Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Karl Rove and the RNC could learn a lot from Emerson. Actually, we all could…but I digress.
Ever since John McCain ran arguably the worst Presidential campaign in U.S. history, “establishment” pundits, talking heads and GOP officials have been tripping over themselves trying to figure out what went wrong. Almost invariably, their conclusion has been that the Party is not liberal enough. They see polls and voter data, which are essentially snapshots in time, then recommend tactical measures from there.
On the surface, this approach seems to make some sense. In politics, as in business, it’s important to know the competitive landscape and identify target audiences. That’s why the Left spends billions on data mining, market research and even psychological profiling. It’s also why George Soros and Barack Obama, through their “non-political” 501c4 organizations, a co-opted media and a completely corrupted Leftist educational system, spend time, resources and political capital to define “reality” for us. Their goal is quite simple: frame the debate and control the narrative.
It’s well past time to change that debate and flip that narrative.
Simply put, we need to expose and reject false liberal premises at every turn. It doesn’t matter if these premises are being promoted by socialists like Soros or “RINOs” like McCain. It’s got to stop…before it’s too late. Sadly, I’m not so sure that GOP consultants and power brokers want to step outside their comfort level and advocate leadership and education over pandering and acquiescence. Many Beltway insiders have made very good livings off of the status quo and, much to the detriment of their Party and the nation, they are not likely to give up their collective treasure chest without a fight.
I contend that, contrary to common “consultant wisdom”, even “Blue State” voters are not looking for a Democratic alternative to Democrats. “We the People”, regardless of Party affiliation, are looking for integrity, competence, respect and character. We are looking for candidates in whom we can believe, who stand for something other than election winning. That’s, in part, why “Hope and Change” gained so much traction…it seemed bigger than the candidate. (Of course, any informed non-socialist with an ounce of gray matter now knows that this was nothing more than an empty slogan that was all about election winning.)
For me, part of the appeal of folks like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Trey Gowdy, Rand Paul (and many others) is that they appear to stand for something. That “something” transcends their own job security, and it touches both hearts and minds; which is why they are being brutally demonized by fearful Leftists in both Parties. Those who benefit from a flawed system will always work to preserve it. They will never “take point” in the battlefield of ideas because they value their personal interests over those of the nation.
If the GOP chooses to keep serving up pandering, unprincipled, “big government” politicians, it will continue to lose. After all, the Democrats have cornered that market already. If it wants to provide sensible, conservative, constitutional, pro-growth “solutions” that benefit “the 100%”, I’m here to help. So is Thomas Sowell, Milton Friedman and Walter Williams. So too are Bill Whittle, Mark Steyn and Alfonzo Rachel.
This is not rocket science. Figure out what you’re selling, then believe in your product and be prepared to explain why it’s in everyone’s best interest to buy it. We’ve tried walking down the political path of least resistance more than once–and it has led us nowhere. Let’s take a cue from Emerson and blaze a new trail.