This past week, after President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, pushed for a vote on the repeal/replacement of Obamacare, the bill was pulled at the last minute due to lack of votes. All week they thought they could get there, and they were wrong. There were two errors made in the process: an artificial deadline for an incredibly complex issue, and failing to build support with the American People.
A day before the vote was called off, Quinnipiac released a poll showing "American voters disapprove 56 to 17 percent, with 26 percent undecided." Republicans only supported the bill at 41 percent.
The second problem -- the forced deadline -- can easily be fixed: by not providing one. The first error – winning the argument -- is more complex.
Margaret Thatcher, the great conservative former prime minister of England, understood the tenet. "First, you win the argument, then you win the vote." Ronald Reagan was the last American president to understand and consistently use this tenet to articulate the conservative case.
That's why many conservatives love Reagan, and democrats respect him.
To win the argument, one must elevate the argument. It is not just about money or economics, it is about doing what is correct, what leads to the best human experience; it is about being virtuous and right.
"I came to office with one deliberate intent," she said in a speech in 1984, "to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society -- from a give-it-to-me to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain."
The core of the matter is the same today as it was in Great Britain in the 1970s. The system of transitions from a self-reliant society to a dependent society is morally wrong. It's not just expensive for those who work, or "unfair" to those who pay the most taxes, it's harmful for those who believe that they have nothing to contribute to our society but to be taken care of by the government.
There is great value in using one's God given talent, and being compensated for your efforts.
Thatcher was often cited as ignoring her critics and for not reading anything negative written about her personally; she allowed neither the media nor her opponents to distract her from her goal of standing up for what was right to save Britain.
She was not concerned about making friends or handing out olive branches. Instead, she was focused on what she believed was best for Britain
In the end, Thatcher was elected because she spoke the language of everyday people. "My policies," she said, "are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police." She changed the nation because she continually rallied the British people behind her.
Today, after a hotly contested election, we are once again divided among political lines regarding our belief in the direction our country is taking. A recent FOX News poll found that 86 percent of Republicans are optimistic about the direction of the country, but only 8 percent of Democrats agree.
Trump surprised his detractors during the presidential election by garnering support from diverse and disparate groups that were not traditionally Republican. He connected with people on a personal level, communicated their frustrations and provided a way for them to vote for real change.
As Trump transitions from candidate to president, he has the opportunity to transcend current standard partisan politics -- which President Obama engaged in for eight years, continually dividing the country along ideological lines -- and rally the American people to help him drive change through Washington. As president, Trump no longer has to grab the press' attention -- he has it at all times. His confidence in the American people, who along with productivity, drives our economy, will inspire them to join him in making our country great. His understanding that the American people know best will pay off in the end.
Having witnessed the rallies and the support Trump has generated so far, I have no doubt that he will be able to rally the support of the American people once again, and articulate why conservatism and the American people, will make America Great again.
To find out more about Jackie Gingrich Cushman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.