Sunday, April 12, 2009

A matter of movements

Today, I tackle the issue of the Conservative Movement, and how it can compete with the Liberal Movement in order to gain the hearts and minds of current non-followers.

This is an easy topic about which to write. Really, it is.

Because Conservatives don't HAVE a movement.

We have an ideology. We have a system of beliefs that, when spoken about passionately, actually make followers want to do "something".

But then there's never anywhere to invest that energy.

Liberals, on the other hand, have achieved the fundamental trait of a "movement": mobilizing the masses.

Their movement, I'd argue, is based on nothing other than power, which they wield in any willy-nilly fashion they see fit on that given day. The foot soldiers of that movement span every special interest group to which the Democratic party is beholden, sometimes with great irony.

Arguments from that movement need not include historical accuracy, civility, nor common sense. It is a mass--a large, vocal, omnipresent mass of humanity that feels neither shame nor honor--that sets about enacting the movement's goal with focus and hubris.

Conservatives have. . .Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. And half of us don't even embrace them!

We decry the lack of civility in public discourse. . .but then remain silent when slandered or libeled. Seriously, how hasn't Justice Alito brought action against Barney Frank for calling him a homophobe in an interview?

We laugh at--and take note to caution against--the protests for which the left is famous. But in the face of no counter-action, an unimformed person might simply assume that there IS no counter to the action on the left. And trust me, there's a lot of people out there who are uninformed.

We rail against the direction of public education, citing both its ideological bent and its ineptitude. But where are we when in comes to fixing the problem with the education system? What do we do to combat ideologically overzealous educators who have no problem letting their politics mix with their teaching in the classroom?

In truth and in terms of actions, the conservative "movement" is exactly what we accuse the Democratic Party of being: an organization that points out problems without ever offering solutions. (This piece, of course, is one of those. And no, the irony is not lost on me)

We have high-minded folks who love to talk a good game. But they are noticeably absent from the trenches.

Which is why I give a lot of credit to Limbaugh and Coulter. They don't mind mucking it up.

An ideology that won't fight for itself won't survive. And right now, conservatives have a set of principles that have no warriors.

The Tea Parties could--COULD--be a turning point. Here is an opportunity for conservative-minded folks to harness the outrage of everyperson, USA, against the overt encroaches of the liberal ideology into our personal finances, all in the name of furthering the special interests to which the ruling party is currently deeply indebted.

But the parties need to be focused on that issue. Done properly, this is a potential rallying moment as we get ready for the mid-term elections.

Done improperly, and there's a whole host of citizens who will feel (AGAIN!) like the conservative party doesn't know what they actually stand for.


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