Why Conservatives Fail
On the list of things that astound me are the difficult tasks that man can accomplish, such as building a skyscraper, putting satellites in orbit, and sending a probe to Mars. Those things are difficult yet possible. I’ll tell you what’s not difficult: reaching voters. Have you seen the new bypass bridge that was built alongside the Hoover Dam? That’s hard. Bringing good information to uninformed citizens isn’t.
Near the top of the list of things that astonish me is the fact that many, if not most Republicans and conservatives continue to fail at accomplishing their number one job: moving public opinion. I once suggested to a non-political public relations professional that the GOP doesn’t understand mass communications. Her answer was to one-up me: the GOP doesn’t understand communications.
Here’s a quote from a long-dead socialist who at least understood the information war:
The greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.
Most of the political right is stuck in delusion. That’s the only answer I can come up with as to why they don’t get serious about outreach — about winning the politically lost and working in a way so there are fewer low information voters. (The above text taken from here.)
Here are a few common words that American political conservatives have mostly failed to grasp over the past several decades:
- Communications/Mass Communications
There are more, but that’s a start. What good are principles if they are not aggressively promoted? What good are policy solutions if they are not sold to the American public? What good are all the brilliant commentary pieces, studies, and great ideas if conservatives fail to take seriously the need to actually make contact with enough of their fellow citizens? Words to eyes. Sound to ears.
On a daily basis I’m deluged with great commentary, research and analysis via the World Wide Web. On every topic imaginable there is an enormous amount of good information available — authored by those who believe in the principles of the Declaration of Independence and work to support and defend the Constitution (especially the Bill of Rights). The problem is that very little of this material (in any version) ever sees a large enough audience. Until we all learn how to reach more of the uninformed and misinformed with the facts — we will see neither political nor policy reform.
Let me repeat: building a bypass bridge over the Hoover Dam is difficult. Reaching voters is not.
Related — late last year I was a guest on the IFI Podcast: “What We Have Here is Failure to Communicate.”
I have also written often on the topic:
And the most recent: 2015 & 2016: Articles on the Information War
Here is a sampling of the kind of titles found in all three batches:
Republican and Conservative Outreach Failures have Created ‘A Farce, A Tragedy, or Both’
The Political Left is in Full Outreach Mode, Republicans and Conservatives Are Not
Republicans and Conservatives: Still Failing to ‘Inform’ the ‘Discretion’ of the American Public
The Mostly-Idle Conservative Political Army Stays Idle
The Only Solution to the Continuing Problem of Low Information Voters
Applying a Force to the Political Inertia of Republicans and Conservatives
Applying Reagan’s ‘Bold Colors’ Not ‘Pale Pastels’ to Conservative Political Action
There are No Conservative Elites — Everyone Must Give Time to Street-Level Politics
Inviting More Conservatives to Real Political Activism
In the Beginning: It is Time for Conservatives to do More than Talk
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Images credit: Hoover Bridge under construction: Anton Foltin. Bridge complete: Andrew Zarivny. Both are from Shutterstock.