America’s devastating loss to Obama last week has prompted a lot of discussion about how the Republican Party moves forward from here. The talk of dropping social conservatism is the most disturbing to me. Social conservatism is the “values” wing of American Dream. The debt is a moral issue every bit as much as it is a fiscal one. It must be conquered in a variety of different ways, including molding a society that does not have so much need of so many taxpayer-funded programs. Besides, the Democrats aren’t tossing their social platform. Abortion, gay marriage, restriction of religious freedoms – these are all social issues. If we take our stance off the table we are simply conceding that the Democrats are the moral authority of all these things. No, going Democrat-lite is not the answer. Some adjustments and compromises will be made within the party regarding certain issues, to be sure. However, those compromises need not compromise the core principles and traditional values of our party.
All those details have yet to be worked out, but in the meantime there are things we can be doing strategically to pave the road for what is to come. Andrew Breitbart was right: this is war; but it is a war with many battlefronts. We don’t all have to focus on one thing at a time. I’ve come up with six battlefronts that I think will be instrumental in turning the party and this country around.
Media - There is no doubt the mainstream media went a long way to winning this election for Obama. Their cover-ups and silence of administration scandals and their nonstop demonizing of Republicans and conservatives have flooded the airwaves for years. It has an enormous effect on how the general public views the Republican party and hot button issues. In his book Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, author Tim Groseclose conducted a study in which he concluded the liberal bias of the mainstream media adds as much as 8-10 polling points to the Democrat candidate in any given race. In an election year where the two candidates were running neck and neck, that figure is disturbing. How would the tide and tone of the election have been different if the mainstream media had been less bias and more curious? It is imperative we disable the traditional media complex. They have proven they cannot be trusted to report the truth. If we are to change the perception of the Republican Party the first place to start is the media. They need to held accountable, infiltrated where possible and circumvented regularly. Bloggers and alternative news sources like Fox and talk radio will obviously play a key role in wrestling back the news cycle.
Culture - This is a front conservatives abandoned long ago. The arts and entertainment industry sets the tone of our culture, and they have skewed almost exclusively left for years. Meanwhile, we moved on to more “weighty” issues in an attempt to ignore the “fluff”. The problem with that is, while we were arguing about tax structure and constitutional values, the American public fell in love with Madonna, JayZ, Glee, the forensic procedural and the Daily Show – all of which/whom are heavily influenced by liberal ideology; and since many Americans are more familiar with what Jon Stewart thinks than what the constitution says, perhaps it wasn’t such a great strategy to turn our back on the culture. To quote the late, great Breitbart one more time: “Politics is downstream of culture.” We need to do everything we can to win back this culture and take back “the norm”. How do we do this? By supporting good, quality entertainment that reinforces American values and by shunning offensive entertainment. This does not mean trying to create a bunch of pro-American, in-your-face “conservative” works. It just means stripping pop culture of its political agenda. We don’t need to create “message art”. Too often that results in sub par productions that go nowhere. Good work will draw attention and the values of any creator will seep into any creation regardless of intention. We need more good work by good artists who love America and conservative principles; and when we see that good work we need to be sure to support it with our dollars and our time.
Community Outreach - Probably one of the most dismal failures of the GOP is that they have given up on the votes of minority communities. It’s no secret that Blacks and Latinos in particular are generally socially conservative and yet vote Democrat en masse. The Democrats successfully rebranded their party from the founders of the KKK and Jim Crow while at the same time shifting the accusation of racism to the Republicans. Let’s not kid ourselves – it was a masterful stroke that has dealt a crippling blow to the GOP over the last 50 years. As a result, we’ve conceded that minorities will never vote Republican in large blocks again. We have to stop being afraid of the word ‘racist’. We know it’s not true and we know our platform is one that promotes economic prosperity for all, not just some. There are many dedicated and passionate minority Republicans who are ready and able to start wading into communities where our message has not always been welcome and start articulating the message of freedom. The GOP needs to get these folks platforms in the communities and start surprising people by shattering the misconceptions of Republicans. We will also need to step up even more on the private charity front. We know many more families will be suffering as the economy continues to tank. We need to reach out to those hurting families. It is an opportunity to model our belief that individuals can do more to help their suffering neighbors and communities than the government can, and in a more sustainable way. Becoming consistent stewards of our neighbors will go a long way to healing false divisions foisted upon us by the liberal media complex.
Legal - I was going to make education a separate battlefront because the hijacking of our education system by the “social justice” crowd has had an enormous impact on the world view of the children who go on to become our leaders. However, I decided to include it under the ‘Legal’ battlefront because most of the issues in our education system will need to be won through the courts. We’ll need lawyers and legal minds to continue to battle those trying to remove religious freedoms or freedom of thought from our schools. School choice is almost always challenged in the courts wherever the people have passed it. It will need to continue to be defended. We’ll also need to continue to battle the education complex for parental rights and fight the myriad of legal maneuvers by teachers unions to strengthen their grip on our school system while simultaneously eroding education. Besides education, we’ll need continued legal support against courts overturning the will of the people on controversial issues they’ve voted on and constitutional violations in the public square. The legal battlefront is one of the most difficult because it requires a certain, expensively acquired skill-set and a lot of money…which is probably what makes it one of the more important battlefronts.
Political - The GOP needs to start putting our minority brethren in front of the camera and start putting money behind their endeavors. The “face” of the party needs to change to reflect the changing demographics of this nation. It may feel patronizing to some, but the truth is people are more inclined to trust those who look like them, and the majority of Americans are now “minorities”. Let’s catch up to that. As brilliant as they are, the GOP needs to remove Sununu and Gingrich and McCain as the public faces of the party and start flooding the airwaves with our equally brilliant minority representatives. Every interview, tv appearance, public appearance should include a minority face. We need to do it until it becomes normal and expected in the general public. This strategy has worked in our pop culture to normalize behaviors and activities we would never have publically approved of in the past. The GOP needs to adopt this same strategy and change their public perceptions.
Faith - The holiday season is upon us and at this time of year more than any other we see faith and religious values under assault in the public square. Generally speaking, faith has become a target of the left – from removing Christian references from schools to punishing small school children for drawing pictures of Jesus to forcing Catholics to violate their religious conscience and on and on. The Democrats removed God from their official platform at the DNC and when they tried to reinsert Him after a public outcry He was booed…three times! The Democrats speak of tolerance but they move to block God at every turn. We need people willing to fight for freedom of religion in the courts, in the public square and in their hometowns. Freedom of faith is the backbone of this country and why it was founded and fought for in the first place. Our laws and our traditions are based on Judeo-Christian values. There will be no successful political strategy that doesn’t involve protecting the religious freedom of Americans. This must be considered a vital battlefront if we are to win in the future.
We are all a part of this “war for America”, but we are all gifted in different areas. Many regular Americans feel that they are not empowered to affect the process. To that I say “You have more power than you know. You have a gift. You have a skill. Take those skills and gifts, find a battlefront where they apply and go to work!”
The bad news is our fight is just beginning. The good news is…our fight is just beginning.