One key area of focus, and one of the main reasons I think we are here, is to change the minds 0f the undecided. Our base is our base – we shouldn’t have to convince them that conservatism is right. The vast majority of the time, the base isn’t who we need to convince about conservatism…our focus should be on those who are on the outside looking in.
Back in May, Gallup did a survey on the political composition of America and found that about 41% of Americans consider themselves conservative, 37% consider themselves moderate, and 19% liberal. That 19% is not our target audience. The 41% that are conservative ARE our target audience. BUT – it’s that 37% that is malleable and who we should be targeting for changed attitudes. But be not mistaken: this does not mean that we must somehow change our beliefs or principles to bring them into the fold. But it may mean that we need to do and say things differently.
South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney [recently] gave a rather unique talk at the Gathering. He wasn’t serving up the typical fire and brimstone, red-meat talk about conservatism. He was more interested in how we change attitudes with the folks who can help us win… He explained that we need smarter politicians and that we (and that includes activists – including those who were at the Gathering) “do a lousy job of articulating conservative principles.” That is something that I’ve contended for quite some time. Mulvaney said “It is hard to explain conservatism because it appeals to the brain and liberalism appeals to emotion…It is hard to explain conservatism to begin with, but I am absolutely convinced we make it harder than it needs to be.”