I have labored with my tortured thoughts as to why conservatives cannot regain power and in fact seem to be losing it. Peggy Noonan was who I first looked to and as far as I’m concerned she was spot on. On top of that as always she put it in elegant terms.
Then came Alex Costelanos, who wasn’t quite as elegant but every bit as accurate.
Alex Costelanos talked of David Brooks writing about the British Conservative movement.
I had been blogging my brains out as the news kept coming out of England. Brooks alluded to the fact that the British had got their losing in early and spent their time coming up with a new approach, a “bottom up” vs. a top down approach to government.
Alex Costelanos called it embracing government. I think however that the lesson to be learned from the British conservative success, is that the voters think that the system is broke and that is why we have this cycle of voting out the bums. No matter which party. I have a little different slant. I’ve blogged before about how all politics is personnel. The problem with national politics is that it is not personnel. Our leaders, as the British leaders are doing now, have to come up with real change that affects people directly. Democrats have always claimed to be for the little guy. During the Reagan elections the majority didn’t believe that anymore now they do again. Their primary warfare however showed how the voters are still of a mind that the government is broke. And that bigger government will only mean bigger failure.
Newt’s on the right track with the Drill Here, Drill Now, campaign. Simple direct and to the heart of the problem. Gas prices affect everyone. Newt is setting up networks online to come up with solutions to problems, all across the spectrum. He is building it hoping that they will come. He is building a data base from which winning ideas can be taken from which to get involved. The only problem is at the local level we have to come up with our own ideas. Or translate them into local politics. At the local level we have to walk the walk. All of our high minded philosophical sophistry amounts to nothing, if we are afraid to wade into local politics and practice what we preach. Actually do the mental hard work of translating our glorious philosophy into something that will make the public notice that they are better off because we are here. Not in some esoteric way but because their interface with the monster went smoother because we rolled up our sleeves and changed the bureaucracy in some small way. It’s not that hard if your ideas are set and you are truly trying to help others. If we fail the first times, be of good hope for the public is always on the side of the underdog if they trust them. Trust is what it’s all about. It’s what makes politics personnel and local.
Peggy talked of getting our ideas back. Brooks talked of the British ideas, They both are right because we had the ideas and lost them, while the British ideas are creative they are just basic conservative ideas made to work in a modern bureaucracy. Made to relate to modern people. Can we change as a party? Now? We seem so entrenched as a party that I think it nearly impossible right now right away. I can change my little corner of the party though in my precinct. Maybe not overnight but that is good because first I need the time to listen to what the voters want and only then channel the solutions to their problems through the Conservative Vision. That vision will be made up of using what is at hand and making it work better. Not make it bigger, and not necessarily make it smaller. Just make it work. The secretary of state in Michigan got my vote when the lines at the license bureau got quicker not because she wrote a blog about starving people around the world. She got personnel, because of that she earned my trust. We have the ideas, they will sell themselves. Our work is to get them in place in the system; we have to prove to others that they will work and that we truly mean and believe in what we say. We have to earn their trust. We have to become the doers, and not the talkers.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative