The defeat of the GOP in the national election - loss of presidency, loss of seats in Senate and House - has prompted some political pundits to suggest what the Republican Party should/must do to regain political strength and not become doomed to permanent minority status. Here is my suggestion, based upon a historical tradition. The Republican Party began in the 1850s as the party of freedom and reaffirmed that position repeatedly throughout the next century and a half. Freedom of non-slave states from slavery, emancipation of slaves, economic freedom for expanding industry, opposition to segregation, opposition to lynching, freedom of contract, civil rights. As the New Deal agenda of economic security became the basis of the Democratic Party, especially with the destruction of the Southern Democrats and end of maintenance of segregation as a political program in the South, the Republican principles of economic freedom, social freedom, and liberty from government lost traction among the citizenry. What is economic freedom when you are too malnourished, ill housed, unemployed, poor, to exercise it? What is liberty from government, when the government is providing social welfare you (think) you need?
I believe that freedom and liberty are the two great principles for the Republican Party. The challenge is to make the principles relevant to the social constituencies and economic conditions of today. Surely, this challenge can be met. Milton Friedman devoted a brilliant lifetime to demonstrating that economic regulation and command economics constitute loss of personal freedom. He provides important texts to read. The basis of private property ownership as the basis of social freedom is also important. Wages, as distinguished from ownership, often feel and often in fact are wage slavery, not economic freedom. Economic ownership is a much stronger basis (ownership is, after all, a social relationship) for social freedom than living hand to mouth on wages.
Economic freedom and social freedom ought especially to be attractive principles to groups at the bottom of the economic and social ladder, such as immigrants and young people unable to rely upon their parents' money. Welfare dependency does not bring social and economic mobility, just minimal, basic welfare security. Ownership of property and business, entrepreneurship, investment, reaping profits, are the economic basis of the strength required for social and economic freedom. Try to protect yourself in the courts on a wage-earner's salary. Try to have your children learn your values, when wages do not provide sufficient income to send your kids to a private school that teaches your values. Try to exercise your choice of medical care for yourself and your family when you must rely upon Medicaid or Medicare, and don't have money for a health plan that covers choices you desire.
I can't recall a single tv ad for Romney that focussed on economic and social freedom and liberty.