We’re in an information war that the political left currently dominates. That need not continue — we can win this thing — but only if enough people grasp the nature of the fight and what’s required of all of us.
So many people on the political right are in despair. On some news days the depression is palpable. I argue that’s the case because those with big wallets aren’t funding the right causes, and those with big microphones don’t spend enough time inspiring people to focus their efforts on outreach to the uninformed and misinformed.
One of the chief reasons many conservatives cry “alls lost!” is because of our win/loss record in GOP primaries. Here’s Townhall columnist Rich Galen:
So far, this primary season, only two Federal incumbents have been beaten: The aforementioned Eric Cantor, and 91-year-old Texas Congressman Ralph Hall. That is a fairly typical result.
According to Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley, writing for Prof. Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “In 2010, the year of the Tea Party, 397 members of the House ran for renomination, and just four were denied it (1%).
“In 2012, 391 members of the House ran for renomination: 13 lost (3%), but eight of those lost to other members of Congress in redistricting-induced member vs. member battles.”
So, incumbents are still winning, challengers are still losing.
The incumbents — mostly because of resources and sheer time on the field — win the information war.
Their winning habits typically stop there, unfortunately. For example, here’s Andrew McCarthy:
[U.S. House Speaker John] Boehner and Beltway Republicans are essentially saying, “We can’t use our power because Obama and his media friends would say mean things about us. But our lunatic conservative base is demanding action. So let us file a lawsuit so we can say we did something. Who knows . . . maybe in a year or two we’ll get lucky and get a favorable ruling against Obama that can’t be enforced without Obama’s help.”
Now that’s leadership!
Obama and the left dominate the left v. right political information war. Boehner and company haven’t gotten the memo yet that we’re even in a war, so they lack the guts to do the right thing.
What constitutes most political activity on the Republican side can be compared to Native American rain dances. From Wikipedia:
Among the most well known examples of weather modification techniques are North American rain dances, historically performed by many Native American tribes, particularly in the Southwestern United States. Some of these weather modification techniques are still implemented today.
Campaign consultants are famous for their political rain dances. They send out mailers, run TV and radio ads, and put up yard signs. Sometimes it rains and they win, sometimes it doesn’t and they lose. Fortunately for the consultants they get paid no matter what.
Real political science is a science. Experimentation is needed. Serious research. Trial and error. Yet GOP political consultants prefer rain dances. The problem is we already know that what our side is doing now isn’t working. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop donors from writing checks so all the same old campaign operatives can do all of the same old things.
We need to build an entirely new communications culture that stands apart from candidate-based campaigns. We need to be selling our party’s platform principles and the policy ideas they inspire.
Liberals control the “narrative” in this country to the point where the impact on public opinion of Obama’s failures are relatively modest compared with those of his predecessor.
Everything the political left does all day every day on every issue is about the narrative. It’s been that way for decades while ours side watches from the sidelines.
But it is possible for narratives to collapse.
Do you want to win more GOP primaries? Do you want to control the narrative to the point where Boehner and friends find their backbone?
Leadership is needed from those who have big wallets and big microphones. We have to rally the idle army into real political activity. We need to go to war.
First published in July 2014.
Image credit: thequeerresponse.wordpress.com.