The party is defined by what it opposes, by being anti-liberal and anti-Obama, more than by what it supports.
Its world view is stuck somewhere between the start of the golden age in the 1950s and the end of the Ronald Reagan era three decades later. America is all powerful. Its military is supreme, its factories productive, its culture homogenous…
Some Republican supporters are happy to be sold a retro-vision of where their country should be heading, but many are not, and they feel their intelligence is being insulted. The same goes for the large bloc of independent voters who decide most elections.
It is not a matter of being presented with a wonkish list of policy proposals, though a few of those wouldn’t go amiss. They are simply not hearing any coherent ideas about plotting America’s course over the next couple of decades.