The Moderate Myth
Originally posted at The Minority Report
We have been told that there are three major food groups in the political spectrum in this country; the liberal left, the conservative right and the largest group, the moderate middle. Repeatedly, in recent months we have been told that a failure to reach out to those moderates will leave the Republican Party and/or Conservatives a permanent minority. This is the rationale given for the Democrat-lite, watered down message the RNC and such stellar organizations as the RMSP have offered the American public in recent years.
Well, the results of those messages of moderation are hard to dispute. The results have been catastrophic – and still we are told, we must moderate even more. Moderates don’t win elections. Moderates merely win the approval of other moderates – and sometimes not even that. Moderate’s moderate John McCain could not even win the approval of uber-moderate Colin Powell as proof of that failure.
The three part premise is itself incorrect. There are not three camps in this country, but four. There are the committed leftists, which entirely encapsulates the Democratic Party. There are the committed Conservatives, who find themselves mostly identified with the Republican Party – even though that party does not wish to identify with them.
There are the moderates – centrists who are willing to weigh each decision around the proposal, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
But there is a fourth group, and that is the largest and most important group of all. That group is the Uninvolved. It is not the liberals or the conservatives who decide elections, and certainly not the moderates. It is the uninvolved who decide the outcome.
These are the American citizens who can tell you in great detail who was voted off the Survivor series this week, and why; and yet could not name today the congressman they voted for last November. The uninvolved knows pop culture, the latest rising star in Hollywood, who is sleeping with whom, and who is, according to the tabloids, seeking divorce. The uninvolved has made TMZ more popular than organized religion.
The uninvolved, as demonstrated by recent figures, no longer read newspapers or watch network news. What current events and political opinion they manage to assimilate comes mostly from popular culture, television sitcoms or Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. They know that Dick Cheney was evil from bits and digs they heard on The View. In short, the uninvolved are ignorant, and perfectly happy to stay that way.
It is the uninvolved voter – because ignorance does not prevent them from going to the polls on Election Day and voting – that the right must court – not the moderate. The key to winning elections is to reach the uninvolved voter – to give the uninvolved voter a reason to vote for a conservative – rather than to try to court the flotsam and jetsam of moderation.
Last fall I had a co-worker tell me, “All that I know is that my 401k made money when Clinton was in office and lost money under Bush.” Little did he know the great profundity he uttered with that statement. Without realizing it, he was stating a great truth – a truth that runs throughout our society today.
That was, in fact, all that he knew!
Like most uninvolved Americans, he knew nothing about the Community Reinvestment Act, or congressional pressure on banks to make risky loans. He was completely unaware of massive campaign contributions to congressmen from those same financial institutions who were looting the system of hundreds of millions of dollars – while driving those same institutions into financial ruin.
Oh, to be sure, he was outraged when the Bush Administration gave billions to those financial institutions and then the executives took huge bonuses. That was news he could not possibly miss – and knowing the root causes was unnecessary.
Like most uninvolved Americans he was outraged last summer when gasoline prices reached $5/gallon, without any understanding or interest in what governmental and environmental policies caused it to happen. Like most uninvolved Americans he railed against the oil companies for “Windfall profits,” without any understanding of supply and demand as a factor.
Like most uninvolved Americans he knows nothing about economics. He is angry at seeing jobs lost overseas, but doesn’t understand why wages can’t continue to go up, even in a down economy. He doesn’t understand why the cost of education continues to go up, and the quality of education continues to go down – but he supports the NEA and its efforts to squash school of choice and voucher programs – because he does not want to see public money go to private schools. His parents had to make a sacrifice to send him to private school and he feels that others should have to do the same.
And finally, it is the uninvolved citizen who now finds himself upside down in his mortgage, surrounded by other homes that have either been abandoned to the bank or have been up for sale for months.
It is the uninvolved citizen who now sees auto companies filing for bankruptcy, and probably sees for the first time in his life, the very real prospect that he might soon be out of a job – with no prospect on the horizon of a recovery. It is the uninvolved citizen who looks at massive government spending giving away billions to banks that will not extend him credit to buy a car that he is no longer sure he can afford.
And it is the uninvolved citizen who, despite the best effort of the Oldstream Media, heard about a Tea Party in his area from a co-worker, and is beginning to question – again for the first time – the direction that this country is headed.
These are the people that we need to reach – that we need to recruit – in order to take back this country from the Social-Democrats who are currently running it. As Bill Ayers once famously said, “La educacion es revolucion!
It is time to educate the uninvolved and turn them into Conservatives.
Reprinted from The Minority Report