Winning the Message
Republicans lost the presidential election by a hairs breadth, and the echo chambers rang with cries of fixing the message. Republicans were beaten up over the Obama tax hikes, and once again, the echo chambers rang with cries of fixing the message. Then came the debt ceiling and now the sequester. No matter the issue, Republicans seem to find themselves on the losing side of public opinion; baffled and with no plan to fix it. Some suggest that Republicans should pander to 50% plus one of the voters. Others suggest that the messaging should be adapted to appeal to not-old, not-white, not-men. What if the strategists are baffled because the voting results and poll numbers are poor indicators? What if the message already resonates with the vast majority of Americans, and it is only the delivery that needs to be addressed?
When people are polled on their beliefs, the Republican Party is in the minority on nothing. The Republican Party aligns best with the country, often on the 70 and 80 percent sides of important issues. No wonder the strategists are baffled. How can 80% of Americans think they are overtaxed and have no trust in government, but then side with President Obama's plans to raise taxes and grow government? How can 80% think that the Federal government has a spending problem, and then side with Obama's plans to spend more?
There is a disconnect between beliefs, knowledge and the political reality. Why?
President Obama can say anything he wishes, to any depth of deception, and with few exceptions, the press will not only accept it, but protect it; meanwhile, the People are prevented from hearing the unfiltered Republican message. The media filter is so effective, that many conservatives think Republicans have been mute on the most important issues. Did you know that Republicans have already attempted to divert the sequester, twice? Have you not heard the raucous applause at rallies where Republicans talk about their plans and vision? The vast majority of Republicans are great and on-message, but as long as the media bias exists, that message will be obscured from the public eye; replaced with Democratic dogma and deception. There are a handful of old-fashioned reporters for whom the dogma and deception can be too deep, and who, on rare occasion, do call out Obama, but rather than prying them open, these chinks in the media carapace have too frequently been given the cold shoulder treatment.
These problems can be fixed by following 6 basic rules.
1) Re-befriend the media. Media bias exists because journalists are taught to be propagandists. They are told that "news" exists to influence people to their way of thinking, and their way of thinking has been carefully indoctrinated by "teachers" who were themselves "taught" that it was their job to indoctrinate people with communism (thank you, Bill Ayers). The media is largely unaware that this bias even exists, because most everyone is indoctrinated, and there is no challenge to it. Indoctrination requires a lie with which to suck people in, and a lack of challenge. Challenge that lie, and the indoctrination will crumble.
How many reporters want a society where taxes are funneled into deep pockets of millionaire contributors, or think that it is "just" that a woman should have to turn down a $5,000 promotion, else lose out on $50,000 of government programs? How many reporters honestly believe that politicians and their aristocracy should receive special treatment under the law? A person who believes in the privacy of the bedroom, equality, and justice, cannot possibly support an intrusive government that pins people on the bottom rung, creating a two-class society of aristocrats and slaves. Find the tyranny, injustice and inequality in the Democratic plans, and engage the media. There are chinks in the armor, and they need to be widened. An informed and truly neutral media is better than all of the rest of these rules combined. Be a media influencer, not a media suck-up or evader.
2) Stick by your principles, regardless of what the polls show. If you say that government spending is out of control, then at least act like it is. To complain about government spending and then pass $20 billion in pork, or warn about the scope of government and then expand it, are the pinnacles of hypocrisy. Ignore the polls. The media likes to use push polls that misinform participants, or incurious opinion polls that provide little insight. Do what you believe is best, be consistent with your principles, explain your reasons clearly, and people will side with you after all the hype is over.
3) Keep it simple, honest, and sharp. Media bias is an umbrella, and drizzling facts and figures will never get through it. Use a lightning bolt. For example, the debt ceiling: Every dollar we authorize gets printed. It is counterfeiting, causes inflation, and makes the poor poorer. This changes the argument from an esoteric one on borrowing, to a simple and real one on how it affects people. Explain the sequester: Instead of raising spending by 5 cents per dollar, we are only raising it by 3 cents per dollar. The sequester is an increase!? Then what are Obama and the media demagoguing about? On immigration: Why would people want to come to a country where aristocrats can make them poor, but not starving, when they just fled such a country? We want people who want a shot at prosperity, not people who want more of what everyone else fled from. Pro-immigrant, pro-American, and anti-Democrat, all in two sentences.
4) Find real examples. If you cannot find someone who was harassed out of business, or encouraged to move overseas by government, then you did not look. Our government *bleeps* people. Some of our agencies think it is their job to *bleep* people. Here is a hint: the executive keeps a list of places that are "dangerous" to inspect, because Federal agents have felt "threatened" there before. Visit those companies, and you will have your horror stories.
5) End the circular firing squad. Some might think this refers to primary battles: wrong. Republicans have a penchant for helping the media defame other Republicans. When a Democrat does something wrong, the Democrats circle the wagons. When a Republican sticks his foot in his mouth, Republicans circle up and aim inwards. The McCain and Graham attacks on Rand Paul are only the latest example. Sometimes, the Republican does not even get his foot near his mouth, so the media helps. Mourdock was attacked and almost left hanging in the breeze, for something he did not even come close to saying. Before commenting on something, find out if it is even true.
6) Stop being petty. Stop arguing like a child being bullied on the playground. If the bully (Obama) says, "your mom is fat," and you get into a back-and-forth over who's mother is fat, then the bully's friends (news media) will decide in favor of the bully. Making things worse is that nobody cares. It just becomes another petty argument for you to lose. Focus on the core issue at hand: big government is a big failure, and an albatross around our necks. The Republican plan is to re-evaluate the size and scope of government, bring it back to the core missions, and lift a weight off of the People.
The successes of the 1980's and mid-1990's were due to a simple and powerful message; when government is the problem, less government is the solution. The failures of the late 2000's began to occur as the message was clouded by contradictory actions. The party of "government is the problem" became the party of "throw good money after bad." The party of big ideas became the party of single-issue pandering and demagoguing. The party of reason became the party of "gotcha" politics and spineless compromise. The winning message is still at the core of the Republican Party and philosophy, and still resonates with the vast majority of the American People; Republicans just need to do a better job of living by and championing it. Following these 6 rules is a good way to start.