Who’s Right, the Optimist or the Pessimist?

On February 13, 2014, Rush Limbaugh posted a transcript with this headline: “2014 Will Be Bigger Wave Than 2010.”

The day before on February 12th, Joseph M. Koenig had an article at American Thinker with this headline: “Is the GOP Already Dead?

So there are optimists and pessimists. Here’s Rush Limbaugh:

[The 2014 election] is shaping up to be, I think, bigger than 2010, huge wave election. All the signs are there. … I think the country as you and I know and love it, is gonna survive.

Here’s Koenig:

American society as a whole has moved Leftward over the last few decades. Millennials now hold a more favorable view of socialism than capitalism. The amount of government spending directed toward entitlement programs more than doubled since the beginning of the Clinton era. Food stamp and disability rolls are at all-time highs. The percentage of Americans receiving government assistance has reached, or likely surpassed, a tipping point.

So who is right?

Politics is a war that can be compared to a sporting event. What will happen in 2014 and beyond will depend upon how well our side plays the game. It can go either way.

Those who adhere to the values of the nation’s Founders as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution face a mismatch of communication resources. We must work hard and smart to overcome the institutional advantages of the left.

Again, here’s Rush expressing optimism:

We’re gonna get through this. I don’t know when or how. I can’t give you any details or answers, and I’m not just saying it to keep you here. I really think it.

Hey Rush — this column has been suggesting details and giving answers. If Republicans and conservatives don’t control the old big media, the k-college schools, or pop culture, then they are going to have to win somewhere else. Unless someone has a better idea, I argue that we’re going to have to fight the information war primarily at the local level — regionally and from door to door.

In this day of high speed/high tech, information left hanging in a plastic bag on a door knob might seem antiquated, primitive, backwards. My friends in marketing tell me that it is none of the above. It is effective, they say, because people can and do get their information in many different ways — but everyone has a door knob.

Who is going to putting forth this Herculean effort to reach all of those door knobs you ask? Before answering let me ask a question: what are your local GOP and your local tea party groups actually doing these days? This column has addressed this — and I know I offend a lot of people when I say it but it is true: with few exceptions, your local Republican Party and tea party groups spend very little time in effective outreach to the uninformed and misinformed.

Winning in 2010 was great but losing in 2012 was not. Winning in 2014 will be great but losing in 2016 will not get us on the path to recovery. To avoid this cycle of winning and then losing we need to change many of the low information voters into higher information voters. We can achieve this goal by activating the grassroots troops.

There is a lot to say on the topic of the political right’s decades-in-the-making communications failure. In a sentence, we need to take the Republican Party and the conservative movement to communications school.

No doubt my saying that will also offend some (or many), but too bad. I have spent twenty-five years in or near grassroots politics and it has been my experience that few political campaigns are effective. Even fewer GOP organizations are effective. And I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but the tea partiers haven’t exactly burned up the precincts. Holding meetings and accumulating emails are great, but that’s not how you reach the unreached.

So who is right, the optimist or the pessimist? If Republicans and conservatives play to their potential, the optimists will be right.

Up next: Is the Tea Party Succeeding or Failing?

First published March 8, 2015.

Image credit: ebay.com.