Thursday, March 26, 2009

Game Plan #1: Taking Back the Debate

Now that the GOP seems to be gaining some momentum in the polls, and are showing some real desire to get their platform out there to the American people, it is is time to start working on strategies to take back the debate. For years we have allowed those on the left to dictate the terms of the debate. We sit back and allow the leftist or statist accuse us of any number of horrible acts simply because we disagree with their policies. We spend way to much time trying to convince the American people that we are not these horrible things. Our time would be much better spent explaining to the American people the merits of our policies, and showing them the real effects of those policies. By doing this we will effectively take back the debate.

One sure fire way that we can be sure that our message is heard, is to completely ignore the left when it goes into ad hoc attack mode. The left will call anyone who advocates reducing welfare as a racist with no heart, but they won't ever talk about the facts. Instead of taking the bait and discussing why our policies are not racist, we should ignore the accuser and continue discussing the benefits of our programs and policy. The American people will listen to the person who is offering real solutions and will ignore those hurling insults.

Mary Spaeth, Communications Aide to President Reagan and Modern Communications Guru, says that "you should never repeat a negative." If someone accuses you of something you should acknowledge the comment, with out repeating it, and then go back to your message. Mary says you should never repeat the accusation. If you do the accusation will be the only thing people will remember. Example: If someone says "you are a racist", you should never say "I am not a racist." If you do this the only thing people will remember is the word "racist'. Instead simply acknowledge their remark by saying, "my opponent through their accusation is simply trying to distract from the truth of the matter, and that is that we need welfare reform." Now the people will remember that "welfare reform" is the "truth". By taking the wind out of their accusation you take back the debate.

The left is not afraid of hurling irrational accusations at the rational policy proposals that our side will propose. They are not afraid of attacking you personally instead debating the merits of the issue. To our opponents, personal attacks and accusations are how you debate, and by trying to refute these accusations and defending ourselves against these attacks we lower ourselves and the level of debate in this country. This is what the American public are finding harder and harder to swallow, and why more and more Americans are getting frustrated with their government. The best way to show how the GOP is different from the DNC, is by raising the level of debate in this country, and by refusing to debate personal attacks by simply brushing them off and staying on message. If we do this, then we will take back the debate and force the left to actually come clean about their real motives.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Game Plan: How to win the GOP can win its support back.

Sorry for the long lull in between blog posts, but I wanted to take some time and do some deep reflexion about the current state of my party and the direction I believe the Republican Party needs to go. Unfortunately, the GOP is splitting further every day into two camps: The Conservative Camp and the Moderation Camp. I believe this internal bickering is not beneficial for our party, and is moving us towards a leaderless vaccuum of indecision and confusion. This is the reason why I developed a game plan for the GOP this election cycle.

1. Take back the debate!

Stop letting the Leftists in this country frame the debate. When they do, they paint conservatives in a corner, in which the conservative spends most of their time refuting instead of talking about their solutions. If you can't shut them down in debate, do what they do to us and ignore them. Instead of refuting their claims, don't even acknowledge them, make some claims of your own, and then talk solutions. This is the only way to get your message out and take back the debate. STOP FALLING FOR THE RHETORICAL TRAPS OF THE LEFT!

2. Throw an elbow when they throw a jab!

Stop playing nice! Our opponents are shameless in their name calling and hystrionics. Don't be afraid to call a spade a spade. Look at the response towards Ari Fleischer's appearance on MSNBC's Hardball on Wednesday. Ari called Chris Matthews out on all of his hyberbolic accusations, and made Matthews acknowledge his sensationalistic twisting of the facts. It was awesome, and at the same time Ari was respectful, but he was not afraid to call Matthews out. This is what it takes. The facts and the truth on our side, start using it to throw an elbow from time to time. The American people will respect that. They want us to fight for them, not suck up to them.

3. Approach and reveal the heart in Conservatism.

Instead being completely focused on numbers and statistics in our arguments, we need to start appealing to heart of the American people. We need to celebrate the American spirit, and brag on the individual who succeeds on their own without the government being their savior. We need to champion people like Star Parker, who pulled herself out of the trap of welfare and became successful. We need to put more heart and less brain in our arguments. We need to show that conservatism puts the individual above government, and that our policies are about empowerment and not enslavement. This is the approach of every successful political talk radio host, and it is a strategy we need to adopt.

4. We need real Pro-Life policies, not wedge issues.

The GOP needs to get away from divisive issues like gay marriage and abortion, and begin to show a willingness to compromise to take back certain ground in issues like the above. We need to say that we could be fore civil unions, so long as there are protections for churches who do not wish to perform gay ceremonies. We should say that we would be willing to allow abortions for four key situations: Rape, Incest, Viability of the fetus and health of the mother. If we could get abortion limited to these four areas it would be a huge success and would show compassion towards hard situations.

That being said these issues should not be our sole focus during elections. Yes, they are great for ralling the troops, but we have to show the American people that we care about what they care about, and that is putting food on the table and gas in their car, keeping their children safe and being able to save for retirement and the future. This is what they care about, not whether Adam and Steve are wanting to tie the knot. Moral issues ARE important, but we must not be singular in our efforts, nor be portrayed as such.

5. A moderate who votes with you 80% of the time is still 20% a leftist.

Senator John Cornyn (R- TX) chairman of the Republican Senatorial Election Committee said several weeks ago that the GOP should consider recruiting more moderate candidates to run in more liberal areas in the country if we wanted to win in 2010. He said as his reasoning that he would "rather serve with a Republican who voted with him 80% of the time, than a Democrat who voted with him 0% of the time." Though his reasoning makes since, it is not what is best for the country, and THAT should be the focus of our party, not what is best for our party.

We have learned in the past that moderates will always vote against you when you need them the most, and they will always take more left leaning positions once elected. This is not what America needs. If Conservatives were better at communicating conservatism we would not have a problem getting elected in the center-right country of America. Run a conservative, but help him with message and he will get elected.

These five points are simply my opinions, and should be weighed as such. I know that I am a small time blogger with not much of a following, but I also have a few friends who could take these ideas and put them in the hands of the right people. My only hope, is that you the reader read these points, and pass them along to your friends, so that at the grassroots level we start chaging the Grand Ole Party.