One thing Republicans should have learned from the last sixteen years is when campaigning stops it is as good as surrendering to the Democrats.
I just hope that the next time we Republicans grab the big brass ring our President realizes the two years of campaigning that just ended isn’t enough, and he or she will have to campaign for eight more years. Two years before the election and eight years in office. Follow Bill Clinton’s model. He was a master campaigner, who was even better at communicating his message than Obama.
While running for office, keep to no more than three or four themes (in addition to ridiculing the claims and media portrayal of the opponent). Each theme is a conservative principle or is supported by one. One theme should be primary at any time. Make messages match the theme. Get them out daily over the objections of the media. Do live interviews only. Do not consent to edited interviews. Stick to the themes. Identify distractions from the Pravda media for what they are: distractions. Shut distractions down. Discipline members of the press by refusing to call on them when they repeat distractions. Trumpet results of actions and lessons learned over the heads of the media. Conservatism is all about rational action and results testing, not simply shooting from the hip and doing what seems good. Make that so clear that even the media can’t cover it up.
Once in office, you can have more themes than three or four. But still no more than one primary theme at a time. One primary theme will carry on for days. Every day has its own message that gets communicated to the people over the objection of the media, expressed in legislative or regulatory actions, supported with research, and the results tied together in a pretty package so the Pravda press can’t ignore them. Make every day’s message on theme. Enlist or hire the best conservative talkers, the most lucid masters of policy details, and get them on all the shows to pound that theme, the relevant or supporting principle, the message of the day, the research, and recent results. Keep no primary theme for more than two weeks uninterrupted. If it’s important enough bring it up again in a month for another two weeks.
In the meantime, don’t ever give up the campaign. Don’t ever let Democrats and their Pravda press define the Republican theme or messages. Pound the real themes so hard nobody can misrepresent them without looking like an idiot.
The more Republicans beat on the Pravda press and keep them honest on the principles they follow, the more the people will be with Republicans. Republicans should feel free to be extremely confrontational, though sarcasm is a bad idea. The people realize the power and corruption of the press, even if the press doesn’t. They also recognize principled convictions, when forcefully expressed.
For that matter, highlight the moral corruption of the left. The Pravda press sure won’t. Hold the press, the leftist Academy, and Democrats to the same ethical standards that conservatives hold for themselves and Republicans. Do not get the left away with claims they never promised to be ethical or moral, stick to the truth, or even obey the law. Force them to claim they are ethical, moral, truthful and not lawbreakers, and when they lapse, as they will, nail them to the wall. Speaking of this, why isn’t Dollar Bill Cunningham in the news every single day? And why isn’t the New York Times reviled every day by conservatives for its treasonous serial publication of Top Secret intelligence information?
There is another thing that has been missing. The Republican President has acted like he wasn’t proud to be a Republican. He has thrown away his good name and the good name of his party through passivity in the face of relentless attacks against himself and his party. There is only one way to defend against relentless attacks, to counterattack aggressively and gain the momentum. Get inside the decision loop of the Pravda media and the Democrats and exploit their confusion to defeat them. This is the strategic reasoning behind the continuous campaign.
Other Republicans in office have been working against their own party and with the other party. Though it sounds nice, in real life “bipartisanship” means Republicans doing Democrats’ bidding. Democrats don’t play the “bipartisan” tune. Republicans should not either. Principles matter. “Bipartisanship” bargains away conservative principles for illusory progress.
I also don’t want to hear another Republican Presidential candidate saying he will do what is right without hogging the limelight or playing partisan politics, and let himself and his party be attacked without responding to or defending himself or the party. That is the way to destroy the rest of the party, as we’ve learned to our woe the last eight years. If the President is of a party then he or she had better darn well be partisan! There is no downside to it. That is the way to strengthen the party and the Presidency. And the President should hog the limelight. The President is the star of the party, the leader of the party, the biggest face and name in the world. In the mind of the people, the President is the party. When the President gets the limelight, the party benefits. By pounding conservative principles the President can not only keep them in the minds of the people, but also keep weak sisters in the party from losing their principles.
It’s the same set of rules all winning teams follow. Everyone is for the team. There is no fighting allowed within the team. Everyone plays a part. Everyone helps the team’s stars be the best stars possible. Everyone lifts up the weak players on their own team. The bench is always ready to substitute in. Do sports teams reach out to help the other team score? They don’t. Yet sports are a game. They don’t really matter; not like politics matters. If a sports team loses, they lost a game. If you lose at politics your principles lose with you. If you win, they win. There is no virtue in compromising right principles. After all, if principles matter, they and the party that holds them are worth fighting for and winning for. If they don’t matter, why be a member of the party that has the principles?
Truth over falsehood: That’s the contest that matters in politics. Play to win. Win it for conservative principles. And after we win the first one, win the next one. Keep the streak running as long as possible. Be the EverReady party.
Keep winning. The media loves a winner.
It’s all common sense. That’s what we need.
It’s time to win one for the Gipper, again.
* * *