BY: J Craig
The political landscape today can be quite confusing and frustrating for some, but conservatives need to get back to the basics. Far too often, those in the political game tend to focus their message on bullying, scare tactics, or divisive talking points. This is turning many people away from politics all together and doing more harm than good. America deserves better.
Conservatives today need to get back to explaining the importance of unity and decentralization when it comes to conservatism. Few candidates today can actually step up and articulate the message that not only hits home, but truly resonates with the American populace. Just as Sen. Chris McDaniel of Mississippi described on Politico, we need less “screaming and name calling” in the conservative movement and more unity.
Sen. McDaniel also explains conservatism and what needs to be done very well in his recent op-ed on ANM News,
“The collective knowledge of humanity, driven along by complex experiences good and bad, are far better teachers than any one movement, person or government could ever be. It was President Reagan who reminded us that his strength as a “great communicator” was always rooted in his communication of great things that came from the heart of a remarkable republic – our collective experiences, wisdom, and beliefs in the principles that have guided us for more than two centuries.
“Perhaps there is no better description of our camp than an unyielding desire simply to be left alone. America’s greatness is derived from its free citizens, not the coercion of its government.
“As we embark on an uncertain future, conservatives are confident in our principles and beliefs. But we are tired of politicians and disgusted by the lies and perpetual inaction on the part of so-called Republicans.”
The problems arise when Republican candidates attempt to play a conservative on TV, while a true conservative either sits on the bench or is forced to play injured. The game may stay the same, but the coaching and players will choose to improve. Conservatives must improve their game. They must put in the work to get better.
Confidence and tailoring their approach to truly explaining the importance of conservative principles and solutions will ultimately improve their chances of winning elections. Conservatives cannot get down in the sand and mimic the left’s divisive tactics and expect for change to occur. This hasn’t worked thus far and will not work in the future. They must rise above and truly be the change. Don’t just talk about it, but be about it. Go around the eight-ball if need be, but take a different approach.
America is yearning for real leadership, but the conservative movement needs to be more about the principles many of them preach and less about personality politics. We need to get back to showing how conservatism works, but also articulate the message to more than just our inner circles. The reason the left continues to engage with the groups and factions that they do, is because it works. If we do not attempt to reach out to a broader audience, our culture will suffer. America will suffer. We can not only help change the narrative, but we can ultimately help change the culture.
Just as Ronald Reagan once said, “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” We must do a better job at getting the message out about self-governance and personal responsibility, but do so by articulating why this is so important. Conservatism at its roots is to improve the lives of the individual, which ultimately will improve their entire family structure.
Reagan also once told us freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. The policies of the left have brought us to the edge of losing our freedoms. Conservatism works, but our messengers need to be better equipped and able to deliver our political philosophy with a confident tone.
An alarm seems to go off just as election season nears and more often than not, Republicans are scrambling and unprepared. This must change. The players need to be more polished, but the coaching staff needs to provide them with the most adequate resources to set them up for victory. They continue to start the game playing from behind and with their arms tied behind their backs.
Conservatives need to get back to focus on what brings us together and how the power of free individuals will truly be more than just an inspiration, but a culmination of hard work and success. We need conservative candidates that can deliver a message of more than just hope, but one of self-governance and respect of liberty and the constitution.
Our greatness is not limited to our past nor should it be ridiculed for its successes. We should learn from our mistakes, but aim to educate in a way that more people can start to see through that dark tunnel and once again, see that shining city on a hill.
We need to have a clear understanding of our history and our future as well when engaging with the public and recruiting our candidates. As Thomas Sowell says:
“Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history.”
Conservatives must be able to utilize the information from our past and be able to share that in a way that will truly resonate and inspire people. They must do so by regaining the trust of so many Americans who have become disengaged with the entire political landscape. They have to not only be honest with the American people, but not be afraid to explain their party’s true history. This is important.
We have to build the trust back up with the people and their government. People need to be aware that their voices will make a difference as long as we are united, informed, and well prepared.
When conservatives unite, are confident, and engage with the public about conservatism, we truly open up the doors to success. It’s just the keys have been stolen from us and many Americans choose to make copies rather than change the locks.
The time is now for real change. The time is now for real reform. America deserves better.
We must fight to reignite the promise to America. And fight we shall do.
J Craig is a conservative commentator, journalist, and political consultant. He has consulted and worked on a variety of political campaigns across the country. He is presently publisher and Editor-in-Chief of ANM News. He resides in Covington, Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter @JCraigKY.