They’re getting comfortable. As Henke alludes to here, the self-satisfaction that comes with being in control was a primary factor in the waning of GOP power after 2002. The Dems know political power is nothing if not entropic. That’s exactly why the leadership is rushing like hell to do what they can to entrench their power and fundamentally alter the economy (i.e. before things start to burn and the people turn). Having mastered both the blame game and the art of sophistry, they think they’re better and smarter—despite all the linear thinking and pseudo-intellectual fervor. But victory has a half-life.
What is the Right to do? Let the Left languish in their smugness. Let's innovate:
- Get better organized and unified. (Includes networking and collaboration.)
- Convert talk radio listeners into givers and doers. (Need help from the jocks.)
- Focus on popular messages of freedom, prosperity and suspicion of government.
- Create new constituencies resistant to government takeovers of their sector.
- Create media markets to further dilute the leftish MSM. Hasten the destruction of print.
- Tap, activate and integrate existing grassroots networks while creating new ones.
- Use mockery and satire to prick the Obama bubble. “What were we thinking?”
- Redirect resources from policy wonks to message-makers, writers and activists.
- Find and exploit joints and weak-points. (Attack from the side. A distracting swarm is better than a standing army.)
- Develop an “operating system” for distributed activism. “Embrace and extend” the left’s successful methodologies.
- Crowdsource investigation of key leaders. Dig Relentlessly.
- Use technology as a means to 5 primary ends—registering voters, organizing activists, changing minds, increasing transparency and crowdsourcing ideas.
- Make a continuous show out of dissatisfaction. Be creative. Create distractions.
- Plan carefully, but execute rapidly. Make media. Explosive media campaigns should make people do a double-take.
- Rebrand as a new breed with new ideas. (Use veterans/old guard sparingly.) Think: New Labour circa 1996.
- Turn the Left’s apparent strengths (brand, power, media adoration, momentum) into weaknesses, a la Sun Tzu.
- Create alternative funding channels, including micro-donations.
- Invite in a million ideas and create a filtration mechanism for the best ones.
- Take risks with policy messages and critiques. Simple and powerful.
- More meme machine, less policy argument. (Emotion, images, stories & sticky sayings.)
When you’re clinging to power and pushing your agenda, it’s hard to keep tabs on the enemy. It’s hard to continue innovating now that your foot-shoulders spend most of their days doe-eyed before O-TV, or making snarky comments on rightwing blogs. In 2008, the Left took all the best aspects of the free market – distributed systems, decentralization, collaboration and voluntary association – and out-organized the Right. Disillusionment with the war and the Obama emotion-bubble helped too. But those will soon fade. It’s time to turn the tables.
To be sure, the Left’s leadership will be busy tearing down what is right and good about the U.S., building up what is wrong and adding to a network of special interests and dependents whom they honestly believe will keep them around forever. They’ll make a good go of it. But take heart: Ireland, New Zealand and Britain all rebounded from the depths of socialism and its crony-capitalist variants. Ireland is now economically freer than the U.S. So is New Zealand. Britain is currently moving right. So there is hope. Let’s start innovating.