Have you ever caught someone in a lie? Worse yet, have you ever been caught in a lie? How does a liar usually respond when someone calls his bluff? Typically, a liar will lash out at the person who shines the light of truth on him.
This is why I’ve never been able to understand why conservatives, from the FOX News pundit to the guy at hardware store counter, so often come off as angry. We have gone traded Morning in America for mourning in america. Whether we like it or not, we conservatives have a message problem. Our brand is not attractive to the next generation, and it is defecting to radical leftism, and radical disenfranchisement in mass.
It’s easy to dismiss millennials attraction to Bernie Sanders as an infatuation with his promises of “free stuff.”, and a generation wide lack of character. That analysis is lazy, and oversimplifies the truth that I’ve discovered in conversation with young voters. Radical leftism isn’t poaching millennials from college republican clubs, or making converts of young Trump supporters. The left is pulling its new voters off the couch and into the game. A message of hope, reform, change, and a future is intoxicating to a cynical and apathetic generation that is disgusted with both parties, with business as usual.
Contrast Sanders’ message with that of many prominent republican candidates. So often we focus only what we want to undo, reverse, rip up, repeal, and cut that people don’t know what we are for, only what we are against. Sometimes our impassioned tirades come across as hysterical rants. These things serve as a massive turnoff to a generation that grew up in the shadow of a market collapse created by greed and the old guard in both parties.
When was the last time you heard a major republican figure focus his/her campaign on reforming education, reduced dependence on foreign oil, better more available healthcare, or lessening the wage gap. Conservatives want each of those things as much as liberals do, they just disagree on a means of achieving them. However, conservatives are cutting these issues from stump speeches in order to “rail against the establishment”, or in fear of sounding too moderate.
Instead of talking about repealing Obamacare, why don’t we tell people about how passionately we want to see association health care groups implemented? As opposed to prattling on against out of control spending, why don’t we point to the benefits that come with a AAA bond rating? When we are about to decry illegal immigrants, why not stop and point to the positive correlation between immigration control and wage growth? We talk so much about our ailments that we’ve forgotten why we want to be healthy again.
We have allowed eight years of leftist rule to discourage us so much that we’ve lost sight of something very important; we are holding all the aces. We ARE right, and our well intentioned opponents on the left ARE wrong. We have no reason to feel defensive, act insecure, or be angry when our opinions are challenged. History has proven, and will to continue to prove that tax cuts create jobs, that countries who remove God from the public sphere do not prosper for long, and that the right to bear arms is essential to the preservation of our democracy. The truth is on our side, and if we can get our emotions out of its way, we will win the hearts and minds of next generation, and all of those to follow. It is time to rely once again on the power of positive conservatism to restore our country to greatness.