The necessary Republican and conservative communications revolution

This week we will discuss four easily articulated issues: our state’s public employee pension mess; how health care should be reformed; how to offer educational options especially for those in failing inner city schools; and simplifying the tax code. All four are top shelf matters that when addressed can favorably impact the health of the economy and lead to raising standards of living for the people of our state and nation.

Most Republicans and conservatives have shown little ability to articulate any of these issues and almost no ability to reach those uninformed Americans among us with a properly crafted message that would win support for the right course of action.

Tomorrow marks five weeks of this column outlining as simply as possible the basic math problem facing everyone on the political right. There are too many low information voters and it’s up to us to lower the number significantly. We cannot wait for someone else – some magical candidate or well funded organization.

The premise is simple: 1) we can reach these people, and 2) when we do we can win a majority and begin cleaning up the bi-partisan mess made by generations of politicians that have brought us to where we are today.

As I outlined often (such as here) it’s going to require all hands on deck.

  • Individuals of all ages.
  • Organizations of all shapes and sizes – from the informal group of citizens to the highly funded think tanks.
  • Every GOP committee from the ward and township and county level on up.
  • Every elected conservative and Republican whether they’re in a partisan or “non partisan” office.

Add in here anything I might be forgetting. We need nothing short of a communications revolution on our side. Everyone must be focused on outreach to the uninformed. It all has to be about winning the information war and winning converts. Endless preaching to the choir isn’t going to get it done – that’s something our side should’ve learned a long time ago but hasn’t.

Some of us have been saying this for many years. Five years ago this week – following the election of Barack Obama, I wrote this:

For most of this decade I have been complaining about the failure of Republican candidates to outline a strong vision during their campaigns. I quoted over and over again the line from Morton Frisch and Richard Stevens in their book, “American Political Thought: The Philosophic Dimension of American Statesmanship,” that big policy challenges requires leadership that is able to—”…take the whole nation to school.”

I have also been firing off warning flares about Republican elected officials’ failure to hire good staff and to modernize their approach to their jobs so as to reach more people and win public support for and then enact needed reforms.

I’ve been outlining how our side will lose if it doesn’t get serious and engage on all fronts.


For all those Republican “experts” out there who have held office or enjoyed other forms of power or influence for years, I think the jury has rendered a verdict on your tenure. For the establishment and other failed players who don’t do the honorable thing and find the exit door, it will be up to rank and file Republicans to push them out. It’s time for a new generation of leaders in the Republican Party.

For those people who have been on the sidelines and considering stepping onto the playing field, the time has never been better. We’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot of political impediments to clear away. Most of those impediments come in the form of long-running political careers.

As for our Party and elected Republican leadership (some of whom won reelection yesterday), no one is interested in listening to your excuses. You failed completely. My proof? President Barack Obama.

Up next: the Illinois state government employee pension mess.