There is no magic fairy dust that can be spread around the country to make voters aware of why they should support solutions based on GOP principles. The political battle for the public mind has to be fought on every issue. It’s going to require a lot of people doing real political work. Not fake activism, but the kind which results in new voters being reached and won over.
We need better candidates and leaders aggressively and effectively articulating an agenda. They need to be backed up and held accountable by countless rank and file Republicans building and reaching out at the grassroots level.
If you work for a think tank or write political commentary for national publications, I hope you realize you still have a real political job to do too. Your responsibility as a citizen can’t be delegated.
If you’ve got complaints about Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Quinn, et al, I’ve got a question for you: What are you doing about it?
Unless an army is mustered, don’t expect to be able to win the war. Our side doesn’t lack for good ideas. We do lack an effective sales force and communication infrastructure.
The way our ideas are presented matters, of course. For example, last week columnist Matt Towery wrote this:
“Explaining why tax cuts are good really doesn’t matter when, because of our system of withholding taxes from paychecks, polls show that most Americans don’t even know how much they pay in income taxes, and a near majority in surveys say, ‘I didn’t pay anything’ or ‘I received a refund.’”
But even if the best argument is made—we still lose because it isn’t being heard by enough people.
Towery also wrote:
“It’s time for the GOP to understand that until it properly diagnoses why it’s slowly losing its lifeblood, it’s likely to keep losing its pulse. Only after the diagnosis is made and new blood is pumped into the Republican Party will it perhaps start to find some magic bullets of its own.”
Towery is exactly right about the need for a proper diagnosis. He’s also exactly right bout new blood being needed in the GOP.
I don’t agree about the need for magic bullets. We need a real political movement of millions of Americans (like those who attended the tea parties) engaged in real grassroots political party work.
We need millions of conversations taking place by millions of Americans based on persuasive information pumping through the communications bloodstream of the country. We need to use the media when possible, but we also need to concentrate on bypassing it 24/7/365.
It’s not 1980—today’s America is more complex than that which Ronald Reagan won in two landslides. As removed as we are from back then—it was only five years ago when we saw a nation-wide outpouring of appreciation for Reagan the week he died. Yes, the elections empowering Obama and Pelosi and Reid are more recent than Reagan’s funeral in 2004, but my bet is that public support for them isn’t of the same quality as that of the Gipper’s—even fifteen years after he left office.
There are so many grounds for optimism despite the enormity of the task ahead. The renaissance and the reformation needed by the Republican Party depend upon your action—and those of your like-minded family, friends, and neighbors.
©2009 John Francis Biver