… we have to be clear-eyed about our challengewarns David French:
To tens of millions of American voters, a conservative message of self-reliance and individual economic freedom is, quite frankly, terrifying.
… Within this liberal bubble, it is simply conventional wisdom that conservatives not only don’t care about those less fortunate but that we will even promote human suffering if it means higher profit margins and more cash in our pockets. In other words, we can change our messaging on Fox News, talk radio, and even our primaries all we want, but it won’t make a dime’s bit of difference to this decisive economic constituency. We might laugh at Obama choosing the “Pimp With a Limp” and Us Weekly over Meet the Press, but he’s simply reaching more potential voters through those outlets.
… Simply put, the larger the potential electorate, the worse we tend to do. You see this even in polls, where conservatives do worse with registered voters than likely voters and worse with adults than with registered voters.
What to do? We simply can’t retreat into our large but still-minority cocoon of new media and talk only to each other, working hard to get ever-larger numbers of our shrinking constituencies to the polls. Our cultural efforts have to be every bit as wide-ranging and persistent as those of the Left. Majority ideologies are built over generations, not overnight, and it means breaking the public-school monopoly, influencing public schools even while we work to diminish their influence, sending our best and brightest young writers and actors into the lion’s den of Hollywood, working to reform higher education and breaking the ideological hammerlock of the hard Left on faculties, and working hard — very hard — to tell the true story of conservative compassion for the “least of these,” a story featuring the efficiency and creativity of private philanthropy combined with Christ-centered love and concern for the individual.
We have the better message. Now we have to make sure our fellow citizens see it as empowering, not terrifying.