Two examples of conservatives at work last week demonstrate the game plan for restoring conservatism’s prominence. Winning elections isn’t just about having the best ideas, it’s about convincing the electorate that you can implement the best ideas. This is how President Obama won. He said he was going to bring “change you can believe in” with the implicit promise to implement those ideas. The public’s trust in the ability of conservatives to implement change is what will win elections. Communicating, debating, and implementing conservatism is the key to restoring the public’s trust. Two examples last week represent the best of conservative action and provide a model for conservatives in 2010 and beyond.
The Republican Governors Association had their annual conference last week in Austin. Four sitting governors and two gubernatorial candidates sat on a panel discussing the ideas that have worked in their respective states on energy policy, taxes, healthcare and the role of government. These are the types of policy discussions that build the public’s trust in conservative ideas. John Kasich made the comment that Iranian women had done a better job of message communication on Twitter than had the House GOP. It was funny because it was true and the crowd’s laughter was evident. The RGA panel was great because concrete best practices and implementation challenges were discussed. It was a great example of how conservatives need to be communicating and debating constructive solutions.
Another example last week was Joe Scarborough in New Orleans. Scarborough and his wife had been actively involved in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. In October, Obama visited New Orleans for the first time in his presidency, staying only four hours to conduct what was basically a health care “reform” rally. Instead of taking the time to tour the city and understand the destitute situation along the Gulf Coast, Obama jetted off to a $34k a couple fundraiser in San Francisco. The next day, Scarborough was furious and disgusted by Obama’s dismissal of the situation in New Orleans. Scarborough committed to shedding light on the situation and the unfinished recovery efforts. Morning Joe broadcasted last Friday from a high school in New Orleans with community service groups, HandsOn Network and City Year, and corporate donations were raised to fix the school. It was a great example of how conservatives need to be communicating and implementing solutions.
The game plan for conservatives must revolve around action. It isn’t enough to just talk about what “conservatives” need to do. We need to be doing. After just a year with President Obama, the country knows that talk is cheap and this may explain his 74% personal approval and his 47% job approval rating (Quinnipiac). The best way to change someone’s mind and their vote is to be working with them, together, for a common cause in our communities, schools, churches, charities, and local government. The RGA panel and Joe Scarborough provide great examples of the path forward. Action will restore the public’s trust in the ability of conservatives to implement change and keep America in its rightful place as the land of the free and home of the brave. Conservatism communicated, debated, and implemented, sells itself and should be the game plan.