Skip to comments.5 Aggravating Ways Grassroots Conservatives Screw Themselves
Posted on 05/17/2014 5:11:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye." -- Matthew 7:3-5
The only thing that's easier for a conservative than beating up on an establishment Republican is thrashing a liberal. What we don't do so well is figuring out what we're doing wrong.
Most of the people critiquing grassroots conservatives are left-wingers or faux righties like Joe Scarborough, Jennifer Rubin, and David Frum who make a living by telling liberals what they want to hear about conservatives. Nobody respects what they have to say because everyone knows they don't have our best interests at heart. Listening to those mediocrities would be like Apple taking advice from Microsoft. Meanwhile, real grassroots conservatives aren't inclined to pee in their own fishtank because nobody really likes it. Let's face it: most of you would much rather read a clever column from me making fun of liberals than a column telling you what WE need to do differently. Instead of taking a hard look at ourselves, we have a tendency to drop into cliches. "We need to stick to our principles." "Stop listening to RINOS!" "Be more like Reagan!"
Let me suggest something different. In fact, if you don't remember another thing in this column, remember this and you'll have the gist of everything I'm trying to get across.
We need to CREATE MORE CONSERVATIVES. We can do that by getting more people to agree with us. We can do that by blocking liberal outreach. We can do that by winning culture wars. We can do it by helping people on our side who are effective. But, that's what it all comes down to: we need to create more conservatives.
Why are we failing to do that? 1) We're not reaching out to people who disagree with us:
Let me say something that most conservatives reading this column won't agree with: we don't deserve to get more of the black vote.
Yes, it's true that liberal policies have been a disaster for black Americans and conservative policies would benefit them. It's also true that Republicans have been the real party of civil rights. Conservative Republicans fought slavery, Jim Crow laws, and segregation while liberal Democrats embraced all those things. Additionally, by and large, grassroots conservatives aren't racists. Sure, there are a few racist conservatives, just like there are a few racist liberals, but they're atypical. Grassroots conservatives love people like Allen West, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Tim Scott just as much as Democrats love black liberals like Barack Obama.
But, do we do outreach to black Americans? For the most part, no. Do we show anything more than superficial concern for the issues impacting their lives? No. Are there conservative Republicans showing up in their neighborhoods, trying to make some kind of difference in their lives? No. Liberal Democrats have been a disaster for black Americans in almost every way, but do they do those things? Yes, they do. That's why they kick our behinds with black Americans....and guess what? The exact same principle applies with young Americans, single women, poor Americans, and Hispanic Americans.
That's why even pandering won't work. Because after the pandering on amnesty or Affirmative Action is done, most Americans who aren't already voting for us see no evidence that we care about what happens to them. When conservatives start showing them that we care and stop expecting them to come to us, we'll start to see a change in attitudes. 2) Weve gotten lazy about making people's lives better:
Conservatives are good at talking about great principles. We can tell you why taxes need to be low, explain the importance of states rights, and give a good defense of peace through strength. Where we've gotten lazy and complacent is in actually taking those principles we believe in and pushing to implement them in a way that makes people's day-to-day lives better.
After all, why do most people vote for a politician? It's because they think somehow, some way that politician is going to improve their lives.
You know why it's important to keep the debt under control. I know, too. But, do you know why that doesn't work as a political issue? Ultimately, it's because the average person doesn't see it impacting his life right now in one way or another. Why did hammering Barack Obama on his "You didn't build that" comments prove to be ineffective? For the exact same reason. Why don't the American people care about taxes on the rich or corporate taxes? Because they're not rich or running a corporation.
On the other hand, the big reason Obamacare is proving to be such a successful issue for us is that it's hurting tens of millions of Americans and repealing it would make their lives better in a tangible way.
We do have lots of ideas that can be life-changing for a lot of American families, but we don't talk about them all that much. Vouchers and charter schools can get a good education for kids who are in failing school systems. Unlike Obamacare, our free-market-based health care ideas can actually reduce the cost of care and increase choice for the average person. We believe in law and order; so why aren't we pushing to put more cops in high crime areas so no American has to live in fear of drug dealers and gangbangers on the corner in his neighborhood?
If you don't have a plan to make life better for people, then what's the point? If we have a plan, but treat it like it doesn't matter, how can we blame people for thinking we don't care about them? 3) We need to focus more on entertaining than informing:
I like attending Tea Parties and I like speaking at Tea Parties. What I do not like is listening to a string of deadly dull speakers monotonously droning on about the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and freedom until everyone is bored to tears. There are gifted conservatives like Mark Levin who can make that interesting, but most of those speakers are no Mark Levin. Meanwhile, the crowd looks like a bunch of kids stuck in detention on a Saturday afternoon. What's wrong with focusing on having a FUN event with a little education tossed in, as opposed to a classroom in the park where we're all supposed to be deadly serious? Do we want to reach out to college students? How about bringing in some bands and sneaking in a little conservatism on the side? I run a website that mixes a few conservative links with everything from bikini pics to articles on comic books. Guess what? Most of the readers aren't regular consumers of conservative fare and that may be the only right-wing info some of them are seeing in a week.
We do this with movies, too. Liberals put out movies like "Avatar" which focuses on an entertaining story with some liberal propaganda thrown in. In the rare cases when conservatives do make movies and do TV, we tend to make "An American Carol," which was so on the nose that a five year old could figure out that it's conservative propaganda in the first five minutes.
We've also ignored the very best cultural tool we have, which is the Christian church. Show me a devout Christian who takes his beliefs seriously and I will show you someone who's going to be perpetually disgusted by liberalism. Conservative donors, instead of pumping ten million into a couple of Senate ad campaigns for candidates who'll probably lose, how about buying a women's fashion magazine or a massive celebrity gossip blog and dragging the editorial direction to the center right? There's nothing wrong with a little wonkishness now and again, but it's a mistake to confuse that with entertainment. Make it fun and more people will come.
4) We get too impressed by the "more conservative than you" game:
The whole "Tea Partiers have thrown away lots of seats by backing bad candidates" meme pushed by establishment Republicans is mostly vapor. Yes, Christine O'Donnell was the wrong candidate to back, but after that, it's a lot iffier than people make it sound. Sharron Angle was a weak candidate to run against Harry Reid, but it's debatable whether any of her primary opponents could have beaten him. Todd Akin wasn't a Tea Party candidate and although Richard Mourdock said something dumb and lost a seat in Indiana, he was a decent candidate who blew it. That happens as the establishment-backed George Allen could tell you. You hear a lot about "electability" from the establishment Republicans, but they were the ones who stuck us with John McCain and Mitt Romney. How'd that work out? They also stood behind Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, Lincoln Chafee and Dede Scozzafava. When you don't have a great track record of picking winners AND you bet the bank on liberal candidates who leave the party, you don't have any room to lecture other people on the candidates that they're backing.
So, that's not what I mean by the "more conservative than you" game. What I do mean is that we conservatives often become overly impressed by candidates taking conservative positions that have no hope of becoming law if they're elected. I like the Fair Tax, the flat tax, and Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, but none of them is getting passed by the next President. I'm pro-life and I have no problem with a candidate who's against abortion, period, but everyone should recognize that the chance of the American people forcing women to bear babies after they've been raped is zero. In other words, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost their races advocating a position that had no hope of becoming law in the first place. ANY CANDIDATE who tells you that she won't ever raise the debt ceiling is full of it. ALL THE GOP CANDIDATES in 2012 saying they wouldn't take a deal that cut the deficit $10 for every dollar of taxes raised? That's hogwash. There wasn't a person on that stage who wouldn't have taken that deal in the real world in a second.
Candidates take these great-in-fantasyland, not viable-in-real-life positions not only because they think you want to hear it, but because they're afraid they'll get called a RINO if they don't. I'm a big believer in voting for the most conservative candidate who's viable in a race, but it's time to stop being impressed with big promises we should all know these candidates have no intention of keeping. It doesn't make you "more conservative" to advocate an unrealistic position that isn't going to become law; it just turns off low information voters and moderates and makes you less electable. 5) We refuse to challenge liberal control of cultural institutions:
Liberals have completed their long march through America's cultural institutions and they control Hollywood, the schools, and the mainstream media. This gives them an ENORMOUS political edge because they're constantly feeding the American people propaganda through non-political channels. This is why polls of "adults" tend to skew 7-8 points to the Left.
Since there are twice as many conservatives as liberals, this is only possible because of conservatives support. We go to the concerts of artists who do fundraisers for Obama, we watch the movies of actors who say we're fascists, we don't complain when our kids teachers trash our values, and we buy newspapers that tell everyone we're racists.
Stop doing that, stupid!
You're paying people who hate you to insure that your grandkids wear rags and eat stone soup one day while they reminisce about how great America used to be before our generation ruined it. If a kid gets kicked out of school for saying "gun" in a sentence, demand that the principal be fired. If a musician does a fundraiser for Obama, don't go to his concerts. If an actor mouths off about Republicans, don't go to his movie. If a newspaper trashes Republicans, get your news online and use something else to line your birdcage. If an actor mouths off about Republicans, stop buying his products.
Stop being the guy who's worried about whether you're being polite enough to the guards who are forcing you on the boxcar and refuse to cooperate with the people who want to destroy your way of life!
Pompous,sanctimonious self righteousness loses elections
5 ways to spot a rino:
1. They write articles talking about how conservatives shoot themselves in the foot by not “moderating” their beliefs.
2. They brag only about being a “fiscal conservative or use terms like “I personally opposes abortion but”....
3. They come out in support of drug legalization or homosexual marriage by claiming conservatism calls for the government to stay out of it.
4. They appeal to, apologize to, and have voter outreach efforts to leftists who will never vote for them anyway. At the same time they pretend to be conservative only when there is a primary coming.
5. When they lose in a GOP primary they either endorse the dem or run as one in the next election.
You are spot on
Another 'lesser evil' voter.
I'm not looking for a perfect candidate, but the candidate must be pro-life, pro-gun, against amnesty, against socialized medicine, and have a record of acting to make government smaller.
That's all. If a candidate meets those requirements, he/she can have my vote.
And that's why I couldn't vote for Romney.
You are a litmus test conservative.
My way or the highway. America doesn’t matter if the litmus paper changes color
If you vote for a liberal, you are a liberal. Even if you vote for a liberal (R).
Voting for a liberal republican doesn't get America back.
Only squishes use therm "reach out". I've had enough reaching out, be good if RINOs could reach out to us instead.
Have more babies, lots more. Raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. The Ultimate Establishment is going to win with you or without you!
The complete idiot who wrote this article can't see his own cognitive dissonance. Tea Partiers are more than able to challenge liberal control of cultural institutions, but we keep getting sand bagged by RINOs. You can't have RINOs shouting down Conservative ideas and expect those same RINOs to stand up to the msm twinks. A socialist (R) is a socialist(D). They need to go. Period.
Some good points there.
For instance, we don’t win by retreating from the culture war. We should be supporting and promoting good television, music, arts, and books. Its why I pimp AMC’s “Turn” as worth watching. Its good pro American patriotic TV with a strong historical story line and I want AMC to continue to make shows like it.
We should encourage good behavior from people we don’t much care from otherwise even if their motivations are different than ours. For instance Black pastors in Detroit are opposing gay marriage. For them its at least partly a turf war over grievance turf but that’s fine if it helps to advance our cause. We can worry about their grievances later.
Ideological jujitsu. Use left wing causes as a vehicle for advancing our own. CL Bryant suggests that conservatives should embrace black history month as a means of teaching the truth about the conservative inspired drive for equality and freedom.
Solutions over self righteousness. When we see democrat disasters like Detroit (and virtually every other city in the nation) don’t sit back and laugh. That encourages and empowers democrats to keep doing it and dragging the whole country along for the ride. Instead, seriously study the problems and look for solutions and promote those solutions to show what conservatism can do rather than proving what conservatism won’t do.
Comments of boot licking squishes ignored bump.
You just described the entire rat left.
John Hawkins is all over the place with this article. Sounds as if it was a speech he had written but couldn’t deliver in person after all.
Lots of points made but doesn’t seem to accomplish anything much. Maybe it’s just my allergies on a Saturday morning.
Except for the part where they lose elections.
I think the article has it wrong here. Textbook liberal followers like to be lied to. They don’t care about what anyone can actually do for them. They like to hear what “sounds good” to them because it makes them “feel good” and they can then use their imagination to start believing it’s helping them whether or not it actually is. To a liberal, it’s not about truth. It’s all about how good it sounds and how good it makes them feel to hear it.
Concise and spot on.
Looks like 5 recipes for failure to me. Especially the first one: we’re not reaching out to people who disagree with us. Anyone who has ever done sales realizes that you rarely if ever sell to someone who is pathologically opposed to buying your product or service. And focusing resources on people who are not interested in what you’re selling is simply flushing those resources down the drain.
Instead of focusing resources on those who oppose you, how bout spending resources on those who might be receptive?
Big picture, the conservative diaspora is more of a problem than any of these 5 issues. Conservatives are spread too thin geographically and have great difficulty being a dominant force really much of anywhere as a result.
1. The author makes it sound as if conservatives have a hard time winning elections because we don't do a good job appealing to voters. There might be some truth to that, but appealing to people isn't really the problem here. The voters are there, and they are receptive to the conservative message. It's the MONEY that isn't on board with the conservative message -- and by "money" I meant the corporate interests that finance election campaigns in this country.
2. Conservative candidates face an uphill battle when they're fighting against opponents who offer government money as a solution to all of the world's ills. The candidate who stands up and says we have to put down the crack pipe will always lose an election when most of the voters are crack addicts.