The challenge for the rightosphere

Promoted. This adds tremendously to the discussion and I'd like to associate myself with everything Alexander has written. We'd like to think The Next Right is a small part of the solution to the problems Alexander and Jon have identified. -Patrick

Partly in response to Jon's earlier post, I think its important for all of us to look seriously at the right side of the blogosphere and see why we are ineffective.

And this is the truth.  By any measure of effectiveness, we are way behind.  In terms of money raised, attention brought to candidates, or ability to drive a message.

The reason, above all, is that their side is full of activists, and ours is full of pundits.  Spend a few minutes perusing some of the top liberal blogs and everything is about driving attention to a specific race, or something else thats happening NOW, with a means of taking action.

On conservative blogs on the other hand, you have a thousand different bloggers who all want to be a talking head on one of the cable networks.  Everyone has an opinion and feels the need to explain why they are correct.  As such, most of the time the rightosphere is just a circular sounding board.

Granted, there have been a few moments when we've been more.  Dan Rather & the Bush National Guard records.  The fight over the Arlen Specter judiciary chairmanship.  The Harriet Miers nomination.  The early days of the Fred Thompson pre-candidacy. 

The challenge for the rightosphere is for us to actually work together, and not just be ten thousand individuals moving randomly in varying directions. 

I think things are improving, partly because there seems to be a shift in the center of the conservative blogosphere from simply news and opinion (Captain's Quarters, Instapundit, Power Line) to more activism-focused blogs like RedState, The Next Right, Newsbusters, etc.  But we have a long way still to go.

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Maybe it's not the technology

Since the onset of the Reagan Revolution, approximately 10% of the population has become increasingly wealthier while the remaining 90% have largely stagnated or lost ground. We've spent billions pursuing a war in Iraq under dubious pretexts with ample evidence that Republican-connected conglomerates profit mightly from the carnage, whether they actually provide the goods and services they were hired to provide or not. Meanwhile the Taliban moves back into Afghanistan and bin Laden wanders the globe freely while our military resources are tied down elsewhere. The Republican positions on abortion and healthcare unfortunately strip down to, "Life is sacred until you're born. Then your life has value in proportion to the size of your bank account." The "Base" actively prays for a global genocide that will leave themselves in possession of all the real estate and toys, while Republican politicians like Phil Gramm actively work to destroy regulations that have protected depositors and investors for decades, resulting in first the Savings and Loan meltdown, followed by Enron, and most recently the sub-prime mortgage market disaster. All that money went somewhere.

It's not the technology. It's the hypocrisy, the greed, the corruption. People are sick of it and will continue to tune conservatives out until you clean house from bottom to top, no matter how many bells and whistles you put on your website.

 

Thanks.

That's a good description of how others see us.

Now the question is, what are we going to do to refute that impression?

Remember, the Object of the Left is to Sieze Power

@John Sandor:

Your thinking is defensive. Thinkgra's screed is right out of Saul Alinski's Rules For Radicals. 

You must be thinking: how do I counterattack to disarm the opponent, set him back, cause him confusion. You don't win elections by defending yourself. You only win elections by remaining on the offensive at all times. 

Did you notice how Obama neatly parried McCain's Iraq attack: he turned it into an attack on McCain's domestic policy. This is called remaining on the offensive at all times. A candidate, especially one weak on substance like Obama, must do this. One who is strong on material like McCain and who is strong on Substance, is three times armed by remaining on the offensive. 

The moment you think about refuting someone's attack against you, you have already lost. Remember that the Leftist thinks about siezing power so that he can pass money around to his friends and clients. This kind of politics is as old as the Roman Republic, and just as corrupt. There's nothing really new about the Lefties, especially Obama. It's  all warmed over Great Society, laced with the demoralizing, self-loathing defeatisme that characterized the latter days of the French Third Republic just before von Paulus' Sixth Army marched into Paris.

There's nothing new to the Democrats except a brilliant insight that, I think, Rich Lowry came hit upon. They've adopted the huge confidence game of that old hustler from Berkeley, George Lakoff: framing. In the end, their argument may be for Socialist Medicine and a huge increase in taxes, but if they frame the argument differently, they can gull the rubes into buying into the con. This is what Barack Obama is all about. 

But there's no change. It's the same old same old if you look real close. It's the Great Society:

Rob Peter. Pay Paul. Buy Paul's vote. 

Henry Ford put it best. "The only thing new under the Sun is the History you don't know." Reagan understood this instinctively. You'll notice he stayed on the attack at all times. 

There's a story about Reagan debating Bobby Kennedy over Vietnam in 1967. He got on the stage with Bobby. The younger Kennedy thought that he'd have an easy time with Ronaldus Magnus, but instead, Reagan took him apart. Kennedy complained to his aides later that he never wanted to debate Reagan again. 

We failed when we tried to ape the Democrats. "Big Government Conservatism" led to a Revolt of the Base".  Even if JMC wins, our Congressional Party will suffer a well deserved trip to the wilderness for several cycles. And rightly so. Our Party still believes in ideas and ideals. The Democrats don't. That's the difference.  

 

"Your thinking is defensive"

No, my thinking is grounded in reality. Your thinking is grounded in the belief that ideas don't matter, it's all about who can spin the best.

Like it or not, thinkgra's view of the GOP is one shared by large numbers of people, in fact by a majority of them. The question remains - what will Republicans do about it? The notion that we just need better debaters is silly: Republicans don't agree with much of what their party stands for. The problem is the ideas, not their presentation.

 

Even if JMC wins, our Congressional Party will suffer a well deserved trip to the wilderness for several cycles.

That would be a bitter irony, seeing as how JMC is guilty of all the sins of the GOP Congress, and to an exceptional degree he is the embodiment of them. Keep the House and dump McCain. If only Jeffords had not jumped first, we'd not be in this mess.

What has the leftosphere accomplished?

Money raised, check.  Eyeballs, check.

Howard Dean, Ned Lamont, John Kerry, uh... no.  "General Betray-us" - backfired.

The Obama girl video?

Was the massacre of 2006 due to MoveOn.org or was it the fact that Rummy was still SecDef with no signs that we would change anything?

Was Obama's meteoric rise due to Kos, or was Hillary always a lousy candidate and Obama always personally appealing?

Raising money is the biggie, but that's essentially a web 1.0 function. 

Then we've failed at Web 1.0,

Then we've failed at Web 1.0, too. Take a look at ActBlue. AB has raised over $48 million since its inception. That's one blue activist website alone.

Did they succeed in bring Lamont to victory? No. But they've significantly helped other successful candidates including, thus far, Obama.

Can't we do both?

The challenge, I think, is to do what we've been doing (that is, talking about what we ought to do) and activism. Accomplishing your goals is only helpful if they're good goals in the first place (vide the leftosphere, for instance), so the "punditariat" is serving a vital purpose. The kinds of arguments that the conservative blog/magazine world gets involved in are absolutely necessary to the movement. Prudence dictates that we listen to objections and differing views to be sure that we're doing the right thing -- but then it also requires us to do something.

We shouldn't reject the ideal simply because it isn't enough by itself, but we also can't get so distracted by the ideal that we ignore the real.

 

Here's the problem.

The prerequisite for activism is the existence of a large group of activists who share the same goals. Liberalism has that. The right does not.

 

Look at the presidential primaries - the Democratic candidates were all in lock-step agreement on all the issues, while the GOP field ranged from Tancredo to Paul to Huckabee to Romney to Giuliani to McCain. We can't engage in activism until we agree on a program. The left already has that agreement, so they are free to focus on getting it enacted. The right does not, so it has these endless debates about what our principles are. What should we be activists for?

 

If "The Next Right" is going to accomplish anything it needs to be part of that definition process.

 

The single biggest example of conservative activism recently was the rebellion over the amnesty bills in 2006 and 2007. Oddly enough, the leadership there fell to NumbersUSA, a non-conservative group. The activist right-wing blogs played a marginal role, and in some instances were working for the bills passage. Redstate tried to shut down opposition to the most recent bill. Let's be blunt here - the "right wing" blogs don't reflect the concerns of conservative people. For the most part they are actually pro-Iraq war liberal blogs. I swear, if you polled "right wing" bloggers on gay marriage it would pass.

 

That brings us to the larger problem. Much of the Republican party agenda is deeply unpopular with with the public, or with its own base, or with both. Electoral success in a democracy depends on being in agreement with most people on most issues. I'm not saying the party needs to be entirely poll driven, but it needs to pick and chose those issues on which it decides to thumb its nose at the voters.

Another aspect

Speaking mostly for myself...

I'm not a "joiner."  I have a lot of demands on both my time and my money, and I see buggerall  (in terms of candidates) that I'd gladly give either to.

I don't know that the Left is

I don't know that the Left is entirely united on all the issues, but they ARE united on their opposition to the War, and perhaps more importantly, their absolute LOATHING of George W. Bush.  Not only do they disagree with much of his politics, but he represents everything they don't like: a plainspoken, anti-intellectual without a shred of nuance.  George W. Bush was the guy throwing snowballs at them on the playground.

I think the Right will unite when there is a single, driving issue that makes them angry, and this is key: it's proposed by a Democratic president.  The immigration bill certainly upset conservatives, but they were placed in the awkward position of opposing their own president (see my other post about Republicans and heirarchical authority). 

Imagine, however, if the 1993 Clinton health care bill were introduced next year by President Obama.  I think we might find quite a bit of unified activity on the Right.

It's Important to See Why We are Ineffective - Aye

Alexander writes

I think its important for all of us to look seriously at the right side of the blogosphere and see why we are ineffective.

Fine, but I think it's important for all of us to look seriously at the politicians representing the Republican Party and see why we are ineffective.  When I became personally involved in local GOP politics in San Diego, there was only one candidate out of three for whom I was willing to go out and walk a precinct.  That's problem #1. 

I am not interested in being a Status Quo Republican.  Today the GOP has candidates who are not acceptable to me because I question their desire for status quo politics along with their ethical relationships with special interests, their lack of leadership, and their inability to govern effectively by working with Democrats as well as other Republicans.

I want to see the Republican Party reform itself.  I want to see us clean our own house and govern our own ethics.  How can we govern the country if we cannot even govern not to mention get along with ourselves?  I want my local leadership to go out and actually accomplish something in the community like teaching English to non-English speaking students, like helping institute programs to change gang violence behavior, like helping offer recovery options to people who live on the street, like bringing the National Guard back to the border instead of letting them go.  I want my party to move personal responsibility forward into social responsibility without going over the top into crazy global warming and ethanol initiatives that will have unintended consequences like starving people and bankrupting the country.  I want nuclear power NOW, not tomorrow, not next year, NOW. 

I want my fellow Republicans to stop trying to purge the party of anyone who doesn't follow a specific orthodoxy.  My intent in creating the Venn Diagram was to discover what we had in common, but the unintended consequence of that is that it provides a new way for people to label and name-call each other within the party.  That's who we are.  Now who do we want to be?  And who do we want to attract in the future?  We can manage from the top down, and we can manage up from the grass roots, but by God someone has got to man-up and start preparing a plan of action with which to manage.  Hasn't anyone out here ever run a business or a marketing campaign?  You want people to confront Democratic thugs in a polling place with what - a cell phone camera - but you won't even create a strategic plan for how to determine what the modern values and critical success factors are of this party?  Go read my post on strategic planning and then get back to me on what your values, goals and success metrics are before you ask me to be an "activist".  If you want people to follow, then by God you have got to have a plan with which to lead. 

Hmmm.

 If you want people to follow, then by God you have got to have a plan with which to lead. 

I can't argue with that. But how does it square with this?

"I want my fellow Republicans to stop trying to purge the party of anyone who doesn't follow a specific orthodoxy. "

A plan with which to lead sounds an awful lot like a specific orthodoxy.

I can see where you might think a plan is an orthodoxy, but...

The plan, unlike an orthodoxy, is flexible and adaptable because there is a feedback loop (i.e. polling, data capture and reporting, data mining using the Internet as a data warehouse) that can report back to the planner(s) on a pre-established set of key performance indicators - metrics which tell us how well we're executing what we said we were planning on doing. 

If we're doing badly at, say, engaging communities in adopting conservative programs like (and I'm just making this up as I go along to provide a what-if example) investing in at-risk communities and engaging entrepreneurial gang members to sell legal products and services that don't involve drugs or prostitution, then we use that feedback to adjust what we're doing up, down, or sideways to adapt to the facts on the ground. 

Using the same (idealistic) example - if we create a successful program, then we promote it as a model - as a Center of Excellence, as a Pilot Program.  In other words, we package the process, the roles, the inputs and the outputs as a template or model and sell that success as an investment to other communities.  Now where did I get the idea for co-opting gang members who are already exhibiting entrepreneurial tendencies and actually working hard (a trait we should value and could possibly exploit/harness)?  I got it from Anbar Province, Iraq, as a potential model for chaos-turned-into-opportunity. 

The beautiful thing about entropy is that when it reaches a crisis point, it then provides the catalyst for reorganizing the system - any system, whether it's your garage that's such a mess you have to park out on the street, or your neighborhood that's got teenagers breaking windows in all the homes, or your county that's been inundated with homeless people, fill in the blank - at a higher, more efficient level.  This is a simplified, watered down explanation of System Theory.  Failure begets opportunity which begets success, which begets a high time for awhile, which begets complacency, which begets decline, which begets failure, and so on.  It's Hegel's Theses ==> Synthesis ==> Antithesis; it's the  Zen of social systems.  It's what Strauss & Howe are leveraging in their cyclical explanation of eras and generations. 

The way I see a conservative agenda working to promote social responsibility via different types of Centers of Excellence is to facilitate private organizations, including faith-based and non-profit secular organizations, to help implement needed solutions.  There are a lot of opportunities here for entrepreneurial types to provide services and training, to decentralize government into the private sector and use the private sector to create jobs and bring desperately needed expertise and resources to improving peoples' lives where it counts - at a local level.  And that is my vision of government for the people, by the people - 21st Century style. 

I especially agree with your

I especially agree with your point about getting out into the community, teaching English, etc.  Right now I'm reading Mousepads, Shoe Leather, and Hope, a series of essays by people involved with the Dean 2004 campaign at every level from working at the headquarters, down to individual volunteers, and it's really been an eye opener. 

What really got me thinking was that groups of Dean volunteers would do volunteer work, cleaning up parks, adopting highways, etc.  They'd wear their Dean t-shirts and while working talk to other volunteers about Howard Dean.  More often than not a few of these people would show up at the next Dean MeetUp. 

I was discussing this with my girlfriend, who also works in Republican politics, and we agreed there was nothing about those activities that was particularly liberal, but Republicans seem to recoil at organizing community activities like this as if they somehow represent crossing over to the other side.  And this attitude plays right into the liberal narrative that Republicans are selfish and don't care about the less fortunate.

This isn't to say that individual Republicans don't do these things -- Republicans give more to charity than Democrats, and since church attendance is so much higher among GOPers, I'm sure we do plenty of volunteer work.  My point is that none of it is through the party or the campaigns.  I think if more state and local parties (and hell, even the RNC) were to start getting into community activism and volunteerism, it might really pay off.

Aren't we all complaining about the same thing?

Whether it's elected officials, the party itself, or the blogosphere there is an absence of leadership.

How about a thread by someone here who feels they can lead and keep the thread on topic that begins to lay out some goals?

 

A politically popular plan of action?

I can do that.

1) Run, do not walk, away from support for "free trade". (It's not really free trade, for the most part, but that's a different matter.)

2) Make concrete plans to wind things up in Iraq.

3) Get control of immigration, and I don't mean by legalising that which is currently illegal.

4) Explain the facts of live with respect to oil prices to the voters - the Democrats are a large part of the reason they are so high.

That would go on a long way towards getting the Republican party back on the road to success, and respond to "thinkgra"s comments above, which are an accurate reflection of how many people view the GOP.

me too

That's how I feel, Lynn.

1. This site (no offense, gentlemen), needs a dedicated moderator whose purpose is not so much to blog as to steer discussion and help foster the community/forum aspect of the site.

2. We can sit here and complain about the state of the party in our little virtual coffee shop all we want, but frankly that doesn't get us anywhere. We need to come up with a plan of action with measurable, achievable objectives. Obviously, we'll need a good-sized group of activists to pull off anything of scale, which is why #1 is so important.

-

Part of the problem is indeed, as others have pointed out, that we don't have the common sense of purpose that we saw from the right-wing back in the days of the Clinton administration. The left wing now has "get rid of Bush!" and "get us out of Iraq!" We don't have that.

So the first question becomes defining the goal. We have to define the goal in the most inclusive means possible, yet without watering down the core purpose. It will not be easy. But that's where I would start.

Right now this is all we have:
The Next Right is the place for wired activists to build a new Republican Party and conservative movement.

So, this begs the question...build a new party around what platform? What is our leading principle? What are our secondary positions? What positions are strictly optional? And what stances are not acceptible at all? These are the questions we need to start addressing so we can begin drawing up the blueprints, establishing objectives, and executing our plan to move forward toward a new right.

 

Not to be flippant...

....but a platform based on the U.S. Constitution would be a good start--limited government, enumerated powers, Congress declaring war instead of delegating it to one man etc. 

Re: Me Too

1. This site (no offense, gentlemen), needs a dedicated moderator whose purpose is not so much to blog as to steer discussion and help foster the community/forum aspect of the site.

2. We can sit here and complain about the state of the party in our little virtual coffee shop all we want, but frankly that doesn't get us anywhere. We need to come up with a plan of action with measurable, achievable objectives. Obviously, we'll need a good-sized group of activists to pull off anything of scale, which is why #1 is so important.

#1. As the site continues to grow we will see more of the name calling between groups that has already taken over at least one thread. It's human nature to drift off topic. A good moderator could help with that.

#2. And that's why we need a leader. How about it founders of the website? Do you have a plan in mind.

Stop talking and do something already

Rodney Graves said he was speaking mostly for himself when he wrote, "I'm not a 'joiner,'" but that comment gets to the heart of the problem with the right side of the blogosphere. No one wants to "join" or support a movement; they just want to talk.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, of course, and talking about the issues, ideas and values of conservatism has to be part of the online equation. But until more grassroots folks on the right are willing to actually do something for the cause, be it donating money or time or expertise, the left will continue to dominate this medium.
 

Like What?

Danny,

I live in one of the deepest blue counties of California  (which it most certainly was not in my youth).  There's no one I can vote for who I would gladly donate time or money to. 

No. 

One.

McCain is a fellow alumni and it will take a great deal of effort for me to pull the lever for him (made tolerable only by who he will be running against).

Re: Like What?

I live in one of the deepest blue counties of California  (which it most certainly was not in my youth).  There's no one I can vote for who I would gladly donate time or money to.

I know this isn't a very satisfactory substitute for a conservative representative of your own but you can choose a conservative from another state who is shaky for reelection and send him a donation. Even though he isn't your own he's still working for our causes and it might help you feel a bit better.  My state is getting bluer too but at least I do have one or two on my side.

We need a NEW Contract With America

One that the Party is committed to carrying out and is attainable.

Contract 2.0

1. Secure the Borders, build the fence, enforce immigration law and end the Sanctuary City Movement (if that means arresting local and state officials who flaunt the law or obstruct it, so be it)  In doing so, deporting those illegals who are displacing US citizens will lower the unemployment rate and cause wages to rise for those at the bottom of the economic ladder toward a living wage.  Force Social Security to share mismatch #s with ICE & FBI to investigate ID theft, deporting those who are illegals and prosecuting those who are not.  Anyone who gets caught gets put on a "no citizenship list" permanently banning them from the US.

2. Pledged Committment to the GWOT as one of the pillars of national defense in a dangerous world and not return to the reactive approach of treating terrorism as a criminal matter.

3. End all Pork Barrel spending projects, make the Bush tax cuts permanent and index the AMT to inflation.

4. National Energy Policy that focuses on national security, trade balance and diversification which recognizes the need use nuclear and coal as a means to lessen foreign dependence on energy which will have the consequence of cheaper energy prices.  Including a national security exemption similar to the border fence against environmental and other lawsuites designed to hinder or block the building of power plants.

5. Reinstate the Breeder Reactor program (cancelled by Jimmy Carter) to recycle spent nuclear fuel rods (as France does) to solve the nuclear waste disposal issue and complete the Yucca Mountain repository for nuclear waste that can not be recycled.

6. Three strike rule on all Federal Judges who have decisions repeatedly overturned by the Supreme Court, this will stop wasting taxpayer money on incompetent judges who attempt legislate from the bench. It will also depoliticize the nomination process since liberals will no longer be able to extra-legislatively impose their agenda on the government.

7. End the ethanol mandates and subsidies, let the market sort out the best means of energy efficiency and energy utilization.  

8. Rational Immigration Policy based on the national need, not the emotionalism based on the whimsical idea that we can pack an unlimited number of people into the borders of the US.  Current laws encourage employers to ask for foreign workers on visas, this must be stopped.

9. Foreign Relations agenda based on responsibility to the common welfare, holding governments responsible for hindering their economic expansion and keeping their own people in poverity through incompetence, socialism, restrictive laws and failed policy.  Why should the US taxpayer reward the failed policies of other countries who impoverish their citizens and then expect us to take in their poor?

10. US Sovereignty of Self Governance upheld, US laws are not subject to the UN and we will not allow the UN to dictate how our laws are enforced nor which ones We the people choose to make to govern ourselves.

11. Separate the Social Security Trust Fund from the federal budget, demand that the Trust Fund be run like any well run Pension Fund and start investing the money properly, not just in low interest bond.  The only reason why Dems oppose this is their desire to continue to raid the Trust Fund for their social spending programs.

Misleding assessment

Throw away your charts. I suspect they don't reflect reality on the ground. My belief is what is based on what I call the 'Hunhter Gather Effect'. In that regard Gatherers are the leftosphere, Hunters are the righosphere to make the differenation. Gatherers tend to congregate on a specific set of sites. DKos for example supports diaries and in the early days called the collection a hive. The sites become huge with lots of traffic. Hunters on the other hand see the opportuntiy to pick up the tools of the trade and strike out on their own with their opinion and traffic. That sort of ability makes it very hard for any single Hunter site to become dominant and high traffic.

As a consequence the Gatherer sites remain few but large in both population and traffic. The Hunters have less traffic but there are many individual camps spread aound the internet. In internet terms Hunters have dominace in the longtail.

Till someone does both a traffic study AND a site count study we will never truly know. But I think my metaphor is correct.

One major difference I've noticed....

....between lefty blogs and a lot of conservative blogs, is that many left-wing blogs focus a big part of their content (if not the vast majority) to horserace-type stuff.  They often times feature candidates to fundraise for.  They track primary elections and post information about them.  They post blogs with polls and analysis of various races, complete with unique dynamics in each one.  They also focus heavily on dirt and/or opposition research on Republicans.  Very little (from my limited experience over there) has to do with policy-wonking or debating leftism v. conservatism.  It seems the lefty-sphere is chiefly concerned with winning elections - a key difference I've noticed between them and conservative blogs.

Strategic Website Planning & Assessment

I know, I know, I'm a one-trick pony when it comes to "strategic" vs. "tactical" but that's because I believe that garbage in = garbage out and good data and reporting can provide the kind of feedback that allows for improvement and in our case, increased traffic and contributions in the marketplace of ideas.  Site statistics and traffic information would be a great analytical tool.

Here's a link to a book that explains the "architecture of persuasion" which can be used to strategically implement any type of product from an idea to an item on eBay:  Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results. It also helps explain goals and key performance indicators in the context of a website, and if you check it out, you'll see how these can apply to anything and everything including developing a modern GOP strategy. 

I really appreciated the Hunter/Gatherer analogy.  This is the type of observational analysis that I find very, very useful.  It's also really helpful to read about what people are doing on Lefty blogs.  I often find the content so objectionable that I tend to look away before I can stand to read on and acquire any viable information.  I stopped visiting KOS, FireDogLake or HuffPo years ago. 

I'm really impressed with the cooperative nature of this site and the willingness to engage in a civil discussion regarding our opponents.  The most contentious comments made by conservatives on this site never, ever fall anywhere near the level of vitriol and outright vileness that I've come to know and loathe from some of the Lefty sites. 

Because I work so many hours a week, I engage with a lot of my friends and family online in IM's and email and blogs, and I appreciate knowing all of you in this community also. 

As I have just mentioned in another thread..I think..

The right must first be out of power before it can unify itself, before it can clean house. You don't clean house when you are winning. This is exactly why I don't see a win on the left in this upcoming presidential election as a defeat for the right. Indeed, if you take the longer view -- something both political parties are going to spend a lot of money  on trying to get you not to do -- the sooner we can cleans ourselves by being out of power and fighting our way back into power the better. Only this time it will be different. This time we have the Internet and mass one-on-one communication. All we need is some angle money, some good, effective deliberative groupware and we can rewrite history by 2010, take over the Republican Party by 2021.

ex animo

davidfarrar

 

A Ten Year Project

When I first read about this site, I felt that we were actually embarking on a 10-12 year project.  As passionately as I feel about a Republican governing in Washington in 2008, I'm coming around to accepting that there will undoubtedly be benefits for Republicans along with some (in my opinion) terrible costs associated with a Democratic win.  I really object to McCain's position on global warming and I would like this phony crusade exposed as quickly as possible.  It's too vast, too fast, and too statist.  So perhaps you're right, David.  I look forward to this new groupware technology.  It sounds like a potentially effective tool going down that 10 year road. 

I just want to add this about the Democrat focus on winning vs. Republican rumination on conservative principles.  I think that even in our darkest hours, the heart and soul of conservatism is governing wisely in such a way as to help people help themselves.  It's not to blindly win at any cost, status quo Republicans notwithstanding.  When we do win, it's because we genuinely move people with those ideas and actions.  I listened to Reagan's D-Day speech on Laura Ingraham this morning, and that was a great reminder to me of why I want to think of myself as a conservative and help move this party forward. 

I thank you for your post, GOP_Rebel.

I, too, joined the Republican Party because I thought it was the party of "The People". I still feel that way when it comes to most registered Republicans and their local executive committees. However, I have seen firsthand how the leadership of our Party at the State and national levels have been taken over by the professional and moneyed interests for their own gain. When they are confronted with this, they have simply said, "It's our money. We raised it. We can do with it what we need to do with it."

I believe there isn't anything wrong with our party that an empowered membership can't fix. All we have to do is collectivize ourselves. We now have the tool to do it, or soon will have. The left has shown it can be done...all we need to do is do it a little bit better.

By the way, the cost won't be that great, regardless of what McCain's professionals are going to try and make us believe.  After the election we will have a fairly strong minority block in Congress with which to stop most of Obama's excesses, while we party-build, or as I like to say: "IT'S PARTY TIME!!

 

By the way, I meant 2012, not 2021 in my last post.

ex animo

davidfarrar  

I agree, Rebel. Case in

I agree, Rebel. Case in point: MoveOn.org has become really well-known in the last few years, and quite a force, but it's actually ten years old. It takes time to forge a movement.

GOP_Rebel, you just contradicted yourself

First of all, I'm a centrist and an independent, but...

You talk about John McCain's "phony stance" on global warming (I disagree) and then descibe the Republcians as being principled while the Democrats as being focused on wiinning.  What is it?  Is the selected nominee of your party principled?  Or not?  Or is your theory that the GOP is principled legit?  Or are they just trying to win by nominating McCain?

Clarifying the contradictions for jp

Hi jp, thanks for you reply (and everyone else, thanks as well).  I'm sure I'm guilty of self-contradiction from time to time (although hopefully not quite as guilty as Barack Obama this week on Iran, for example), but I'll be happy to explain why I think John McCain's position on global warming is a phony crusade.

Full disclosure:  I'm a McCain contributor, and my support for his positions generally follows the 80/20 rule.  Global warming falls into the 20% I don't support because my awareness of the issue indicates that the jury is still out with 17,200 scientists who dispute global warming.

Is there a scientific consensus on the topic of man made global warming? If you read the news in the major media you would have cause to believe that there is.

The truth is very different. Most of the media articles you will see refer to reports issued by the IPCC. The IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, a political body appointed by the UN. Many of the 3,000 members of this panel are not scientists, but simply political appointees. The few real scientists on the panel have disputed the panel's findings but have been silenced by having their comments deleted from the reports.

The IPCC reports rely on a particular computer model which projects temperature changes due to "positive feedback" reactions in the atmosphere. The IPCC report claims that as CO2 levels rise, temperatures will also rise causing more water to be evaporated into the air. Since water vapor is by far the leading greenhouse gas, increased water vapor is supposed to accelerate the global warming process in a runaway feedback loop. The actual scientific data, however, do no support the positive feedback model. The basic methodology used by the IPCC cannot be supported by actual data so the panel relies on the news media to filter the news that reaches the public.

The link above is to the rest of this article, which attempts to set the public record straight.  Good luck - especially with Senator Obama claiming that this week is the very moment in time in which his candidacy is going to precipitate the oceans to stop rising. 

When I was at university in the 1970's, there were two prevailing conventional wisdoms in academia and the media:  (1) we were moving toward another ice age, and (2) Malthusian theories of exponential population explosion were going to break down the ability of our fragile planet to support us.  While (1) did not result in specific legislation, (2) did in the form of Roe v. Wade.  One unintended result is that in Europe, birth rates have fallen to such a degree that they must "import" workers to support the socialist programs such as cradle-to-grave income, health care, etc. 

So while polar ice caps may be temporarily receding, I'm very skeptical that this is a result of man-made greenhouse gases as opposed to water vapor-based greenhouse gases.

The empirical evidence of actual measurements of Earth's temperature shows no man-made warming trend. Indeed, over the past two decades, when CO2 levels have been at their highest, global average temperatures have actually cooled slightly.

For the record, I completely support environmental initiatives for clean air, clean water and soil uncontaminated with heavy metals that enter the food supply, and certainly alternative energy and associated technology.  Speaking of water, I think that water supply is going to be a far greater problem than temperature rise in the near future. 

As for endangered polar bears, I receive a member magazine each month from the San Diego Zoo, whose zoologists are reporting that the bears are actually adapting to the climate change and are learning to hunt alternative prey and starting to cooperate to survive in a dymanically changing environment. I'm much more concerned about keeping their sea water and soil free of lead, cadmium and mercury today than I am about the temperature in Alaska and Hudson Bay. 

So in this matter, I would prefer that John McCain focus on real and threatening environmental issues and be smarter than the average bear about global warming propaganda.

My statement about the Democrats wanting to win votes vs. the Republicans discussing our principles was based on the analysis of the purposes of partisan websites.  I think the GOP is quite guilty of not standing on our principles in the offline world.   McCain's candidacy seems to be a teachable moment for the GOP, and not one which it would have strategically planned in advance - assuming that the GOP actually does do strategic planning in the first place.  Heh.

Global Warming

Generally speaking, people in warmer climates are considerably happier than those in the cold.

Certainly more of us would rather vacation in the Carribean during the winter (fleeing cold) than Alaska when the temperature is 32 degrees below zero.  Indeed, it gives me a chuckle that 99.99% of the people who talk about preserving the pristine wilderness of ANWR will never see it!

This brings a logical conclusion that global warming might be a good thing overall.  What amazes me is that few people seem to be even considering this idea.  We are all like lemmings, saying that warming is bad, but not actually thinking through ourselves why and whether it might have some advantages people don't talk about.

Instead, we get enormous exaggerations of the problem (for example, sea levels might increase by as much as one foot, but not 20' as Al Gore claimed), and out and out attempts at deception.  

We hear about higher cooling bills, for instance, and hotter summers, but nobody mentions lower heating bills and warmer winters.

So I am suspicious.  Nobody seems to want to give global warming a fair shake.  Greenland's ice is receeding and people are starting to grow crops there.  Our summers seem to be a bit longer and winters shorter.  Frankly, I'd like to see that progress continue instead of paying a huge amount of time and treasure to stop it.

After all, that amount of money is, well, as the environmentalists say, unsustainable.

D

Interesting Comments All

quite a lot of food for thought in all your comments....my suggestion is the KISS method....keep it simple stupid (no offense meant)....pick a few very strong ideas....say earmark reform and 1 or 2 others....come up with a simple phrase for example Yes We Will....promote it relentlessly on the net, by email, on You Tube, etc....make it easy for people to find, make it easy for people to donate, get candidates to agree to campaign on these...something like Newt did with his drill here drill now campaign....Newt showed us how it can be done simply and effectively....I think the originators of The Next Right and those of us here now can do this and make it work for the upcoming election...get other bloggers, forums, etc involved, get it to Rush and Sean and the other radio people....it's not impossible it's very doable...to borrow from Nike "just do it"

define what we are against, and we'll all get along...

A little kismet today:

Jon Henke quoted in his entry "The Online Right" : "an axe to grind, and plenty of fury to turn the wheel."

George Will on the Colbert Report:  political parties "organize our animosities"

Henry Brooks Adams: "Politics, as a practise, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds."

Conservatives, Libertarians and Republicans formed a coalition against the Communists.  Hating the Clintons served a sufficient subsitute after the Cold War ended.  But then "success" at the polls didn't turn into success in the government.

So what are we against and why?

Just some examples:

Against earmarks, subsidies, and other "corporate welfare."  Business should stand or fall based on their response to the market.  Politicians shouldn't be in the business of handing out favors from the federal budget.

Against legislation which favors one group over others. - we should all be treated equally by the government.  Government should protect us all equally.

Against welfare and entitlements that go beyond providing a helping hand in a time of need.  Creating dependence does not better people or the country.

I agree

Against earmarks, subsidies, and other "corporate welfare."  Business should stand or fall based on their response to the market.  Politicians shouldn't be in the business of handing out favors from the federal budget.

Although a lot of people on the right have a logical disconnect which prevents them from seeing the bad guys here as the businessmen bribing the government. They prefer to take the odd position that anyone has the right to give as much money as they want to any politician, AND that the politician must not be influenced in the slightest by that "donation".

It would also be nice if more people would face up to reality and acknowledge that government encouraged illegal immigration is corporate welfare. It's a direct transfer of money from the taxpayers into the bank accounts of business owners. (And it's illegal.) But the right have an almost worshipful attitude towards businessmen which prevents them from calling a spade a spade.

 

 

We should be for limiting government.

People should clearly understand, each and every time the government raises our taxes, and in this statement, I am also including the unlimited and unaccountable power of our government to print money without the consent of those governed, the Peoples' sovereignty is reduced while that of the government is increased. When the Peoples' sovereignty is reduced, their liberty is reduced.

If you are concerned about the loss of your personal liberty, we need to stop the growth of government before the taxing interests turn our Republic into a fascist state. Let me say this again, it is an immutable fact, fascism by the ruling taxing interests is where we are headed if we don't control this special interest group.

ex animo

davidfarrar

So Far

so far more contributing to the problems then part of the solutions

Listen, Irish

Either lead, follow, or get in line to continue being part of the problem. 

Actually if you'd like to lead, we'd all appreciate it since we're all too busy being unique and opinionated (and still at work). 

There appears to be an open slot here for someone who has an actual goal, an objective, or a plan to implement any of the above.  Go for it, Irish Man dude. 

Listen Irish

GOP Rebel,

I am reasonably certain that Mad has a goal. It is helping to elect John McCain. I can make that statement with some degree of confidence since I have worked with him for the past year to do just that.

When everyone had written off the McCain Campaign for dead, we were the true believers that kept working and fighting. When John had virtually no on line presense, we created it.

Mad has been a leader in the effort. The McCain on line effort that Mad, I and others started is now 25 websites, 160 affiliated blogs and 10,000 contacts and supporters and that will probably be 60,000 by September.

If you would like to follow our lead please feel free to visit...

McCainNow

JohnMcCain2008

McCainVictory08

McCain State Google Groups

We also need more leaders in support of John McCain. Please join us. If not, please stay out of our way.

 

 

 

aka sabotaging the GOP

I am reasonably certain that Mad has a goal. It is helping to elect John McCain. I can make that statement with some degree of confidence since I have worked with him for the past year to do just that.

 

Thanks a whole bunch, guys. WIth people like you around, the "next right" looks like being the old left.

Ah well, my Irish was up but now I've cooled down

Well Brad, when I was meditating on whether I want to be right or whether I want to be happy today, I realized that I should've taken your post as an opportunity to exercise my patience as opposed to my theatrical skills, so I'll say sorry to you and MaD since we're basically on the same team and all.  Good luck to you both, and especially to John McCain. But I still want to drill in ANWR.  

I'm off like a deb's dress now.  Slàinte Mhath.  :^)

Thank you, Rebel.

Thank you, Rebel.

So how does the Blogosphere promote activism

On conservative blogs on the other hand, you have a thousand different bloggers who all want to be a talking head on one of the cable networks.  Everyone has an opinion and feels the need to explain why they are correct.  As such, most of the time the rightosphere is just a circular sounding board.

I am 38, and a life-long Republican.  I started blogging in April because I was appalled that the very left-wing ideas that Reagan had defeated in the 80's were enjoying a resurgence.  Blogging seemed like something I could do to help my cause.  If nothing else, adding one more conservative voice out there would make the others feel less out-numbered.

I guess you can see that on my blog I have been more of a pundit than an activist.  The problem is that in order to promote activism in a meaningful way you have to have traffic.  For traffic you need content.  Since for most people (myself included) the easiest way to come up with content is to express an opinion.

I am tech-savy (my day job is that of .Net programmer) but I do not get the Web 2.0 culture.  I did not grow up with Myspace or Facebook, and frankly spend the amount of time on a MySpace page never really interested me.

So if someone wanted to make his blog more of an activism-oriented site what should he do?

 

 

 

 

First, seek the truth. As Shakespeare said,...

..."Twice is he armed who is armed with the truth."

In this regard, the question before us is: Why are conservative Republicans still fighting for our political lives against the ideological left two decades after Reagan vanquished it?

Truth be told, no Republican after Reagen has even remotely remained true to conservative political ideals of limited government as an aspect of personal liberty, not one. Indeed, as we progressed out from Reagen, we find less and less adherence to the conservative ideal, until we are now asked to elect John McCain as our standard bearer. The plain simple truth is, sir; we are fighting for our political lives today because we conservatives have failed to elect conservatives to the presidency.  

Now I don't for one moment think this is due to conservatives simply failing to support conservative candidates at the ballot box. I think, dear Mercutio,  the fault lies squarely at the doorstep of the Republican Party.

My truth is that we should fundamentally reform the Republican Party using the Internet to network all registered Republicans into one single party structure. This would empower "The People" within their own party, which is after all the true raison d' être of the Republican Party, and from whence we have allowed the party to stray so far since Reagen.

There is, of course, one serious drawback to this plan...we can't reform the Republican Party while it successfully elects our presidents, regardless of their left-leaning ideologies. We have to wait until our party is defeated before we can act.

For a more practical approach as to how this can be carried out, you my go to my website at The National Online Party

ex animo

davidfarrar