Nor are we idiots because we came a little more than 320,000 votes short of winning the Electoral College in 2012.
Losing is just losing. It's not a mandate to throw out every idea that the candidate championed, and I would hope it's not seen as an excuse to show disrespect for a good man who fought hard for values we admire.
In the debates and in sweeping rallies across the country, Romney captured the imagination of millions of Americans.
He spoke for those who felt disconnected from the Obama vision of America. He handled the unequaled pressures of a campaign with a natural grace and good humor that contrasted sharply with the angry bitterness of his critics.
There was a time not so long ago when the problems of the Democratic Party revolved around being too liberal and too dependent on minorities. Obama turned those problems into advantages and rode that strategy to victory.
But he was a charismatic African-American president with a billion dollars, no primary, and a media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.
How easy is that to replicate?
Yes, the Republican Party has problems, but as we go forward, let's remember that any party that captures the majority of the middle class must be doing something right.
When Romney stood on stage with Obama, it wasn't about television ads or whiz-bang turnout technologies, it was about fundamental Republican ideas versus fundamental Democratic ideas.
It was about lower taxes or higher taxes, less government or more government, more freedom or less freedom.
And Republican ideals - Romney - carried the day.
On Nov. 6, that wasn't enough to win. But it was enough to make us proud and to build on for the future.
Stevens was the chief strategist for the Romney presidential campaign. This column first appeared in The Washington Post.