Skip to comments.What’s Wrong with the Conservative Movement?
Posted on 03/11/2012 5:35:32 AM PDT by Kaslin
I was recently having a drink and cigar in the office of a good friend who runs one of the conservative movements most powerful advocacy groups. Im not going to name him because this problem is not unique to his group nor, in fact, is it unique at all.
My friend showed me his groups latest video. It needed a little work, but overall it was excellent. The only problem is no one who matters is ever going to see it.
It will be polished a bit, put on the Internet and sent to donors. And thats about all that will be done with it.
What we conservatives dont seem to realize is preaching to the choir, although important, doesnt do any real good. Conservatives already are in our camp.
We also dont seem to realize were dealing with a public that is not uninformed but misinformed. To be effective, we need not only a communications strategy that focuses on message, we need one that focuses on conveying that message.
The media isnt our friend. Relying on it to convey our message in an honest way is both stupid and lazy. Most national reporters are so in bed with Democrats they want free birth control to keep themselves from getting pregnant.
Creating a web video seen by hundreds while progressives control national TV newscasts viewed by millions makes no sense and no progress.
Yet, I cant tell you how many meetings Ive been in where someone from some group talks about how theyre going to make viral videos, and those videos will make all the difference.
Only, if simply willing a video to go viral were all it took, wed all be YouTube millionaires. In fact, most videos produced by our side reach no one new. They end up on Facebook pages of people already convinced, or best-case scenario they are discussed on cable news viewed overwhelmingly by an audience of true believers.
Theres something to be said for reinforcing the beliefs of people on your side, but its not exactly expanding the base. We have to think differently about messaging. We must speak around the media because our opponents control it.
We do good research, but we need to spread the results effectively. Were great at raising money, but we need to spend it more effectively.
We spend way too much time and energy pushing the wrong buttons to spread our message even though, in most cases, we know it doesnt work. We spend lavishly on lunch for reporters who attend our events, even though these well-fed reporters rarely make the expense worthwhile.
And if they do write about it, who cares? Its a one-day shot, quickly done, quickly forgotten and drowned out when the MSM returns to regular programming.
What we need is someone with the money and guts to break the mold. Since most people dont watch the news, we need to go where the most people are prime-time television.
How much of the idiotic birth control debate could have been diffused if someone put funny, common-sense ads in primetime TV saying, Democrats spend all their time demanding taxpayers cover the cost of birth control for all women when we already provide it for those who cant afford it and its available to everyone for $9 a month. So why the focus on this? Because they havent passed a budget in more than 1,000 days? Because their economic policies have failed? Because gas prices and unemployment are through the roof?
Yes, that message is conveyed by talking heads most people dont watch, in op-eds most people dont read and in viral videos no one sees. But you wont find it on the TV programs most people watch. Why? Because it costs money.
Yet, instead of investing in getting the message where it truly needs to be, our side doubles down on building huge email lists, then renting them to other groups or candidates to still more money from the same committed conservative consumers.
All so these groups can say We led the fight or We have X number of members as if that makes America a better place in any way.
All so they can continue to spend an inordinate amount of money to inform the choir just how effective they are as we lose battle after battle. Most of the big conservative victories of the last 15 years have amounted to stopping bad things from getting worse. Government hasnt shrunk. Spending hasnt been cut. Regulations havent been repealed. Were losing liberty, and these groups pat themselves on the back for extending the game. Delaying loss does not equal victory.
Part of the problem is many of the leaders of the conservative movement have been around too long. Their mindset is still pre-1994. They still act as if theyve been in the minority all their lives and probably always will be. They fight under the Marquis of Queensbury rules; the left employs a guerrilla warfare designed to win at all costs.
And if it doesnt change, well continue to lose.
Its time we dedicate our efforts to educating those who arent part of the base. Its time we quit bragging about our effectiveness until we get some effectiveness to brag about at which point, we wont need to brag. Its time for one of these leading groups in the conservative movement to actually lead.
Weve spent enough time in the passenger seat as progressives drive the narrative and run the country into a ditch. Its time we buy our own damn car.
It’s quite simple, and boils down to two words:
We’ve taken the side, of foreign competitors, against Americans. During a time of rising unemployment.
We could not adhere, to any worse political position.
All the videos and hard work when it only preaches to the choir is like peeing your pants. For that moment you have a nice warm feeling. But shortly thereafter, you're left with nothing more than cold and wet clothing and no accomplishment.
We need to take over media outlets. Also, when we do have a foot in the door, forget this “fair and balanced” crap.
No, not “we”. Only the progressives that lied to us and claimed to be conservative . . .
Hence my tagline.
So much truth in this. He is a little more pessimistic on results than he should be. Our message does get out on a lot of issues, and in polling we are winning on a vast majority off issues in terms of public opinion. Even through this whole contraception manufactured controversy, 50 percent were polling with us...only 39 percent were for mandated coverage.
We have all but won the 2nd amendment issues, and we have done well to gain in the abortion issue.
Still, all the things the author are true, we should do so much better, and need to push harder in the ways he is saying because we often win the political issues but lose in policy because the will is not there to force politicians to stand behind the tough issues. For all the political capital spent since the midterm we should have something more substantial to show for it. Yes, the bleeding as stopped to some degree and we are now cutting a little instead of spending a lot more, but we should have used better techniques to score some bigger wins....like major reform of a particular department or something that we could have gotten the public to rally behind. Instead, Obama was able to reshape the debate as gridlock and lack of compromise, giving him a lifeline in the reelection year. Our messaging sucks and our ability to get the message out widely is terrible.
Like Newt said, we are at a crossroads. This is very dangerous times.
Ironically those progressives;
Globalist, interventionist, open-borders “free trade” fanatics.
Go by the name Neocon. Neocons, who started originally in the JFK administration.
Perhaps Neocons, are what is wrong with the conservative movement.
Full disclosure, this poster is America-first Constitutional libertarian in positions.
I believe in tariffs, an aggressive pro-American trade policy, and a strong national defense.
Which we would use ... sparingly.
I guess there aren’t many conservatives left - Romney and Santorum won again yesterday. Newt is the conservative pick in this race. Didn’t anyone learn from Dole and McLame?
and there are plenty of social(ist) conservatives out there.. there are a number of them on this very site, those that wish to rule us, only from the opposite side of the political spectrum...
The message is controlled by liberals because liberals control the message.
Why? Schools produce the practitioners of the media and the schools are liberal.
Why? Because the schools are funded by the government. We therefore have a self-sustaining parasite that will feed on the producers until they die and then blame them for dying.
To paraphrase, "Have another Tocqueville of sweet American freedom." for ze joke she is over.
Lock and Load.
Those infected with "I'm smart enough to run your life and mine, too"-ism know no ideological boundaries.
smoot-hawley... yeah, let’s party like it’s 1929... free trade has nothing to do with open borders, globalism or interventionism, or any other “ism” you are trying to cram into your protectionist, isolationist attempt at policy.... head on back to the union hall, they are the ones promoting restrictions on trade policy...
At the time of smoot-hawley America dominated world trade.
We were the world’s preeminent export powerhouse.
We’re not in 1929 anymore Toto.
I was in a debate with a fellow freeper about a year and a half ago... after much debate about the regulation of morals by the fed, this person said to me, and I quote, “ Since it is obvious that you have no morals, I have no problem forcing my moral standards upon you”.... now that is not only a scary quote, but a purebread socialist right there....
Once Rick Santorum gets the nomination the wealthy conservatives will kick so much money into Superpacs (remember,the SCOTUS authorized the big money for all candidates) that the MSM will get filthy rich showing commercials that will defeat their beloved Obama.
The irony will be delicious.
do some research beyond what your brothers down at the union hall tell you... we are on the very edge of the great depression, have been for a number of years... all that is needed to kick it off is a trade war.... and by the way, who leads the world in exports and high tech????
Commence the trade war.
At this point, we have the most to gain.
And the correct answer to your questions is: China now leads in high tech. We probably still lead in selling our own food.
China took the lead in high tech about a year and a half ago. And every trend, is in China’s favor.
Open your eyes.
Then take a moment to ask: What would Ronald Reagan do?
We need to take over media outlets. Also, when we do have a foot in the door, forget this fair and balanced crap.
The Post of the Day if not The Week.
We need to “Be Breitbart” .... he went on the OFFENSIVE ... I always see Conservatives on the defensive. The Progs swarm like African bees .... they attack and they defend their own. I guess we’re too polite, too detached, too submissive. won’t take off our gloves and punch back .... lots of characteristics of Conservatives that are not good if we are to defeat the enemy. The Progs have heard the call to battle and are on the battlefield ... we’re still trying to get folks out of bed. (Note: I know this does not apply to all Conservatives ... some are already fighting the good fight, but their numbers are few compared to the Progs).
The problem with the conservative movement is that for many it has become a comfortable career with health insurance and retirement benefits and nothing more.
I’ve been lamenting for years that if the MSM won’t cover conservative causes/events (a given) BUY time on TV and get the message out.
IMO conservative leaders have the mindset that most folks will ask, be critical of the BS that liberals and the MSM spew out. Wrong !
It’s the headlines stupid !
Just Friday I watched Diane Sawyer of ABC fame talking about our 4th warmest winter and the link to Global Warming.
No mention of last winter or Europe,Middle East, Asia gripped in the Winter of all Winters. Buried under tens of feet of snow. Even snowing in Algeria, Morocco.
Ninety nine percent of the watchers of her will shake their heads and think Global Warming must be here, never looking at the rest of the globe.
“We need to take over media outlets. Also, when we do have a foot in the door, forget this fair and balanced crap.”
I would be happy to take over NBC Universal for you. Unfortunately, I don’t have an extra $30 Billion at the moment. Maybe next payday.
I would be happy to take over NBC Universal for you. Unfortunately, I dont have an extra $30 Billion at the moment. Maybe next payday.
Me neither. But until some conservative person or group comes along and takes over CBS, NBC, ABC or Faux News we are operating at a huge disadvantage.
It is frustrating to see so clearly how liberalism is damaging our country, and then hear the chorus of voices telling us we may have to put up with four more years of this crap.
I’m not ready to give the “conservative movement” its last rites just yet.
The media echo chamber does make it seem as if all is lost. I am however, consoled by the memory of how the Democrats were pretty well torn apart by their contentious primary in 2007 and 2008, and they seem to have come out of it ok. I am also heartened by the fact that the vaunted liberal media shilled for each and every Democrat who ran in 2010, and the left still received an historic drubbing.
We should take some comfort in the fact that one of the lessons of the 2010 elections is that the voting populace is willing at times to not listen to what the media wants them to believe.
Since 2010 we’ve witnessed more failure of liberal policies. This is what we see. What we are being told we are seeing of course, is different, but at what point do people begin to believe their own eyes?
The gulf between what is seen with our own eyes and what the media wants us to believe has never been greater. This chasm could easily become the media’s credibility gap. It’s the media’s credibility that needs to be put on death watch, not the conservative movement.
We may even be approaching the point where people begin to believe the opposite of what they hear from sources they can no longer rely upon.
For three years now, the media has been creating an alternative universe, one in which everything is fine with the economy and the Obama presidency. These are the waters we will continue to be required to swim in, right up to the election. The question is will the media meme be believed or will enough sentient voters consider the source and vote on what they can see with their own eyes?
If the voters are swayed as much as they were in 2010, then Obama and the left will receive another shellacking.
The Republicans, ostensibly the "Party of Business," have truly "sucked" (sorry there is no other modern term that is apt)at Advertising and Public Relations, the engines of business, and of course, politics. You are correct of course. The MSM is hostile and "Conservatives" need to buy and pay for their place in the market. Where are the full page ads in the New York Times and the WSJ? The policy "infomercials?" Why is there no "conservative" Bill Maher?
Instead of spending wisely, The RNC will take half a billion or so and dump it on a complete charlatan like Karl Rove, who will turn around and subcontract it to an ad agency or communication company ... usually owned by a Democrat and staffed with same ... to produce at vaste and insane expense.... senseless, themeless, boring, message-less commercials and ads that would shame any used car company in your town.
Then, they will cut crooked deals to place same in notoriously uneconomical media buys. In short, if an advertising or PR agency did this to a commercial client they would be cashiered overnight.
Many have pointed this out over the years to no avail. A bright spot: Many local Republican races are more or less intelligently run. This is a clue to a thought process: The Republican Party has abdicated its true place in fighting to manage a constitutional government in exchange for safe seats from which they can protect the interests of those who can pay for it. The Republican "Establishment" seems to have a single goal: to remain a minority party, but hopefully strong enough to maintain a good spot at the table where the swag is divided with the Democrats. That's all they will fight for.
Dilemma: The Republican Party is in its ugly, senile death throes. But, what is to replace it? The Democrats and Republicans between them have so jiggered the system that a new party seems impossible to start, much less take off.
The Model is there. It is the Republican Party of the 1840's and 50's, built around a Big Idea: Abolition. Now we need another Big Idea ... and we have one. Constitution. But it seems few politicians will fight ... much less die ... for it.
Good suggestion. It's party time!
That is probably the most succint analysis I’ve seen yet!
Lol - thanks, I had fun with it!
Well I can remember the bad old days when there was NO conservative movement. Before Goldwater and Buckley, few of us knew what a conservative was. So we have made a huge amount of progress.
And the Tea Party is proof that the public is waking up. Most of those people have never been involved in politics before or in any kind of protest movement. Wait until this election cycle is over and then see how many bums get thrown out of Congress.
I am not ready to throw the towel in either like some in here are willing to do.
The problem is that conservatives don't fully embrace [insert pet issue here].
The quality of a democracy cannot exceed the quality of the press. If a conservative speaks in the town square, does he make a sound? Not unless the press covers it.
In Presidential politics this “Anybody But [fill in name of democrat]” philosophy is killing us. It means we throw away all standards, all principles and replace it with one goal -electing a republican. Means we will accept ANYONE the GOP elites hand us.
We are giving up our minds and our souls to the GOP elite.
They fight under the Marquis of Queensbury rules; the left employs a guerrilla warfare designed to win at all costs.
Whatever the argument was, you've already lost it when you dispense with reason, and go straight to name-calling.
No one here has advocated any pro-union policies.
For most of the past two decades there have been no impediments to globalist "free trade" or Ricardian economic insanity, and the result for the USA is a whopping $16 Trillion national debt, record real unemployment, record foreclosures, and massive corruption in every sector of society as people try to survive this manufactured economic nightmare.
The Romney wing of the Republican party is just as crony communist as the controlling wing of the Democrat party, and none of their policies are beneficial to American citizens, our national security, our economic soundness, or our future as a nation.
Take God out of the culture and that leaves room to force the government morals on society.
There are a few others who naturally pass through the road blocks, such as Reagan and Palin, and they're generally easy to spot:
The left tells us who they fear and then tries to kill them.
The only candidate who comes close to that ideal this election is Newt Gingrich, which is why he's marginalized and ignored as much as possible by all in the state run media, including Fox.
It’s not really a conservative movement...
Sounds like it comes down to money. If conservatives had enough money to donate to Newt or Rick, Romney wouldn’t be able to outspend them and win the nomination through his conservative-bashing ads. If we had the money to run ads on network TV, we’d also have the money to back a conservative candidate. If Mitt Romney wins the nomination, it’s a far bigger problem for the movement than anything else. It could spell the death of the movement for 16 years at a minimum. So, why don’t we have enough money? Is the movement too small and driven by poorer people? Or is there simply no real fundraising effort being made by Tea Party or conservative groups? Why isn’t there a Tea Party SuperPAC?
Not to mention, there are serious problems WITHIN our own group, if you believe the polls in some states where sometimes half of the Tea Party people are backing Romney. Perhaps the Tea Party isn’t organized enough. Maybe we should take a page from the Mormons, get everyone on regional mailing lists, organized into regional groups that can act locally, think nationally.
Even if I have trouble saying what are, say, the top 3 things Tea Party types want to do. It's easy to say they're against Obamacare and Obama, want to repeal his laws and such. The only concrete law I can come up with would be the constitutional amendment to define marriage. Maybe that's because most of what the Tea Party wants to do is simply defend the Constitution against encroachment. But maybe it would help to be able to get behind a constitutional amendment, or other law, and make that the focus of the movement like the old ERA amendment. The balanced budget amendment under Newt missed passing by 1 vote. Maybe it's time to focus the movement solely on getting a balanced budget amendment passed, and make that the overriding issue. This movement can't just be the Not Obama movement, but it needs to have a positive and clear goal it can stand for that is separate from any specific candidate and would outlast any presidency. I think we ought to have a balanced budget amendment movement.
a time for courage.... every other consideration pales in comparison....Romney would be the first to buckle.
We already regulate morals, since the time of the founders. Murder, theft and rape were criminalized because they are immoral. Having a semantic debate over whether a certain law is based on a "moral standard" or not is useless and pointless. But abortion for instance is every bit as valid for the government to ban as murder, theft or rape. It's completely equivalent to those on a moral or legal scale. Bottom line, the states at least are allowed to regulate anything that isn't a constitutional right. We can have a debate about what laws are good, but defining one as being based on "morals" or not is meaninless. Some immoral behavior is good to regulate, others are not (such as ones related to free speech). So in some cases it is constitutionally correct to force ones morals on someone else (against murdered, rapists, thieves for example) and sometimes it's not.