Editor: Five hundred Colorado conservatives filled the Douglas County Events Center in Castle Rock on Nov. 7 for the “Obama 365” rally sponsored by Salem radio stations KNUS and KZNT, one year out from Election Day 2012. Featured speakers were Salem radio hosts Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt. ’76 Blog contributor Peg Brady produced another of her meticulously detailed steno summaries of the evening. Here is Peg’s report:
Having the State deeply involved in the lives of individuals replicates Europe’s old–style patriarchal government, not America’s liberty–based ideal. That outdated patriarchal model erodes personal responsibility, personal dignity and interpersonal civility.
Replacing BO will not be easy. Although he has utterly failed with the economy, with foreign affairs, with protecting our borders, with maintaining the Rule of Law and any other aspect of the president’s domain, he mesmerizes voters. Our GOP candidate must focus on the Conservative vision:
- Explain why GOP values improve people’s lives: “The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.”
- Don’t just criticize BO’s failures, even important ones like unemployment, debt and Obamacare
Liberals and their audiences make decisions according to feelings, and good intentions sway their emotions. Conservative decisions derive from reason and results—but those logical, business–minded factors do not resonate with the public. Liberals’ “logic” goes:
- We care about “victims” and we are motivated by good intentions.
- You GOP folks oppose our well-intended measures.
- Ergo, you don’t care about people and you are bad.
Sadly, that makes sense to many voters.
This election is larger than just defeating BO, vital as that is. 2012 offers a golden opportunity to explain our vision and to expose the Liberals’ failed patriarchal model. Even the President of the EU states, “The welfare state is unsustainable.” Excessive debt undermines even the most robust economy. Contrary to the media, it wasn’t “greedy capitalist” banks that brought about the mortgage, it was the Leftist government forcing banks to issue high–risk loans.
GOP candidates must elucidate the three high–level components to the GOP vision, presented on the coins in our pockets:
- E pluribus unum
- Liberals promote “multi–culturalism” which actually engenders the envy and mistrust characterized by racism and separatism.
- We respect each individual’s heritage while seeking unity.
- In God We Trust
- Liberals want a secular state with the government (i.e., themselves) as the revered patriarchal but unpredictable, capricious head.
- We believe that faith in God imbues people with a high standard of responsible, civil behavior and with a commitment to Truth.
- Liberals distrust individuals and want to supplant individual self-esteem and personal liberty with collective dependence.
- We encourage and bolster individual achievement.
It is sophomoric and irresponsible to try overriding reality with “good intentions.” That is the level—and the age group—to which the Liberals’ utopian nonsense resonates.
The GOP presidential and vice presidential candidates’ acceptance speeches will be critical, the opportunity to elucidate to voters—and to an international audience—our vision and principles.
- Human dignity
- Liberals believe, and want voters to believe, that elected officials and bureaucrats know best, that individuals are incompetent and that they are victims.
- We believe in individual choice, individual achievement, and individual liberty.
- Limited government
- Liberals want an all–encompassing government with themselves in control.
- We see a bureaucracy that is already so large and so convoluted that no one does his job and no one is held accountable for failing to do so.
- Non-intrusive government
- Liberals want government to control every aspect of everyone’s affairs, so that we all comply automaton–like to their dictates.
- We know that excessive regulation stifles enterprise, initiative, invention and creativity.
- Public employees
- Liberals want public employees to receive higher pay and better benefits than private–sector employees, thus luring ever more people into government “service” and buying ever more votes (with taxpayers’ money).
- We oppose unionization of public “servants” and believe pay for all employees should align with performance.
The GOP presidential candidate and his choice for vice president must clearly and powerfully demonstrate three factors:
- Character: good, honorable and dedicated; loving America’s exceptionalism as the beacon of freedom
- Capacity: knowledge, commitment to hard work, readiness to seek factual input and ability to base wise decisions on complex data
- Constitutionality: firm resolve to honor and uphold our noble Constitution
Americans three–to–one believe that our nation has been moving along the wrong path. Our task is to offer a clear understanding of our path.
GOP candidates must be so honest and upright that there is no chance of an “October surprise” or any fodder for the Leftist media to demonize them.
As President Reagan recognized, it is ruinous to denigrate other GOP candidates during the primary races, for that just provides more fodder for Leftist “analysts” to slander us.
President Reagan also rightly urged us to back all GOP candidates who uphold our core principles, even if we differ on some points.
The Left’s demand for compliance with “politically correct” speech is yet another control technique. They in fact protect as “free speech” only the expression of their own opinions. Their ultimate ideal is totalitarianism.
We can counter a Liberal’s accusation of not caring about needy people’s problems by demonstrating that genuine results trump good intentions. Education and health care are the Liberals’ most common attack arenas, yet we can readily prove the welfare state’s failure in both. Moreover, the welfare state’s taxation and debt erode productivity and promote hyperinflation. Europe’s financial crises arise from just that cause.
Rather than imposing Obamacare on us all, “health stamps” (in parallel with food stamps) would meet the Liberals’ assertion that needy people require health care. That would disarm the Liberals’ argument without Obamacare’s huge cost and unconstitutional intrusion. If they didn’t concur, they would reveal that control, not help for the needy, is their genuine goal.
The GOP has learned from 2008’s debacle and now is actively using social media. Reaching young people through their media is vital.
As John Andrews and others aver, we need to restore Americans’ sense of individual responsibility. Teaching responsibility, like teaching other moral values, can be done through our own behavior, one person at a time. This is especially true for inculcating values for our children. Americans, young and adult, need to learn history and citizenship. And our public schools at all levels need to teach facts, not doctrine.
Faced with the question of whether or not to compromise with Liberals (i.e., to be “purple”), a GOP candidate should retain his/her core principles yet demonstrate respect for others’ views. That isn’t compromise; rather that is sensible and civil. And it’s practical, because we must WIN in order to have a role in leadership.
Either Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan would be good choices for vice president because they both excel at explaining our principles and (on the politically practical level) they would both be likely to carry their home states, which would garner large electoral counts.
“Pundits” predict that eight states will determine the 2012 presidential election: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Even if we win in 2012, it may take a decade to undo this administration’s fiscal damage, international disgrace and moral erosion. If we lose in 2012, the outcome is too bleak to contemplate.
NOTE: All this advice applies to all GOP candidates, not just to our presidential contender.