Director of the Centennial Institute, John Andrews, posed a question to the three person panel that is at the heart of this weekend’s summit. Even with the right message, Andrews asked, “Are we talking to a Country that just doesn’t want what we have to offer?” Are we still a center right nation? The question is at the heart of the conservative movement’s future.
Are we still a Center Right Nation? “Yes. No. Heck no. Maybe. It depends on the issue,” Says James Golden. Golden is better known as Bo Snerdly, from the Rush Limbaugh Show. He said that in some ways, America might not be as center right as it used to be.
“Things have happened in the last five years,” Golden explained, “that none of us would have thought could happen.” But, on balance, the conservative message is still a winning concept for America. The problem, according to Golden, is that many people don’t understand what America really stands for, or what America has done for the world.
The bigger problem, according to Golden, is that “Liberals are liberals 24/7.” He said that liberal messages are everywhere. People on the left, says Golden, live their life with a political slant. Everything in their life tells them liberalism is correct. “There are over 2,000 government entitlement programs,” Golden explained, “and most of them can be tied directly to liberal outreach programs.”
Kellyanne Conway, founder of the Polling Company, had a similar message for conservatives. “We are a center right nation that just happened to elect a left of center President,” she said. His ideology, she contends, was not a major factor in Obama’s election. Part of the problem, according to Conway, is that conservatives are generally portrayed with negative connotations in modern media.
The third panel member, Jenny Beth Martin with Tea Party Patriots, had a more optimistic outlook on America’s political makeup. Running through some polling data, and the President’s job approval numbers, Martin said most of America is split on key issues.
“We have to show that we are charitable,” Martin said during her opening remarks. According to Martin, conservatives need to work on personalizing their message. She says most Conservatives don’t focus on personalizing the conservative message.
This was also a theme that was picked up by Golden. “We need to show people that they can have more prosperous lives, without government [programs]” said Golden. He explained that Conservatives need to work on demonstrating, 24/7, that conservatism works.
“Liberals are liberals 24/7,” Golden repeated, “and we need to show our conservatism 24/7 as well.”
The panelists all seemed to agree, that conservatism can be a winning message. The biggest obstacle to conservatism, according to the panel, is the growing dependency on government and government programs. As to whether or not America is still a center right nation? The panelists agree on one thing: America is not yet a center left nation.