Rand Paul continues with his theme from yesterday on the need for greater diversity of ideas among Republican candidates:
We’re not winning the West Coast. We’re not winning New England. Maybe we need to embrace more Ron Paul Republicans, more libertarian Republicans. … It means people who are little bit less aggressive on foreign policy. They believe in defending the country, but they don’t believe we need to be everywhere all the time.
That would certainly be a good start. Aggressive foreign policy isn’t the only obstacle for the GOP in these regions, but it is a real obstacle. Unlike on some other issues, Republican candidates everywhere are expected to go along with the party’s aggressive foreign policy views, which gives voters in New England and Pacific Western states one more reason not to vote for them. Candidates that repudiate the “we need to bomb everybody tomorrow” view wouldn’t only be appealing to voters that distrust the GOP on foreign policy, but it would also represent clear separation from one of the more politically radioactive legacies of the Bush years.
This goes beyond increasing the number of states where Republicans can compete. As I was saying in the previous post, Republicans are also increasingly at odds with the views of independents and younger voters on foreign policy. Promoting antiwar candidates and skeptics of military intervention is something that the GOP will have to do to avoid losing independents in the future. It’s also something that it will have to do if it wants to have any chance of becoming competitive in gaining support from Millennials.