Maryann Tobin

From the start of the 2012 campaign season, the elections were defined as a clear choice for voters.

Democrats remained firm in their belief that government does and should play a role in the everyday lives of Americans.

Republicans pounded the stump with their ideas of an ever-shrinking government until it is virtually gone, with the exception of massive military spending.

On Nov. 6, 2012, voters did indeed make a choice. They decided that they were willing to pay taxes if they got something in return for them. They chose government.

So where does that leave the Republicans?

On Sunday's "Meet the Press" Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said, "The Republican party needs to get it together..." and have "zero tolerance with the terrible tone that's coming out of the talk radio universe."

Since the 2010 Tea Party revolution, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News pundits have been driving the GOP further away from mainstream ideas.

"Too too many swing voters in the country -when you hear the words conservative now, they think of loons and wackos," Schmidt added. "Our elected leaders are scared to death of the conservative entertainment complex. The shrill and divisive voices that are bombastic and broadcasting out into homes and this country is rejecting the social extremism of the Republican Party on issue after issue."

Republicans are now facing a profound choice. Do they continue to allow Rush Limbaugh to be the counterfeit leader of the GOP with his insulting and radical tone? Or do Republican leaders stand up and say enough, and unseat the radical right-wing media from their thrones of influence?

If the GOP does not essentially disown radical conservative media, it will take the party down, perhaps for generations to come.

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November 15. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded in December.


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