Alex Castellanos has some excellent thoughts on where the GOP should go next. Here's an excerpt:
Conservatives do not hate government. We never have. We love life when it is well-governed. We respect the flag, our country, and traditional authority. We like a world where rules are observed and regulations are respected. We revere the order of the church. We respect the lines on the playing field and we stop at traffic lights. We want things to work. We want trains to run on time. We want our lives to be ordered. We want our lives to be governed — just not by others. We want our lives governed by the face we see in the mirror. We want our lives governed by ourselves.
I am trying to teach my children the same thing. If you cannot govern yourself, you must be controlled by others. I admit there are some people who cannot or choose not to govern themselves, so there is a role for what we traditionally think of as government. But as John Quincy Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Morals and religion make it much easier to instill that self-government that keeping a country free requires.
if the GOP can capture this vision, not of "big government" and "small government," but of "self-government" versus "external control," it stands a chance to recapture the imagination of the American people and reorganize our ideas of what our society should look like.