Solving One Great Political Mystery is Actually Quite Easy

The Manhattan Institute recently excerpted this article about a political mystery by their senior fellow and economics-focused Brian Riedl:

Scott Walker Has Revved the Economy, Frozen Tuition—but Still Might Lose. Why?

Most would agree it’s a darn good question about the Wisconsin governor. Shouldn’t good performance in office increase public support?

Here in Illinois, a similar article could be written with this title:

Illinois Democrats Continue to Take Illinois Further Into the Fiscal Abyss—but Will Win Big on Election Day. Why?

Are Wisconsinites and Illinoisans just a bunch of Midwestern dummies glutton for punishment? Some might suggest a voting majority is. I would argue that people can’t support what they haven’t heard, and so the problem is not a matter of stupidity but rather being grossly uninformed.

How can that be in this information age? That’s another easy question to answer. Busy people often need information to be brought to them. If it’s not, they won’t find it out.
There’s a free course online that I would recommend — it has been written and revised and can be found linked on this introductory page. It focuses on the political information war — and it explains in rather simple terminology “why conservatives fail.”

Spoiler alert: They don’t reach enough people with the case for conservative governance.

What astounds me is that so many of the intellectuals I have interacted with over the past many years can’t seem to grasp the simplicity of the political arena. Many of these intellectuals have names you’d know. For all their ability, they appear to have blinders on — or — take the position that my argument about the information war is too modest to be accurate.

Don’t get me wrong — conservatives are making great strides in producing terrific news websites, investigative reporting, policy papers, and political analysis. I often write of my great admiration for the talent that exists in abundance on our (the conservative) side. The problem is that the vast majority of this information fails to reach a large enough audience.

Leftists, on the other hand, own the major societal institutions for the dissemination of information:

  • K-college education
  • Pop culture/Hollywood
  • The dominant media
  • A vast leftist non-profit and political advocacy world exists which spends billions to aggressively promote their causes.
  • Well-funded government and private sector labor unions prove daily that they fully understand what it takes get their argument in front of people.
  • In recent years, left-leaning corporate America and the Orwellian high-tech social media companies have added another layer to the radical left-wing information spreading army.

Leftists are all about the information war. Some conservatives are just now finding out there is one.

Conservative leaders in the media (including talk radio), the think tank world, the commentariat, and in political and governmental office by and large act as if their very participation in the fray is enough to counter the propaganda tsunami coming from leftists.

Sad to say, these key conservatives need to realize that while they may be brilliant, good public policy continues to be the exception to the rule in American government at the local, state and federal level.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker shouldn’t be facing a difficult reelection challenge. And there should be a red wave of platform-supporting Republicans about to hit here in Illinois. Likewise, congressmen Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren in the Chicago suburbs should also not be in tight races.

The Obama years proved that Americans aren’t dummies. During those eight years the Democratic Party lost well over a thousand important state and federal offices as the country decided it did not support fundamental transformation.

Those defeats, however, are not a sign that conservatives are getting their act together. Had not Donald J. Trump run for president, Hillary Clinton would most likely have been continuing and deepening Obama’s policies. There would have been no effective push back that broke through the vaunted “blue wall.” Without candidate Trump fighting the information war effectively, Pennsylvania and Michigan and a handful of other states would not have voted Republican in 2016.

It is a gift from God that President Trump is taking conservatives to school. Many might not like his teaching style, but if they want to learn and see policy progress (see, they should pay close attention to our educator-in-chief. Trump is showing himself to be a George Patton-like general in the information war.

As good as General Patton was, he was just one general leading one army. General Trump can’t do it all by himself either.

To learn more about the information war — the free online course can be found here.

Postscript: Walker, Roskam and Hultgren all lost on election day.