I spent some time this week reading political news and listening to political news from the conservative perspective. (Not much else to do when living in a hospital room other than catch up on news!)
While many of my views could be characterized as conservative, I struggle because the language of conservative politics is almost always backwards looking. The line of thinking seems to be, “If we could just get back to how it used to be, our country would be back on track.”
That line has a lot of derivatives:
- We need to roll back spending to pre-Obama spending levels.
- We are a historically Christian country, our country will be better if we go back to the original authors intents.
- The civil war wasn’t about slavery, it was about individual states rights. We need to re-embrace federalism.
- We need to close our borders because “Americans” don’t have jobs.
My problem is that as a forward-thinking person there isn’t anything worth listening too but a bunch of cry-babies.
I could identify myself better with conservatives if they spoke in a forward-thinking, innovative, and solution-based language. Voting against things without having a solution to replace what you’ve voted down is playing checkers when politics is a game of chess. Then getting on the news and talking about a great win for conservatives when, in fact, it was neutral or a loss, isn’t helping me. I’m not going to identify with people who are losing and don’t see it!
All I hear/read is fear-mongering and stoking the flames of yesteryear. It’s as if they forgot that the primary reason Ronald Reagan was the most popular Republican president in the last half century was because he helped move our country forward– not backwards.
Conservatives need to start dealing with reality. The stock market has been on a 12 month bender. Job growth is taking hold. Consumer confidence is soaring. Even the housing market is springing to life again. Obama kept his promise to cease military operations in Iraq. The strategies in Afghanistan seem to be working. In other words… Obama took the hand that a helpless Bush administration dealt and are turning it into a full house.
Politically, the Democrats will regain everything in the next round of elections if Republicans continue to look and sound like the crabby old white men. Clearly, based on what you hear on conservative leaning talk radio and read in conservative leaning news is that they think that they need to appeal to an older, white, extremely conservative audience.
Back to politics 101:
- Tell me what you want to do.
- Stop whining.
- Forget the Tea Party concept, it is back-firing.
- Tell me your vision for our country.
- Help us envision what America will look like when we embrace the forward-thinking, innovative changes you foresee.
- Disassociate yourself with one-dimensional ideologues/radio heads.
- Distance yourself from “the religious right.”
- Come up with a new approach to the abortion issue– put the nail in the coffin on abstinence-only education.
- Come up with a more centrist view on gay marriage.
- Find some intelligent women that my daughter can idealize. (And get rid of “pitbulls with lipstick.” That’s gross.)
- Give me something, anything, I can identify with.
In other words, look at the country you hope to govern, see what our strengths for tomorrow ought to be, and then build your agenda. Move to the middle.
Because at this point– it seems like Republicans have given up on capturing younger conservatives.