How GOP Can Increase Web Presence

One of the big stories of this election cycle – and of the 2004 cycle as well – was the increasing importance of the internet.

Conservatives are way behind on this subject, and for good reason.Conservatives tend not to be media-oriented people. They tend not even to want to be involved in media and public affairs to the extent that liberals do in order to dominate other people’s lives.

Republicans generally want three things in life: To be left alone; to be allowed to contribute to society primarily by improving themselves on their own terms; and to create a world in which people understand that they are better off creating their own destinies rather than relying on the government. This was the intent of the Founding Fathers of our nation.

Conservatives tend to work hard and do not have the time to sit on the internet and build up a presence. Liberals devote more of their time to political activism because that is what they live for. They have come to dominate much of the internet because many are activists who sit around all day on the web, or they work for well-funded groups that give them plenty of time and money to hang around and manipulate public opinion via the internet.

But if conservatives continue to allow liberals to dominate the internet as they have dominated our media, conservatism will lose. Republicans must increase their use of the internet as a medium of their own.

Conservatives probably would even not be much interested in running for office if it were not for the express purpose of restraining the liberal impulse to take all of our power as individuals and give it to an expanding government. And liberals right now are in the process of continuing to do that as they have for 50 years.

In many states, the conservative presence is shrinking, and independents are growing and trending toward the left because those are the opinions that they hear through their local newspaper, through their friends, through the entertainment industry, through the national media etc. Even once-conservative small towns are becoming more liberal because they get CNN and The Today Show and Oprah Winfrey and NBC News on cable and on satellite TV.

As I developed my own website, I sought to contact people associated with the Republican party across the nation by visiting county GOP sites. What I found was a hit-or-miss proposition. Many counties have no Republican party internet site, or an insignificant one, or an outdated one with old news on it. This must change.

I believe that for starters that every single county in America must have a good Republican website. And to accomplish this easily and cheaply, the following steps could be taken:

First, if a county GOP organization is happy with its current website, that is fine. They keep it.

For those without a site that wish to start one, or those county organizations that may wish to upgrade to a much better and more dynamic site, the Republican party should establish a uniform “template site” that could be downloaded free by Republican county organizations all across the nation. It would work like this:

Imagine you are the Republican chairman in mythical Smith County with no web presence. Rather than hiring a web designer and webmaster, the Smith County GOP official could go to a national Republican site and download a “template site” free of charge.

That’s pretty easy.

The “template site” would have several different functions and sections:

1) Like any website, it would offer blank pages for Smith County officials to create their own site and to update it on a regular basis as they see fit (every day, every week, when news is made etc.). It would consist of a Smith County home page, news pages, events page, elected officials page, opinion page etc.

And importantly, it should list e-mail addresses not only for all local officials but for all citizens who wish to be engaged in the political process. These e-mail addresses are crucial because they would start to connect conservatives in each county to each other, and connect them to others across the nation. Many Republicans are isolated on the web.

In my research I noticed that many elected GOP officials listed on county websites do not even have an e-mail address and are probably not even on the web. This must end. They must join the 21st century if we want to get back on top again. Computers and internet connections are cheaper and cheaper these days.

2) The second part of the “template site” is the critical part. It would consist of a few designated pages that could be downloaded each day from the national server. These pages would offer a professional section of national news, links and commentary of interest to Republicans. It would be updated by midnight every day 7 days a week.

So each time these designated pages are downloaded onto the Smith County site (hopefully at least 5 mornings a week), it would refresh the Smith County site with the latest national news and commentary. It might include a column by George Will, Bill Sammon, Bill Bennett or Brent Bozell, or even commentaries gleaned from regional and local websites about issues in various states and localities.

These designated news pages would play an important role. They would:

*give the Republicans of Smith County an impetus to visit the Smith County website every day as a source for national news rather than going to other sites which may be liberal (CNN, NBC, Reuters, links from Drudge etc.). One of the problems with many local sites is that they don’t change much from day to day or even week to week, and so there is little impetus for people to visit them or even to pay attention to them. A fresh download every day of high quality news and commentary would give people a reason to visit and would spark more participation.

*give access, through links, to a wide variety of national conservative news from a huge source… the entire internet… all boiled down to a few designated pages.

For instance, on my website I have links in one section to all sorts of interesting material like a Heritage Foundation study about the reality of poverty in America that shows that “poor” people in the US are much better off than they ever have been, and much better off than most people think;

*give Smith County officials a reason to more aggressively update their own website because more people would be visiting it; and

*provide another way for Republicans/conservatives to interact via the internet.

3) One of those designated pages could list perhaps 50 separate one-page essays of point-by-point verified, factual arguments in favor of Republican positions like “Why Raising the Minimum Wage is a Bad Idea” or “The World Is Not Really Running out of Oil” or any other subject. People in Smith County could print out any essay they wish in any quantity (1 copy or 27 copies or 200 copies) to learn from, or to give to other people to show them the conservative position explained concisely in just one single page.

Many independents across America only know what the liberal media tell them and do not have a conservative point of view explained to them. And they do not want to take the time, or have the time, to listen, for instance, to conservative radio. A simple sheet of facts one page long on an issue like the minimum wage could sway people because the Republican position always is based in fact and not in emotion like the liberal position.

4) Another advantage of the “template site” is that anyone in America could visit a central directory and look up any county in America, log onto it and read what is going on there, or contact the people there.

5) All pages of the official “template site” nationwide would have the same masthead, so as to generate a sense of continuity and uniformity. (“Freedom and liberty” etc., in red, white and blue, and “GOPCounties.com” or whatever the template system is called). Local officials then could create their own local graphics on their pages.

Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more.