– I just hope they do not grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

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On the eve of the first GOP debate in Cleveland (August 6, 2015), I want to comment on the the Republican Party’s chances for taking back the White House in 2016 and breaking the gridlock in Washington. I have been a loyal Republican since 1972, representing the first class of eighteen year olds given the right to vote. Over the years, I have voted in numerous elections, believing each was more important than the last. However, I do not believe the stakes can be any higher than the 2016 elections as the country appears headed in the wrong direction, at least according to Rasmussen and Gallup. Frankly, I am not optimistic of the Republican chances for success. This is a new world, with new perspectives and thinking in play. There is nothing wrong with the GOP’s message of smaller government, empowerment of business and people, financial responsibility, and belief in God and the US Constitution, but I’m not sure young voters are listening or comprehend it.

I have five concerns bothering me this election cycle:

1. There are currently 17 GOP candidates in the running for president, the most in the last 50 years or longer. Such a large number gives the impression the Republican Party hasn’t a clear front runner. I hope those candidates who do not fare well in Iowa and New Hampshire will withdraw early, so we can begin to build on a front runner. Anyone who overstays their time in the race will only hurt the party. As an aside, I am frequently asked which candidate I prefer. Although I have my favorites, my standard answer is, “Anyone other than Hillary or a liberal,” meaning I honestly believe any of the GOP candidates would do a better job than a Democrat.

As to the upcoming debates, here are the questions I would ask the candidates and, No, I wouldn’t bother with anything regarding the Confederate flag, gay rights or giving away the store, but rather, how we can invigorate business, raise the GDP, increase jobs and wages, make America competitive again, balancing the budget and reducing the trade deficit. I would also like to know their thoughts on social engineering, declining morality, immigration, health care, defeating ISIS and Muslim terrorists, and putting Russia and China in check. We need discussions of substance, not facade.

2. Since winning the Senate in 2014, thereby assuming control over both chambers of Congress, the Republicans have not displayed any significant form of unity. We have thus far seen rifts between moderates and conservatives, and between the House and the Senate. They also give the impression they are afraid to confront the president. Mr. Obama may have veto power, and is willing to exercise it, but the Congress holds the purse strings and appears unwilling to assume their fiduciary responsibilities. I am frankly tired of hearing Congress whine about the president yet refuse to challenge him. If they are truly incapable of standing up to the President, perhaps it is time to elect new Congressmen.

3. I recently had a glimpse of the party’s infrastructure and, as a management consultant with nearly forty years of experience, the GOP appears to be woefully weak in terms of systems. They know how to solicit money, but not much else. As a systems man, I can see they desperately need vertical mobility in data bases, from the federal, to state, to county, to city, to Republican club. Currently, there is nothing remotely like this available to the GOP, just separate and incompatible data bases which greatly hampers their ability to administer their membership.

They should also establish “standard practices” for all levels of the Republican infrastructure. This includes such things as accounting, membership, communications, etc. This does two things: It makes the GOP more productive, particularly when new board members are introduced, and; it brings uniformity to the operations between Republican units.

The party also needs to adopt a program to effectively communicate to their membership. Currently nothing exists to this effect other than the mainstream media. Through such a vehicle, they could educate their members, as well as the public. Since the integrity of the press is in question, this would provide a mechanism to present the Republican side of an issue.

4. I find it rather disturbing, the Republican Party is trying to win an election in the 21st century, using campaign tactics from the 20th, e.g.; campaigning door-to-door and telephone calls, both of which tend to irritate people today as opposed to soliciting their support.

If you want to attract young people to the party, you must devise an “app” for them to access news and information via their smart phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. This is an area where the Democrats have an edge as demonstrated in the last two presidential elections. The GOP needs to build an app to disseminate GOP news and advertisements, coming events, access to information resources (e.g., position papers), and monitors what the user is looking at (data mining) to fine tune campaign strategies.

5. And finally there is the matter of the Hillary Factor. During the 2008 presidential cycle, she self-destructed in her race against Mr. Obama. Now it looks like she is going to do it again. Her missteps during the campaign, including Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation, is hampering her credibility and trustworthiness in the opinion polls. In other words, Hillary Clinton is giving the Republicans ample opportunity to take her down, but are they smart enough to do so? I’m no longer certain.

If the Republicans lose the 2016 presidential election, they only have themselves to blame. I may be a loyal member of the party, but as a management consultant, I see a lot of dry rot in their operations. The fact I am asking these questions, a 43 year Republican, is symptomatic of the lack of confidence growing in the party. I just hope they do not grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

I am sorry if I appear to be the child who exclaims, “The Emperor has no clothes,” but the GOP needs to quit fooling around and get their act together. The stakes are simply too high.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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