Thursday, February 5, 2009

What now?

In the last Presidential election, a very unpopular President, a weak and uninspiring candidate, and the overwhelming bias of the media resulted in the election of a Democrat as President and secured an overwhelming majority in Congress. This interrupted the steady national trend of the last 30 years towards conservatism and away from government dependency.
From Reagan through Gingrich there had been a meaning and a philosophy which was attractive to a majority of Americans. And, there was a spokesman; someone who could get past the media censorship and make a case for what was to be done.
Even the Clinton interruption was minor. His elections can be attributed to unpopular and uninspired candidates and a third party candidacy that split the conservative vote. But the country quickly elected a conservative Congress which governed while Clinton “fiddled”.

While most of the true believers of the mid-90’s kept their promise to return to private life, the remainder lost their way. Professional politicians were created; spending went off the charts; there was no spokesman or leadership. With no real aim, they quickly lost Congress and then the Presidency.

How does this get better?

First, whatever group still remains that believes in free markets and avoiding the dependencies of the redistributionist philosophy that is currently in power, needs to talk about what they stand for. This group also needs to find a leader - someone who can string a few words together (as opposed to the last 5 presidential elections).

Regardless of where this person is, everyone needs to speak with a reasonably consistent voice; do the talk shows, get out to the people – all the people – with their ideas. State simply what should be done and why. Don’t allow the media to portray the negatives – offer real alternatives. Have a positive plan. “Just say No” is not a political platform. How does a Contract sound?

This message needs to emphasis things that are important to everyday life - Job creation, Taxes, Schools, Medical Care. The basis of what needs to be done is Economics. The social agenda is very nice but does not appeal to the majority of voters. Gay marriage is just not a significant issue to people who are overtaxed, unemployed, have no medical insurance and kids who can’t read.

The media outlets that conservatives do are many radio voices. These guys are extremely popular but spend much of their efforts preaching to the choir. This incredible energy needs to be turned from self congratulation and argument into making a cogent presentation. Efforts such as the “Stop Hillary Express” do nothing to convince anyone of the correctness of a position but do turn people off – and it worked out so well.

Meanwhile, there is a Liberal President. The real differences should be presented as real differences, again with positive options to correct the many real problems. Even though the differences are great, this cannot be allowed to devolve into petty personal hatred (See the “Stop Hillary Express”). That will only lose the public relations war, again.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Bill:

    While the picture flatters you, this is a very good job of pointing out what ails us; no vision, worse communication strategy. What is liberty and freedom? People don't seem to know anymore; that makes them more likely to sell-out.

    I hope we can get you to the next get-together.