What would it take for a Republican to win my personal vote - without changing what it means to be a Republican?
Not all that much. He can retain his personal beliefs - but he has to recognize that there are other viewpoints and be willing to let them exist. So here is a fictional speech, that I wrote for a fictional "Abraham Reagan". If any Republican is man enough to say something CLOSE to it, that man could win the Presidency. But no one will, because they have become trapped by their own constiuencies as pets, rather than leaders.
"Hello and my name is Abraham Reagan. I am a god fearing Christian man, from the Great State of Wyoming. I believe, as my bible taught me, that abortion and gay marriage are wrong. I know that is true because of my firm and unshakeable belief in Jesus. But I also recognize that this country is not all Protestant. We have freedom of religion. There are Catholics, Jews, godless Atheists, Hindus and even damn Muslims. They have the right to worship as they wish and that means we can not stop them from sinning. We are not here to stop people from sinning, but instead to find a way to lead them to the righteous path. As President, I will not support any attempt to ban abortion or gay marriage. The bible tells us not to kill and to go forth and multiply, both important instructions. But when I chose to become a public servant, I realized that I must put my country above everything else, because I may have to sin to protect it. Part of that sinning is to recognize that my opinions on abortion and gay marriage are inherently a part of my belief in Jesus, and that I can not force my religion on others. Not in America. That doesn't mean I have to pay for abortions, or give anyone special treatment. But equal treatment is not special.
I believe that America is a great country that can not support every man woman and child that wants to come here. I also know we need more manual laborers than can be found among our citizens. As such, I offer ALL those that wish to work temporary green cards that will not count towards citizenship. Every single person not charged with a crime that wishes to try and get a job here can get a temporary green card. But they may have to pay a small fee to get that card - and a small tax to pay for the services they consume. In addition, we will continue to offer the usual path to citizenship for all those we find worthy.
Energy means jobs. And it is clear that natural gas is the clear winner for the next decade. Fracking has proven it's value by providing us with cheap energy. I will work to make fracking legal in all states - provided the frackers fully disclose to the EPA every chemical they use in the process. We will continue to work on more energy sources that do not excessively pollute our environment, but for the immediate future, we will focus on fracking, at the expense of other, far more dangerous methods.
When it comes to Gun Control, I strongly believe you should hit what you aim at! But we do not have to let every crazy person buy a gun. We can either have a list of gun owners or a list of people that can't own guns. I don't want the government to know who owns guns, so we must make a real list of people that are not allowed to own a gun. If you are on this list, which by law shall not have more than 5% of the population on it, then owning or attempting to purchase or even hold a gun will be a felony. When you purchase a gun, the buyer will by law have to check that list. If they fail to check that list, then they will go to jail. And yes, we will test them.
I believe in Healthcare. Romenycare, oh, excuse me the liberals prefer we call it ObamaCare, is not perfect. It needs to be reformed, but I will not eliminate it. Chief Justice Roberts has declared it a valid tax, and I think there are far more pressing taxes that we have to lower than it. But there are many portions of it that I do wish to drop, and you will be hearing more about that later. Here's just a taste of the things I want to eliminate: I won't let Obamacare's insurance be more generous that Medicare. I will combine the second exchange type (Small Business Health Options Program) with the first (American Health Benefit). There is no need to duplicate the work. I will also end the Co-op's 3.8 billion program. But again, I will be keeping most of Romneycare, whoops, I mean Obamacare.
Obama's short lived Big Government is over. We need to go back to small government. That means starting with the military. One of the few things Obama did right was use more drones and less boots on the ground. Drones are more efficient. They save American lives, they save American money, and they save American training. I won't entirely replace American soldiers with drones, but recruitment will be half of what it once was, and the same goes for big ticket purchases. I don't simply want anti-personal drones, I want anti-aircraft drones, and anti-submarine drones. This technological boon will be at the cost of the heavy metal, but will save American lives as well as American money.
My plan is to shrink entitlement programs, not by eliminating them, but instead by making them more efficient and by reducing the number of Americans that need it. Medicare is one of the cheapest ways to get healthcare in the US, but it is STILL more expensive than outside of the US. Under my administration, we will negotiate prices not based just on what the healthcare companies tell us are 'normal', but by what they offer outside of the US. This will lower our costs. I will also reform Social Security, treating it more like an Annuity and allowing people to invest upto 10% of their social security 'annuity' in the market if they so choose. If they do this, and they make a profit, they will keep half their profit, the rest goes to finance the system. If they lose money, they still will get no less than 90% of their normal benefits.
When it comes to Taxes, once the budget is balanced, I will take half the surplus and distribute equally among every single tax payer, lowering taxes. But that will not happen until we balance the budget and obtain a surplus. Which I assure you will be done, THIS YEAR. This will not reduce our total tax burden, but will be simplify certain things. As a result, while some people's taxes may go up, most taxes should stay about the same or go down.
Finally, some among you think we can not get the votes of 47% of America. I tell you you are wrong. There is NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE whom I can not get to vote for me, given the chance to talk to them. In fact, I'm going out to talk to ex President Obama shortly and I am going to do my best to get his endorsement. Thank you and may God bless America."
Note I personally do not believe much of what I wrote above. It assumes many things are true that I personally do not believe in. It is not the speech I personally would give. But it is a speech that could get me to vote Republican again.