Political Campaign Content and the Information War

It’s not difficult, and it never has been. A conservative steps up to run for office and then seeks support from voters for the policies and reforms he or she supports. The candidate isn’t the only thing being sold to would-be buyers (voters), but also the policies and reforms that candidate seeks to implement.

Few people buy a toaster so they can have a nice looking appliance on their kitchen counter. The thing is supposed to toast bread. No one supports a candidate so that person can adorn the office they seek. They’re supposed to get something specific accomplished.

Yet most modern political campaigns are vapid, and not much gets done by the winner after election day. Wait, let me clarify: liberals/progressives do accomplish things in office — that’s why every level of government is dominated by liberal/progressive policies. Few conservatives accomplish much at all. The sad reality is that most conservative office holders wind up rubber-stamping the passing of, and the continued funding of, big government policies that have a track record of failure.

When a conservative governor accomplishes something, most often, those who know policy and the true extent of the problems know those accomplishments don’t amount to much. We’ve got a handful of governors running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination who have successfully tinkered, yet their achievements are able to be sold as earth-shattering because any success on the political right is celebrated because of how rare they are.

Our side fails because it doesn’t seriously fight in the information war. You can’t pass the right legislation without public support and you can’t win over the public without effectively selling the policies — which includes actually reaching the uninformed and misinformed. By “reaching” I mean words to eyes, sound to ears.

Pick your issue. They’re all the same. There’s an abundance of information available — and few people utilize it.

You don’t even always have to seek out content from the think tanks or issue advocacy organizations. Often, plenty of details are provided in newspapers.

1. What’s the problem? What’s the history? What are the facts?

2. What are the policies in place? Which are working? Which are not?

3. What are the proposed solutions? Which is the best?

For example, the Washington Times recently published two related articles on welfare. Below are the headlines, excerpts, and links to both — and both, it seems to me, outline arguments and policies that can easily win support from a majority of the American public. I’d bet big money there is polling data out there to prove it.

When you win over a majority, you win elections. I told you it wasn’t difficult.

Oh, and in this first post, I bolded the quote from President Franklin Roosevelt, author of the “New Deal,” Social Security, and what was then, the largest expansion of government ever. Even FDR had limits though.

When welfare beats work
Obama entitlements have made labor optional
By Joy Overbeck

[E]ven conservative Republicans want to provide a safety net for the truly needy and vulnerable — a safety net, not a hammock. Those struggling through Mr. Obama’s anemic economy often need help. But under the president, virtually every part of the anti-poverty apparatus has exploded far beyond actual need. It’s estimated that taxpayers ante up over $3 trillion annually for welfare benefits.

For instance, food stamp enrollment has seen a 77 percent increase since 2007, and its cost reached a record $78.4 billion in fiscal 2012, the last year for which data were available. The rise of poverty spending is the predictable result of the president actively encouraging more citizens to accept welfare by removing welfare-to-work requirements put in place in the Clinton-Republican welfare reform legislation, plus rewarding states for enrolling more government dependents, and even running taxpayer-funded advertising to attract more food stamp participants.

And not just for Americans. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has actually admitted an “official program” in partnership with the Mexican government to use brochures and other outreach to recruit more “foreign nationals” to food stamps. Census Bureau data reveals that most U.S. families headed by illegal immigrants use taxpayer-funded welfare programs, available to them because their American-born anchor babies are U.S. citizens.

This huge redistribution of taxpayer wealth toward welfare benefits is making America’s founding values of hard work, personal responsibility and self-reliance seem not only quaint, but unnecessary. Amazingly, in 35 states combined welfare benefits pay more than minimum-wage jobs, which means many have no reason to work.

According to a Cato Institute study, a worker would need to make more than $60,000 in Hawaii, and more than $50,000 in Washington D.C. and Massachusetts, to do better than collecting welfare. No wonder labor participation is at an all-time low. Of course, free money becomes an effective bribe to vote for the party that will keep the checks coming: the Democrats.

But Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic president who birthed New Deal, warned against welfare. “The lessons of history show that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber,” he said in 1935. “To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. The federal government must and shall quit this business of relief.”

Read more: Washington Times

* * * * *

Boot camp, not benefits
Britain’s job-training regimen provides a remedy for welfare addiction
By Cal Thomas

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Since his party’s impressive election victory in May, Prime Minister David Cameron is moving quickly to fulfill his campaign promise to ensure welfare benefits are no longer a way of life for many of his fellow citizens.

Instead of open-ended benefits for the unemployed, the government, beginning in April 2017, will require young people between 18 and 21 who don’t have jobs but are collecting welfare, to attend three-week “boot camps” to prepare them for work in a rapidly improving economy. If they refuse, they will be denied benefits if they are unemployed for six months.

According to the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail, “Six million Britons are living in homes where no one has a job and benefits are a way of life.” In 2008 the newspaper reported on families where no one has worked for three generations. Some are offended at the suggestion they should work. One family interviewed by the Mail claimed the equivalent of $50,000 a year in benefits. Jean Thompson hasn’t worked in 40 years. She and nine other members of her family live in a three-bedroom house and think the government should upgrade them to a 10-bedroom home. In Britain, such beneficiaries are called “shameless families.” This is the bad fruit produced by welfare addiction.

The conservative government wants to end the cycle by making sure the next generation doesn’t fall into the benefits trap. In addition to boot camps, it is proposing to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, which will allow for on-the-job training.

Read more: Washington Times

Image credit: www.barbwire.com.