Republicans know how to win elections – they just don’t know how to enact serious policy reforms or cut the size of government once they’re in power. If you doubt that, take a look at the Speaker Hastert/President Bush years nationally. Or study Illinois – the Jim Edgar/George Ryan/Pate Philip years. Winning is only the first part. The equally important second part is what our leaders have proven to be almost absolute failures at.
How does what’s “politically possible” change? It’s simple: by reaching more people with more information through all available ways and means. It’ll take a lot of money, a lot of people, and a lot of talent helping lead the effort to engage the public mind on every single major issue of the day.
The good news is two-fold from my vantage point. Anecdotal as it may be, I have been seeing a higher caliber of talent stepping onto the political field. And then there’s the tea party and 9/12 type groups growing from coast to coast. Those groups aren’t anecdotal – they’re phenomenal.
This website has been hammering on the need for the Republican Party to become something useful for a change – instead of what it too often is – which is a self-protection fortress for old guard RINOs that don’t care about the party’s platform principles.
It’s all about how many of our fellow citizens agree with the solutions we propose. It’s one thing to throw the bums out on election day. It’s quite another to get their buy-in on the dismantling of a bankrupt state and federal behemoth.
And enough of them aren’t going to move our way until they’ve been reached. Phones, door to door, local forums and meetings, via the Internet, etc. We have to travel down every avenue that information travels. Every conservative solution must become viral.
Our elected leaders have a roll to play, too. They can’t just sit in their Springfield or Washington, D.C. offices and pretend to be Mr. or Ms. Important. They have to get out on the stump and use their bully pulpit to good effect. As I keep saying, they’re not legislative mechanics – they’re salesmen.
Medicare. Medicaid. Social Security. Energy policy. Education policy. The list is almost endless nationally. Here in Illinois, there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. Both our state and federal government budgets must be brought into balance asap so revenues can get to the point where they exceed expenditures so debt can be retired.
To take one issue nationally – the War in Afghanistan. Two recent articles of note:
Republicans are failing the country on Afghanistan the same way they did on Iraq. The vast majority of the Republicans in Congress support both wars. Their support, however, means they have a responsibility to help win public support for it.
Take one issue here in Illinois – the state pension systems debacle. Pension expert Bill Zettler has presented the ugly facts and harsh truths about what’s wrong and what must change. How many Illinois taxpayers and voters are aware of just how bad the system is? How many of them are aware of how unfair it is that they would be saddled with a debt they in no way are responsible for?
We must travel down all communication roads. A lot has to get accomplished between now and November. And then the real work begins.