Conservatives are regrouping and trying to come up with approaches to remarket themselves to Americans. Quin Hillyer thinks it’s too late. He may well be right, but I’m not taking a defeatist attitude. The problem is that, once we give up, he’ll definitely be right.
As it is, we have an election in two years, which gives us a chance to shift Congressional power before Ailinsky-ism becomes too deeply entrenched. That’s why we can’t stop to lick our wounds. We have to energize RIGHT NOW. We need to figure out important principles and find a marketable message. If we spin our wheels too endlessly bemoaning our failures and weaknesses, and their strengths and successes, we will have missed the window of opportunity to harness the tremendous political energy still radiating from this election.
Right off the bat, one of the Republicans I was fortunate enough to meet here in Marin while working for the McCain campaign said something really wise:
It is all about marketing these days. Obama had focuses groups help him decide on the “Change and Hope” mantra. We need to seriously think about changing the word “conservative”. It is tired and colorless and has too many meanings. Just like anti-abortion went to Pro-Life which was brilliant…we have got to change that word “conservative”…with the help of focus groups!
I think she’s right. “Conservative” does sound stodgy and, to the extent the past is castigated instead of studied and understood, liberals have effectively made conservatives sound as if they’re guilty of and want to repeat every error in the past, including slavery and Jim Crow (each of which lived in the Democratic party).
Think too of the way liberals positioned themselves as “Progressives,” which is so forward sounding. It allowed them to keep from the public the truth, which is that their operative facts have always been rooted in the past (Vietnam, pre-Roe back alley abortions, rampant anti-black racism, etc), while their solutions were last fresh when Marx and Engels first articulated them.
Please don’t give up now. Use your beliefs, principles, intelligence, knowledge and creativity constructively, because I think we’ve got a one or two year window of time to make a difference.