I’ll be fairly brief this afternoon, but there are two things I wanted to call attention to as the Republican Party and conservative movement in general seem to have stopped the finger-pointing which tends to happen to any political group after an electoral defeat and now begins the process of hopefully learning from where it went wrong and how they can change it.
I’m going to begin with an interview one of the newer Red County contributors, Michael Patrick Leahy, secured with longtime conservative activist and direct-mail pioneer Richard Viguerie. What I found most interesting on Viguerie’s part was his contention that the most recent conservative movement which began in the 1994 Contract With America elections went off track in just two years because Newt Gingrich “blinked” in that year’s budget standoff with President Clinton.
But Richard also made a good point about how the GOP learned from Democrat success in the era prior to Ronald Reagan. By “reverse engineering” what the liberals did the conservatives found a way to not only match the success of the Left but beat them at their own game.
To that end, many political pundits have come to a conclusion in their electoral post-mortems that one key ingredient in the success of Barack Obama and his Congressional minions was their dominance over the internet. I think of it as a sort of vicious cycle – Obama already had an appeal to the younger generation which is more internet-savvy and the brightest among that generation in turn created ways to appeal further to that target group, and so on. And while I know it’s a difficult task because conservatism doesn’t have nearly the emotional appeal that liberalism does, the internet certainly can’t be abandoned by the Right as a tool to educate and inform.
One of those thing which popped into my inbox yesterday was the announcement of a new website which promises to unite thousands of conservative bloggers into a news and information force to be reckoned with. It’s a site I was already familiar with but is now launching an effort to place itself on similar footing to those liberal sites with multiple contributors – to use a Maryland example, sort of like the battle between Red Maryland and Free State Politics. (By the way, if you go by readership we’re winning.) In looking at the newly relaunched NetRightNation, I saw a number of familiar blogs already listed as members; hopefully mine will be among them soon since I applied to join too. (Obviously a goal of mine would be to have my posts prominently featured there on a frequent basis.)
The trick now is to build readership, and the NetRightNation model is a little different than the model used at the Red County site I also post to simply based on the vast number of contributors. In either case, it’s good that we on the Right are trying to beat the Left at its own game because we have to do a lot of education to overcome the emotion!
This evening I’m looking to do a post on a topic with youthful appeal and emotion: the green movement. How much does it really cost?