A Choice Not an Echo: Republican Candidates Should Campaign on the Issues

Photo: Thomas Dewey at Grand Cental Station, cropped; public domain

If you want to put your political principles into practice, you cannot hold back on elections. This is especially true with the Presidential election. The President runs the executive branch of the federal government. He is commander-in-chief of the military, and he appoints justices to the Supreme Court. Which party holds the Presidency is of tantamount importance for setting the issues and policies for the next 4 years. Phyllis Schlafly understood this but pointed out that Republicans often did not seem to understand the importance of the Presidency.

It is hard for a Republican nominee to lose, Phyllis says in A Choice Not An Echo, so long as he campaigns on the issues. “The reader may ask,” Phyllis says, “isn’t that what a presidential nominee is supposed to do – campaign on the issues?” Yes, she answers, but they often refuse to do so. Phyllis looked at every election between 1940 and 1964 when she wrote the book.

In 1940, Republican candidate Wendell Willkie did not challenge Roosevelt on his implicit consent to Stalin’s invasions in Eastern Europe while sending American boys to fight the Germans. Once he did mention it, the voters “instinctively knew his peace pledges were just campaign oratory.” Willkie also barely made mention of Roosevelt’s power grab in disregarding the tradition of the two-term limit.

In ’44, Republican candidate Thomas Dewey could have emphasized how, as Phyllis said, “the Roosevelt administration manipulated and invited the disaster at Pearl Harbor.” But slam dunks like these were not taken for some reason.

Republicans in later elections ignored the biggest issues of Communist influence in our government and across the world. Although they are winning issues, they were left to collect dust. Phyllis Schlafly called out Republicans for their inability to campaign on the winning issues and pointed out that they were consistently snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

This post originally appeared at https://www.phyllisschlafly.com/national-sovereignty/republican-candidates-campaigning-on-the-issues-for-a-choice-not-an-echo/

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