Take a look at this map:
The Republican Party does not need to change anything. We won everywhere it counts. The Republican base is completely intact across all its many variations and schisms. We lost in the big cities. The Democrats took the big cities because there are too many city people who believe it is the government's job to take care of them. Conservatism has never been popular in large population centers because city life is a life of dependency. You depend on the corner market and local restaurants for your food. You depend on your employer or the government (and sometimes both) for money to buy that food. You depend on buses and trains to get around. You depend on the police to protect you. You depend on the fire department to rescue you. Everything about city life is a life of dependency and dependency is exactly what President Obama and his supporters have been promising.
Urban Americans have become passive and dependent. They have lost their will to succeed, their drive to stand on their own two feet, and their ability to think for themselves. That is why the Tea Party enjoys such huge popularity in the countryside and cannot get established beyond a few dozen people in the major cities. It's not about race, or immigration, or women's rights. It's about dependency vs. self-sufficiency. People living in America's cities cannot imagine taking care of themselves, defending themselves against criminal predators, or being vigilant about the safety of their apartment or condominium. They assume someone else will be responsible for all of the most basic aspects of life while they are free to experiment with alternative lifestyles in search of something that is non-existent in the real world: self-actualization.
Dependent people have very little genuine challenge in their life. They are obsessed with petty problems and minor hiccups in their interpersonal relationships. They tend to be narcissistic and self-absorbed. This is why "Survivor", "Jersey Shore", and other such idiocy is so popular with urban viewers. The hypersensitivity to personal insult and imagined slights is part and parcel of their daily life because they have no genuine challenges to face. This is also why they are drawn to the idea of big government. Big government promises to solve their petty problems so they themselves will be free to explore their "higher nature". Unfortunately, the entire concept of "higher nature" or "spiritual evolution" or "enlightenment" or whatever you want to call it is completely false. It does not exist and it cannot be achieved. The only way to experience it is to realize that you individually control your own destiny and the only way to achieve that realization is to face great challenges and overcome them.
You cannot face great challenges when you depend on the local grocery store for your food, the local McDonald's for your lunch, the local police for your self-defense, and the local fire department to enforce safety standards in your home. You cannot face great challenges if you spend your free time smoking marijuana, attending raves, getting drunk and seeking out casual sexual encounters. You cannot achieve "self-actualization" by spending your life in self-absorbed pursuit of personal pleasure. The only thing you can experience by living in this manner is dependency, depression, and failure. This I know from firsthand experience.
There is no solution to this problem. As Americans become more dissolute and more dependent on others for their basic needs they will fall into the same trap that has plagued royalty and aristocracy for the past five thousand years. Almost no one born into a life of dependency ever overcomes the limitations of that life. They are taught by their parents, their teachers, their leaders, and their favorite entertainment venues that the hollowness inside them is not a result of failing to take charge of their own life. Rather, that emptiness is the result of an unresolved "need" to achieve "self-actualization" and when asked to define "self-actualization" they are provided an equally vague concept such as "becoming a genuine human" or "taking the next step in your spiritual evolution". Empty promises to fill an emotional void created by the individual's own inability to take charge of their personal life and work toward their own destiny.
"Destiny" does imply some kind of grand achievement such as becoming a movie star or becoming president. Although those are worthwhile goals involving incredible challenge, the simple fact of the matter is very few people can achieve those goals no matter how hard they try. For the vast majority of us, it would be impossible to become someone famous. However, that does not mean we don't have the potential to achieve anything at all. We can master a trade and we can learn to serve others rather than depend on them. Instead of hanging out with gang members and smoking marijuana, we can get a minimum wage job, go to night school, and learn a more marketable skill such as accounting, business management, or gourmet cooking. It does not matter which trade we find ourselves in, and it matters even less if we enjoy that trade. Self-sufficiency comes from mastering the challenges we face regardless of whether or not we like those challenges.
A career at McDonald's is still a career. If you take advantage of the internal educational opportunities McDonald's provides, learn to take pride in making popular food in a fast, efficient manner, master the skills needed to run the register, keep the books, and turn a profit, then you have achieved a destiny just as important as any rock star, politician, or famous scholar. The important part is that you yourself have taken charge of your own destiny and learned to stand on your own two feet. Once you achieve a level of self-sufficiency, a vigilant awareness of your surroundings, and a personal record of small successes, then you will understand the difference between conservatism and dependency.
It's not a matter of the Republican Party changing its approach. The problem is the American people huddled in our stinking, decaying cities. Those people need to remember who they are and what they can achieve simply by breaking the chains of inherited dependency and reaching for their own destiny, regardless of where that destiny takes them. Until the people in America's urban centers stand on their own two feet and take charge of their own destinies, conservatism will continue to decline and Democratic slavery will continue to expand.
No outside force can free a slave. The slave must rise up, break their own chains, and free themselves. If an outside force frees a slave, that slave will simply exchange one set of chains for another. This is what has happened in America's inner cities. Poor whites, poor blacks, illegal immigrants from a variety of countries, and countless others have learned to live as serfs, dependent on the local political machine for their daily bread and their own self-defense. As a result, they have neither safety nor security. They have traded their freedom for food stamps and iPhones and they are dependent on the holders of their chains.