Laying the foundation for a political comeback.
As we close out a disastrous 2008, a year in which Western Civilization essentially suffered a nervous breakdown, conservatives now must turn to two fundamental goals. First, we must stop the destructive policy initiatives of the Obama Administration and the liberal left now ruling in Washington (first prediction for 2009: the loony, far left Congress will consistently make the ultraliberal Obama Administration look moderate by comparison). Secondly, we must lay the foundation for our political comeback. Here is what we must do to achieve these goals:
Return to the Grassroots
First and most important is to build up mighty, grassroots networks across the country. This is something that conservatives must do, not Republicans, who need to work on their own grassroots party network. Conservatives have become too good lately in lecturing Republicans on what they must do. We need to lead by building a powerful political movement, and the Republicans will then naturally follow.
The radical, liberal-left agenda is tailor made for generating grassroots firestorms in opposition. Included in that agenda is national legislation to remove all state restrictions on abortion, all parental notification, waiting periods, informed consent, and partial birth abortion restrictions. Instead we are slated for taxpayer funding for abortion on demand. Another beaut is national legislation to remove all state protections of gun rights, such as conceal and carry permits. Then there is the federal takeover of health care, the federal shutdown of proven, reliable energy production, global warming regulation to shut down what is left of the economy, the “fairness” doctrine to shut down talk radio, and national legislation to take away workers’ rights to a secret ballot election to determine whether they will be forced into a union in their workplace. That last item also includes forcing union contracts on businesses, small, medium and large, in place of the current system of free negotiation.
And we haven’t even gotten to tax increases yet. Nor the trillion dollar deficit Obama will propose in his first budget, which will increase federal spending to the highest levels in peacetime in U.S. history, by far.
Conservatives don’t need to wait for national leadership. Just start an activist grassroots network in your own locality. This consists most fundamentally in gathering lists of names, phone numbers, and emails of those in your area who will take political action to fight on one or more of the above issues, and others that will arise (Senator Patrick Leahy’s court packing plan, for example). Political action means first and foremost communicating, to neighbors, family and friends, privately and publicly. Public communication is pursued through media outlets (letters to the editor, press releases, commentaries for local papers, complaints to the media by phone or in writing, induced media coverage), public forums and meetings (showing up with signs, loud protests, and speaking where that is allowed), contacts with elected officials (by phone, email, or in person), and public protests by the activist group itself.
The group’s leadership would communicate with members through newsletters and action alerts, informing them about the issues, and about what is going on in Washington. This would be enhanced by meetings primarily involving attractive social gatherings at least once a month, which will build the spirit and cohesiveness of the network. An informative speaker at such events would help.
During campaign season, such groups would grow into fundraising networks, sources of campaign volunteers, and get out the vote drives, for candidates that support the group’s views. Don’t be shy about participating in politics. That is your right which many have fought and died for. The Left is not shy.
Most people are politically inactive except for showing up to vote, or maybe providing campaign contributions. So even a group of 20 active members is a political force. You can form such groups out of your existing social network, including friends from your church or even your union. But don’t try to formally affiliate with your church or union, or ask them for permission to form your own group by contacting people you know. Also, don’t pick a name for the group that suggests radical, inflammatory, revolution. The style should be moderate, informational, competent, professional. The substance should be vintage Reagan.
Conservative leaders must organize state, regional, and even national networks of such local groups, reaching into every congressional district in the country. State, regional or national conferences would add to the punch. This grassroots organizing should be in addition to existing organizations dedicated to pro-life, gun rights, and taxpayer issues, which are all to the good, but more is needed.
Conservative politics and issues will not revive until we return to the people and build a mighty grassroots force.
Successful politics is all about communicating the message. Because most of the media has now turned to the left, and is controlled by the Democrat party, this is a special challenge for conservatives. The numerous conservative think tanks, publications, and talk radio shows are the foundation for success, and the main reason we are not about to go into a long period of left-wing, Democrat dominance like the New Deal. But more is needed.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online