of higher education continue to rise beyond our reach. Meanwhile our streets and neighborhoods remain blighted and dangerous, full of drugs, vices and violence. Where is this Hope and Change?
We all know this old adage; “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. Will we be foolish enough to be used again by those who seek power for themselves by promising us things they have not yet delivered? They had four years. Now they tell us to be patient. Haven’t we heard that before?
On Election Day, when they knock on your door, go with them to the poll, that is your duty as an American, but remember, when you are alone at the voting machine the choice is yours. Should we allow ourselves to again be played for suckers? And isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting change?


scott, romney lost every district in allentown, including those in the west end, which should have pockets of victory. there are flaws with the republican platform that you fail to grasp. you're correct the media is liberal, but the republicans gave them a diet of red meat, that they chewed you up with.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Republicans don't need to win Allentown to win the state in the next presidential election. Increasing their votes in the Queen city and other urban areas and holding the solid conservative "T" will suffice.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the Republican Party is non relevant. If conservatism is going to return, it must be done from within the Democratic party. Conservative values must be reintroduced with the hope of returning the country to a more moderate political state.

doug_b said...

Quote Prof. Alexander Frazer Tytler: "a democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority, he said, always vote for the candidate promising the most benefits from the treasury with the result that democracy always collpases over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship. Unfortunately, we can't argue with the professor because when he wrote that we were still colonials of Great Britain and he was explaining what had destroyed the Athenian Republic more than 2000 years before."

The main idealogy of liberals is control. They believe that government can manage our lives better than we can. The Democratic Party has become a collection of special interest groups. As long as these groups get their interests met, they don't care much about the meddling in their lives. The Democrats keep extending their special interest groups by failing to enforce our laws (such as immigration).

Any other party that believes in liberty, and self determination is going to fail because there are more and more takers than makers, and the Democrats are manufacturing more and more takers every day.

Proud American said...

The American people just reelected a prudent and forward-thinking conservative, Barack Obama.

Candidate Romney's "plans" were revealed to be radical and reckless (when outed from his secret hiding places) and the overwhelming majority of voters rejected them.

Be a patriot and throw your support behind the President and our great nation, like Democrats did in 2000 and 2004.

ironpigpen said...

I agree with Anon 9:24 in that the Republican Party is not relevant any longer.

And, probably NEVER will be again.

Ever. Education system and 'Main Stream Media' will, most likely, never allow it. To speak nothing of Jon Stewart.

It's rule by one-party from now on here in the good ole USA.

But, don' worry. Be happy. I mean, hey ...... rule by one party worked out so well in Hitler's Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union --- did it not?

ROLF "Whatever" OELER

Anonymous said...

It's sad but true, the GOP is in final state of decay and heading for hospice. The left in the democratic party knows the only way to achieve its' agenda is to have a majority of the votes. The right in the Republican party only cares about idealogy and doesn't worry about permanent minority status.You can't bring back eight tracks and betamax.

Anonymous said...

Alfonso,

Have you ever really listened to Rush Limbaugh? I have enjoyed his program for years as well other news, commentary programming and publications like NPR, CNN, National Review, The Nation, The New Republic…
Rush isn’t for everyone and he doesn’t try to be but he is not the monster his enemies (and they are legion) say he is. The left has its own personalities that speak to their choir. What they say and how they say it could be viewed as offensive to those who disagree with the message. The right doesn’t go after these people because we understand the premise. It is however curious to me how intolerant much of the Left is to any expression of opinion that doesn’t match their own. There truly is within the ranks of Liberalism a notion that those who don’t agree are either ignorant or evil. As well, I have come to understand that some on the Left view any lack of agreement as a problem rather than a fact of life. In their view betterment is achieved if everyone agrees/thinks alike. Therefore they mistakenly believe disagreement prevents progress. This mindset helps to explain the origin of much of the bile that is directed to Rush and any others who dare publicly speak out against the liberal agenda.

Scott Armstrong

Jon Geeting said...

Scott's diagnosis and his prescription are both hilarious but I do think it is important for the Republicans to try to compete in cities. Michael and I don't agree on many policy issues, but one thing we agree about is that the lack of party competition does a great disservice to Allentown voters.

There are election law changes that Republicans could make at the state level to help the party get more of a toehold in urban areas.

And if Republicans could look past their suburban tribalism (a tall order, I realize), I think they'd see that there are quite a lot of issues in state and especially local government where "free market" positions are the best tools to achieve liberal ends like affordable housing and transportation, low barriers to entry for new businesses, etc. Local government could be a great proving ground for showing voters how free market policies can actually materially improve their lives.

Pat Toomey understood this when he helped pass the land value tax in Allentown. Toomey saw that the idea that people should pay low taxes on improving their properties, and higher taxes on monopolizing land is very compatible with conservative ideals, and he gave Allentown this great tool which lowered taxes and increased real estate investment.

Scott could be doing the same thing on Allentown School Board, but he seems more interested in being a saddo on the Internet than trying to think creatively about he can use his elected position to show voters how free market ideas can make their lives better.

Proud American said...

"Have you ever really listened to Rush Limbaugh?"

Yes, Scott, people have ... and you defending and endorsing Rush Limbaugh really speaks volumes. You should not be a member of the ASD School Board and anyone who has "really listened" to you no doubt agrees.

michael molovinsky said...

jon and proud, i'm not a fan of rush limbaugh, or chris matthews or any agenda newscaster, but scott certainly has been an asset on the school board. when scott and joanne jackson vote the same on an issue, you can be sure that scott is putting the children and taxpayers ahead of any partisan politics.

Proud American said...

Mr. Molovinsky, my main concern regarding Scott Armstrong being an ASD School Board member is Armstrong's since-deleted blog, "The Allentown Commentor," where anti-Hispanic sentiments were allowed. Allentown's school district students are majority Hispanic. The fact that Armstrong deleted that blog, when running for school board, again speaks volumes to me and others. And please, this comment is not "off topic" as it was Mr. Armstrong himself who brought up the need for a GOP "urban strategy," thank you.

michael molovinsky said...

proud american, your comment of 1:15 sounds very much like bill villa. villa of course likes to hit the many on his enemy list with any hammer he can. he could care less about racism, or anything else. he has also accused me of racism, because of a comment on my blog. he contends that because my blog was moderated, i'm responsible for the comment. ironically, this blog is moderated most of the time because of villa and his hateful comments. at the time the comment was made on my blog, i had turned moderation off.
please do not reply, or comment further.

Anonymous said...

Proud American,

I deleted the group site because it was a group site, a dinosaur in the fast changing internet world of communications. I had a well established record of correcting any post that attempted to blame any of the city's problems on any of Allentown's minority populations.
Using the big lie technique to slander those who dare question liberalism is standard operating procedure of the intolerant Left. By the way, I can honestly and fairly label you a coward for making such a dastardly accusation with a moniker instead of your real name. Get some guts then maybe your words will get some credit.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott, proud american is single handedly responsible for several blogs being discontinued in allentown. those on his long enemy list include professors, deans, judges, ministers and priests, among many others. he starts his stalking early in the morning, and continues all day. beyond his own agenda, he doesn't really care about any issue. he feels justified lying; he believes that all's fair in his war. he plants insults about his family on blogs, then accuses others for having written them. he assumes other people's identity. if anybody dares to challenge him, he bashes them on his blog for days. eventually, hopefully, harassment laws will catch up with the internet, and he will be prosecuted. no further comments pertaining to him will appear on this post.

Anonymous said...

I sent in a comment several hours ago and made it quite clear who I wasn't, yet it was never posted.
This is hardly fair.

Anonymous said...

So he's back!!!. And I am not referring to Scott.

Anonymous said...

Jon Geeting,

Thanks for proving my point on the intolerance of too many on the Left and their use of slander and personal insult against anyone who dares to publicly question or disagree with Liberalism or Democratic elected officials.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

anon @4:01aka proud american, and another dozen sock puppets; the only place i ever heard that referred to armstrong as a racist, because of the allentown commentator, is the bill and angie villa blog site. only they indulge in such vicious, untrue character assassination. if you want to post as your self, under your own blog handle, i'll print it, otherwise not.

Guy williams said...

If Scotts analysis is correct how does one explain the success of Chris Christie in jersey.By far a blue state and as far as I have seen so far has gotten respect from the liberals and the darling of the media.Seems like the only hateful disrepect he gets is from the far right of his own party.Christie will not have to pander to conservatives in his state and is assured of reelection.Romney on the other hand having been elected to our most liberal state did what he had to do to get the presidential nomination then was tagged to the extremes of his party.Republicans should remember the Dem years of Mcgovern,Carter,Mondale and Dukakis just a little too liberal for most Americans.Last few times out current crop of republican hopefuls were just too conservative as well.

ALFONSO TODD said...

Scott Armstrong, I have listened to Rush Limbaugh and others,and, again, I say at times, he has made some valid points. I am a Democrat who believes intolerance and racism are an atrocity no matter WHAT side of the fence you are on, so I do understand where you are coming from. As far as the comments being made by many regarding you being on the ASD School Board, my only question is this: What are THEY doing to make a change for the better in this community? What position have they taken and triumphed in the public eye ? I give kudos to ANYONE who puts themselves "out there", in the forever criticizing public, to champion their beliefs and to build a better community. We may not see eye to eye on everything but we can at least be civil and try to find common ground for the GOOD of the people and neighborhoods of Allentown...

Alfonso Todd

www.alfonsotodd.com

michael molovinsky said...

alfonso, i must remind you and readers that the derogatory comment about scott on the school board was made by the same cyberstalker who attacks me and you. all three of us are on his side bar enemy list,(along with many others) and victimized by distortion and fabrication.

michael molovinsky said...

today bernie o'hare has a post titled One Week in the Hate World. ironically, he is prohibited by a court order from mentioning the king of hate bloggers, bill villa. villa, under the same order, ignores it and continually taunts o'hare, both on the villa blog and comments submitted anonymously to o'hare's blog. likewise, i received such a comment this morning on my boxing post. it is my understanding that today villa is boasting of the blogs he discouraged from continuing; what a pathetic accomplishment.

Anonymous said...


Guy,

I was very busy with other things.

Christie was elected in an off year election when the Dem’s don’t usually put out an all out GOTV effort. And perhaps New Jersey residents thought his message of enough is enough on taxes was just too simple and true to ignore. He still gets plenty of hateful disrespect from public sector union leaders and others who chafe at the fact that a Republican occupies the governor’s office. Many Republicans thought he unnecessarily pandered to the president a week before the election and they said so. So what?
Mitt Romney is far less extreme in his political views than the man he ran against Barack Obama. In this there is no doubt. Not since FDR have we had a man so apparently socialist in his outlook as president. He is the real extremist, and yet he was re-elected. So let us put aside the argument that strong convictions will cause a candidate an election.
I repeat my initial thesis; too many people don’t know the Republican message because they have never heard it directly from a Republican. In fact all they know about Republican tenets are what the Democrats/media (same thing) tell them. That is why we lost the last election.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Alfonso,

Intelligent and well informed people can and will disagree on any subject and in truth the disagreement should be welcomed and celebrated. It seems not so long ago that it was commonly accepted that sound judgments arose from the most hotly contested arguments. Today too many mistake a healthy, vigorous exchange as mere pettiness or even worse as counterproductive. Nothing could be further from the truth. The free exchange of ideas and opinions are the basis of any sound democracy. The right to dissent from the majority is the most cherished freedom and must be protected at all cost. It is unfortunate that recently it has become apparent that too many indulge and participate in the silencing of dissent with slanders and personal attacks.
You do not participate in this political thuggery. Thanks.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but I think Romney lost the Jewish vote too.

John said...

Allow me to toss in the idea that the Morning Call doesn't publish editorials written by staff. It makes space available for op-eds, but the paper no longer takes FORMAL positions on anything. I'm not being critical of what you've suggested - this is one of the bones I have to pick with the MC.