Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stealth Conservatism

I’m Not Running For President in 2012

There I said it. There’s a certain freedom in saying that. Now I don’t have to worry so much about what I say and dive into the local political scene. I can talk about conservative ideas and solutions, and not be worried about anything other than the message. At this point I’m not making any money either way; so the freedom I feel in expressing my message is great.

How can our leaders feel that same freedom to express the message? To actually relearn how to be creative and spontaneous.

I have a proposal for all the political pundits, prognosticators and political leaders and other gurus of note. Commit to going out to a precinct level activity pro bono with no fanfare and minimum warning to help fire up the “grassroots“, which everyone talks about and is saying needs firing up. If some of the “Big Shots” in the conservative movement could organize others to do this, there could be a real education going on. Not only from the top down but the “Bottom Up”.

I don’t think this is a novel concept.

Are we capable of learning from the past?
Phyllis Schalfly points out some good historical examples, in her recent article in Townhall.com.
She pointed out that Ronald Reagan honed his skills and message by going out and speaking and talking to anyone who would listen for four years. She suggests that the process of doing that is how Reagan learned to adapt the Conservative message to what the people wanted.
-----quote from article-----
By 1980, Reagan had sharpened his conservative philosophy in sync with what Americans want from their leaders.
Schalfly then concludes
-----quote from article-----
In the period from 1976 to 1980, grass-roots conservatives and Ronald Reagan learned from each other. That's the model conservatives should follow now and educate new leaders.
To follow her example, her conclusion needs to put more emphasis on the education of Reagan by the people. In Reagan’s case the conservative education came in his early conversion from a liberal Democrat to a Conservative Republican. His conservative “punditry” was already there. It began to mean something when to paraphrase Peter F. Drucker: Reagan became effective when his punditry “degenerated into work”, the work of meeting the people and making the solutions work on a local level. The whole 4 years of Reagan campaigning and honing his message and skills was not about conservatives educating a new leader about conservatism;
but a conservative getting educated by the people about how conservatism can be used to help them.

How conservative leaders are best at facilitating the solutions to the problems that the people want and need.

I think our leaders, pundits and prognosticators, myself included need to get back to the rightway not the beltway. Working pro bono and almost incognito is an excellent way of doing this. Let’s get personal again with our base. Let’s connect. Let’s get real. All the other clichés like putting our money where our mouths and computers are.

Remember the untold thousands who still volunteer for no pay. They who give some of their time and their money to the Party. They also have families, careers or jobs and commitments etc. I think a little humble pie wouldn’t taste so bad if our leaders thought they were giving something back to the base. They might think it tasted pretty good once they found out where it’s being served, and how easy it is to find.

Bill Bennett was interviewed by Bill Steigerwald in an article again in Townhall.com.
I quote Mr. Bennett about how he thinks the message is best put forth. He talks of “Pragmatism” as the method to best put forth our message. A “judge us by our deeds” type of thing. A “Jindal, Cantor, Pawlenty” type of thing.
-----quote from article-----
We're not blinded by ideology. We believe in the American dream. We believe in individual enterprise and individual responsibility. That's an amalgam: That's partly values, partly business ethic.
We must learn how to show the people how our message works at the local level. Bill Bennett mentions the young leaders. He talks of the Republicans needing to hone our message and our messengers.

We can do that best if we let the people tell us what they want. We can find that out best when we see and hear it first hand unfiltered by fame fortune and all the rest. Perhaps the best of us can then learn to not only articulate it better but create pragmatic solutions that actually help. If we can do that we will be building a real foundation on which we can win again. I know that sounds pretty simple. You know what? The sound of simple and doable is refreshing for a change.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative


RightMichigan.com said...

A thought on honing that message... it's about people. All of it is. Politics, all of these issues... it's all about real people.

Republicans have a tendency to fall back on logic and facts and figures but a pie chart doesn't have the same impact on the average consumer of TV news that a thirty second interview with a struggling single mom has, you know?

We lose sight of PEOPLE at our own peril.


live dangerously said...

yup, I do get carried away with the logic of my own thoughts. To use some more, that is why a more interactive site is better. The interviews you do and the coverage of the Convention are a good start.

Regards LD