Five Things We Did Wrong And Four Things That Went Right, The Bader Nation Style
Today, I wanted to point you to a great article written by Dana Loesch. It was written November 7th, the day after the elections.
In it, she laid out the five things the Republican party did wrong, and the four things they did right. Our problems include: a moderate candidate, messaging, voter turnout, infighting, and a ground game.
I agree with her that election day showed us a lot of things. It showed us that we are a divided America. Today, we need to start our heart-to-heart with our party. If the Republicans can’t change course and start winning elections, I fear the party may stop winning many elections and slowly start to recede. Loesch’s case number one: A Moderate.
1. A Moderate Candidate
Let’s be frank about what happened: we nominated a moderate. We were told to accept it, unite, and move on. Don’t mistake me: Mitt Romney ran a better campaign than we’ve seen in some time and the GOTV coordination with the RNC was impressive. His desire to fix the country seemed heartfelt. We did all we could. We backed him as the strategy that stood the best chance of advancing our goals and we delivered on our end. Unfortunately, moderation doesn’t play well at the polls unless you’re a moderate Republican in northeastern states. The rest of America’s makeup is far different. I have no doubt that Romney would have done well, so much better than Obama in the White House, and he presented a plan for a better American. America just didn’t choose it.
I think “moderate” means something different to me than it does to some Republicans and even progressives. I’m not “moderate” on the power of the government. I’m extremely biased towards the Constitution. If not liking the EPA, the Fed, the UN, or a $14 trillion dollar debt due to out-of-control spending makes me “extreme,” then so be it, just know that it’s an inaccurate use of the term.
Loesch also points out that people who are calling social conservatism the problem are foolish. A candidate with true social conservatism wasn’t on the ballot last on election night. Moderate candidates were. That’s why primary’s are so important. I have met many who have said, “I hate Todd Akin”. I ask, “Did you vote for anyone else in the primary?”. What do they say back? “No”. If you didn’t like Akin, you should have voted for someone else in the primary. Not participating in the primary and then complaining about your choice of candidate is stupid. If you didn’t work in the primary, don’t complain about the general. However, we learn a lesson from Akin. If you don’t like a candidate, get them out in the primary.
The last point Loesch makes is that Democrats made the campaign about small issues. This is a frightening truth. If you could sum up exactly what Democrats ran on, it’s this “Big Bird, bayonets, and birth control”. In the polls, people actually thought Romney would have done a better job with the economy. However, that’s exactly what Democrats tried to avoid. They talked about ANYTHING except the Obama record. They avoided it like the plague. Why? Because they know that the Obama record on the economy is a complete failure. I think this takes us into her next point, messaging.
Both the GOP and social conservatives have a massive problem with messaging. I can’t lay all of the blame at the feet of the Romney campaign because this is an institutionalized problem within the Republican party: the inability or fear of refining the message of liberty into a more attractive sell. Romney did as best he could, and better than many have but he was still out-spun by the media. I have said, as did my late friend Andrew Breitbart, that the fight this cycle is with the media. The media dropped all pretense of journalism and became an arm of the campaign. This will become even more blatant now. The response of conservatives should be to figuratively go to war with the media.
The GOP has a problem in countering media narratives. They run away from candidates over meaningless soundbites and have an inability to tell the media that they have minorities and women all throughout the party. Social conservatives also have a problem with messaging. Faith isn’t restrictive and should have the benefit of smart outreach which makes it appealing. If social issues are important to you and a big part of your platform, do them the justice of being prepared to speak about them succinctly. If not, you only hurt the very issues for which you claim to care.
Both sides, moderates and social conservatives, will engage in recriminations but must realize this truth: politically, one cannot survive without the other, not right now. Fight together or hang separately.
I have said this to my counterparts all the time. The fight is with the media. The media isn’t objective anymore. They’re not objective at all. The media has become a propaganda wing of the Obama regime. The Republicans have a problem in defending their positions. We have been told for decades and decades and decades that we are “too extreme” (a complete lie), and now, we think they are right! We, as Republicans are giving in to this bullying mentality. We are giving in to this idea that we should just shut up and sit down. However, let me make a point. Democrats are not told to do this. Democrats are told to vote for the biggest Democrat on the stage. I mean look at Obama, a socialist! So, Democrats are told to vote for the “most Democrat” person on the stage. However, what are we told? We’re told to “vote for the least Republican” person on stage. Why are we getting mixed signals? The media. The media is telling us that voting for conservatism is wrong, but voting for socialism is good. How can that make sense if the media is unbiased? Oh wait, that’s the point. They are biased.
Knowing that the media is biased, republicans need to not be afraid to stand up for conservatism. There is nothing wrong with Conservatism. Allow me to repeat that in case you missed the bold and underline, there is nothing wrong with Conservatism. However, the media tells us that there is. It’s our job to stop listening to the media bias. I don’t even like to listen to mainstream media anymore. I use “new-media”. I use Breitbart.com, the Drudge Report, the Blaze, and CNS news. However, that doesn’t mean the Republican fight with the traditional media ends. Most people don’t use new media. That’s why we have to expand our base. The problem is that certain voters (usually Democrats) are the product of 25-35 years of schooling by the NEA. They have been listening to left wing pabulum from every major network plus CNN. Hollywood has been bashing Republicans for a while now. When all that combines, you have a problem. However, it is more complex. Just “messaging” will not work with these people as they are not exposed to the message. Ever. They talk among themselves and read the same blogs or papers. They watch the big Networks, except Fox News. They exist in a Progressive kind of echo chamber as they watch or listen to select left wing stances regurgitated. Even when handed clear facts like Benghazi or Fast and Furious, they say it is not news and ignore it. Why? These voters may not care, or they may just vote emotionally, but I doubt it is the real problem. It is much more likely they cannot take it seriously as it conflicts with their aforementioned echo chamber mentality-so they dismiss it.
I think another question is, “how do we solve the indoctrinated voter problem?” The answer is to go to the root and solve this in the long term and short term. The long term route is to attack the education system rife with left wing teachers. Conservatives should run for every local School Board election they can find. Everywhere. Once in, they must push back at the left wingers in the system. They must insist on Constitution classes and teaching REAL American History. Conservatives should insist on actual business people who have really started companies teaching classes. But overall, the goal should be to retake the schools. People were busy working while teachers were indoctrinating. Now, those kids who have been indoctrinated are voting. More parents need to pay attention to what their kids are learning..or not learning.
Short term and long term the next points are critical:
1) Control the newspapers! Normal people and people like Sheldon Adelson or the Koch brothers along with Karl Rove etc. should first target the Left wing newspapers in every major “blue” area of any swing State noted in either the 2008 or 2012 election, purchase it if unnecessary I think some people assume that Newspapers are a dying, useless breed. They are wrong. Papers are the source stock for a huge chunk of the news that hits the Networks or the Internet during campaigns. Control the source!
2) Newspapers play an incredibly important role in shaping the local elections from City Mayors, County Reps, State Reps, Governors , Congressman, and Senators. Taking a currently left wing paper and flipping it conservative helps control School Boards, protects Religious Freedom, and drives discussions of a conservative agenda in the media locally. ( How many times do you see the local ABC, CBS and NBC stations lead with a story from the Post Dispatch? A lot!)
3) KEY: The local newspaper ALSO changes the base line educational point of view of these indoctrinated voters we must reach! How many guys are sitting in a barbershop in a large urban area talking about the news on the Internet? Not many. They usually are reading the paper and commenting on the stories therein. They are seeing it every day. And EVERY DAY it changes their mindset because the stories on that front page are now about jobs and lower taxes-why it works, self reliance, respect for life, respect for capitalism and respect for America etc.
If the St. Louis Post Dispatch were conservative do you really think Jay Nixon would be the Governor , or Charlie Dooley the County Exec? Do you honestly believe Claire McCaskill would have defeated Jim Talent the first time around? Not even close! Missouri would already be a “Right to Work” State with a conservative newspapers! I wonder if any of those Chrysler plant workers want to consider that fact? The articles and thrust of newspaper stories for years prior to those elections would have negated any chance these socialists win. The same can be said regarding National elections. Educate enough voters in these blue urban areas and the State flips red. Very few States are required to change the National election outcome. And please do not sit there claiming we have “Journalistic integrity”. You are being naïve. The Left spouts that garbage to keep Conservatives from taking over these papers. It’s time to stop playing nice.
3. Voter Turnout
Republican voter turnout was less than it was in 2004 and 2008. John McCain took 60 million votes and Romney took 57 million votes. It was a battle of freedom vs free stuff. More people voted for Obama than Romney. They voted for his vision over Romney’s vision. The country is no longer culturally cohesive. Bad messaging does nothing to fix this.
Barack Obama won a very divided America in a very close race. The result isn’t so much a mandate as it is two very ticked off sides voting to thwart the other side’s agenda.
I think that people got tired of all of the ads, the gridlock, and the fighting. As a result, they just stayed home. Romney got 3 million less people to vote. However, you would think that in an election as important as this one, more people would vote, not less. I think this goes back to that issue of how the GOP handles the media. People just see bad things about the Republicans in the media and decide it’s not even worth voting. As I said, it all comes back to the media.
During the primaries, fighting is expected. It’s encouraged. We all benefit when people battle it out to select the best candidate, provided we remember that we all have to work together again after. Unfortunately, there were a few races where infighting played a role in defeat. One of those races was the Indiana senate race, Richard Mourdock verses Joe Donnelly. I watched as Dick Lugar supporters for months trashed the Republican candidate and this did hurt Mourdock in the end.
There were individuals who, due to unhappiness with the candidates represented, inadvertently worked against them. I’m more inclined to take seriously the criticisms of people who, instead of sitting on their backsides and complaining, actually took to the ground to change hearts and minds and work the culture to change the candidate. The candidate is a reflection of the people who voted for him. Someone has to vote and choose a candidate for us to have one. Too many people focus on the politics and not the culture. If you wait until an election cycle to change things, you’re too late. An election is merely a measurement of change. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to check out my monologue on changing the culture.
5. Ground Game
It is very difficult to come out of a bitter primary and match your opponent when your opponent was shoring up his foundation while you fought it out in said primary. We vetted Mitt Romney better than the media vetted Barack Obama.
Dana Loesch isn’t one to leave you on a sad note. Here are the four things that we did right and went our way:
1. We Control The House
We control it and we even picked up seats. Democrats fell short in the senate of the 60 votes they need to implement Obama’s agenda without care. We retain the ability to slow the roll of legislative progressivism. Compromise isn’t compromise when the issue is modifying the enumerated powers of government. Compromise in that instance is surrender. I don’t want a country where everyone gets along and where everyone has to agree. We benefit the most when people fight to give us the best.
We still have the House of Representatives. Thus, we can still block legislation from going to the president. We will make sure not to compromise on our values. We can cancel out the senate. However, in the senate, Democrats didn’t get that wanted “super-majority” they wanted. If the Democrats had 60 seats they could “implement Obama’s agenda without care”. Now, they have a majority, but there is a fight to be had.
2. More Republican Governors
As the ballots are counted we will have picked up 32 governorships, a record unmatched since the 90s. The fight of the reform governor not only succeeded, it spread. This is the biggest and I believe most important story of this election. Governors have already stood their ground against the implementation of Obamacare and now the chance of more doing so has increase as a result of this election. Rick Perry is suing the EPA. Consider it a plan B in the offense against Obamacare.
Obamacare is going to be decided in the states. You have more than half of the country, 32 states, with Republicans are governor They will fight the implementation of Obamacare in their state. That means more than half of the country will reject Obamacare in their state.
3. No Clear Mandate
Barack Obama barely won the popular vote. The country is roughly divided 50-50. Congress is divided. There is no mandate, only gridlock.
Obama won, but by the hair of his chinny, chin, chin. When we say he won, he barely won. That means that when Obama says he has a “clear mandate” to raise taxes, he doesn’t. He just wants to think that he does.
4. We Live To Fight Another Day
I said this last night and it’s somewhat harsh, but accurate: those of you who want to take your balls and go home are demonstrating less resilience than our Founding Fathers. That’s not who you are, it’s not what America is, so buck up buttercups!
We have scored some small victories last night and that’s something on which we can build. Midterms will give us another shot at the senate in two years. Two years after that, the White House. This battle wasn’t going to begin and end in one election cycle. This will be a multi-generational fight. The Framers established our system of governance in such a way so that one election, not even two, can dismantle our republic.
There is still hope and still a battle to fight. Don’t squander your chances. Nurse your wounds and get back in the game.