April 30, 2009
This is Not WorkingBy Robert West
We have learned a few things from this presidential campaign season and Barack Obama's first 100 days in office.
First, and to our untold horror, we have discovered that Barack Obama can in fact successfully hide who he is and his vision for our country. Prior to the election, any person of good judgment could readily understand who this man was and where he would likely take this country. The signs were all there. Now in power, he enacts his socialist policies in plain sight with little concern that the American public will strenuously object. So why is it that so many people fail to see who Barack Obama really is and recognize the danger he represents to our republic?
In short, the average person may know some things about Barack Obama, but many don't know the most important things, and most don't understand what he really seeks to achieve. More importantly, perhaps, they do not understand the reasons Barack Obama's warmed over Marxist ideas are bad for them and their families. Their historical context for understanding Barack Obama is so highly distorted, and their critical thinking so lax, that they fail to grasp the danger he represents.
Even with the tremendous strides that have been made in the alternative media, we are not winning this communication battle with the left.
The steady gains that have been made by conservative media are coming too little and too late. We are simply not making enough of a dent in the body politic to steer the country away from the alarming trend toward socialism. The education system, the MSM, and the steady influx of illegal aliens only hastens the day when liberals and leftists are the dominant political force in this country. With our current administration and congress, who can argue that the tipping point has not already been reached?
Moreover, Barack Obama is no Jimmy Carter, and I believe it is unlikely that he will allow himself to fall victim to circumstances the way that president did. Instead, with the help of David Axelrod, his teleprompter, and the media, I believe Mr. Obama will carefully manage his approval ratings in a Clintonesque way to be sure he remains in power for two full terms. That is the grim reality of what we are facing for the next eight years, unless something dramatic is done to derail it.
So what can be done? Continuing along our current path is simply not going to be adequate to prevent Barack Obama and the Democratic Party from doing enormous damage to our country over the next eight years. More dramatic action is required to shake the country out of its reverie and demand the attention of even the most oblivious voter. It must be designed to draw so much negative attention to their dangerous policies, that the policies themselves become politically unviable.
The Tea Parties were a great starting point for the kind of action I am referring to. Rasmussen polling shows that 58% of Americans followed news stories regarding the events, and 51% of Americans had a favorable view of them. These are remarkable figures considering that the MSM largely ignored or ridiculed these politically important events. We need more events like these, big and small, to break through to the oblivious voter to get them thinking about conservative ideas, and what they mean.
I believe that we have too often viewed the small demonstrations and media antics of radicals to be silly and pointless exercises with little practical effect. Conservatives must now realize the important role that these groups and activities play in our political system. Rather than being pointless exercises, these events serve as springboards for media coverage, even when the events are relatively small and ideas seem far from mainstream. In fact, these events sometimes seem most effective when they involve extreme views, because they garner media attention and get people thinking and talking.
Fair minded people may not agree with a particular extreme view presented at such a demonstration, but exposure to such ideas still tends to move opinion in the desired direction. For example, protesters of the Iraq war may have seemed far outside the mainstream when those protests first began. Remember, approval for the Iraq war started out relatively high. But the actions of protesters created opportunities for political leaders to comment, and laid the groundwork for media stories unfavorable to President Bush and the Iraq war. Those demonstrations and their messages opened the door for others to reconsider their position on the war. Slowly, a negative view of the Iraq war crept into the consciousness of even those who paid scant attention to such things.
The point is that even small demonstrations, if publicized, have the potential to get the public thinking about the issues we want them thinking about, and to move public opinion. Of course, liberal media outlets such as the New York Times will scrupulously ignore such stories. But Fox News has demonstrated a willingness to give a high profile to events that favor conservative interests. Fox News viewership is far more extensive than the other cable news outlets, so it has the critical mass to embarrass other media outlets, including the broadcast networks, into covering events they would surely prefer to ignore.
It is up to us to give our few friends in the media the kind of events that they need to draw attention to our causes. Remember, no event means no story to use as a springboard, means no comments from politicians, means no change in the status quo thinking, and no conversations around the water cooler, at the PTA, after church, or anywhere else ordinary Americans discuss the news.
So what kind of events do we need?
Our goal should be to undermine support for the socialist policies the administration is attempting to implement. Remember, it was the constant drumbeat of negative media driven stories of anti-war demonstrations, highly publicized suicide bombings, death counts, and stories about American atrocities that gave Democrat politicians cover to go on the attack. Slowly but surely, these actions drove down Bush's approval numbers. This should be our goal with Barack Obama. Driving down his approval numbers is key. The way to do it is with demonstrations and similar events that highlight just how radical and controversial his policies are.
The recent DHS Report is a perfect example of a news event that should have had people out in the street protesting. This report, which paints conservatives as potential terrorists, could have (and still should be) used as a bludgeon to show how radical and intolerant this administration actually is. There should be demonstrations demanding the resignation of the "hater" Janet Napolitano. It is not enough that the basic story received airplay on many networks and was discussed by the pundits. he public must get a sense of the outrage that the report represents. The message should be that the administration is using America's security apparatus to pursue its political enemies as terrorists. The story must be driven to a higher level of exposure, and the only way to do that is to organize demonstrations. This story should not be allowed to die so easily.
Another situation ripe for protest is the recent decision to kill the D.C. voucher program which allows low-income students to attend private schools. That decision demonstrates the hypocrisy of an administration that places the interests of teacher unions above the children they are paid to teach. It is also an opportunity to show that whites and conservatives support black inner city families and their children. Once again, the issue has received some media attention, but demonstrations can underscore the sense of outrage people feel about the decision, provide a springboard for media stories, and provide an opportunity for conservative politicians to comment (should they ever find their spines).
We don't have much time to act. Our message must break out from the conservative media to reach even those who pay scant attention to such things.