How to win in 2012
by Tom Donelson on June 29, 2011 at 4:08 PM
The following should be the rules of engagement for conservatives in winning in the 2012 elections.
First rule, know your opposition. Never use the word liberal, but insted use leftist in describing your opponents, "It is leftist congressman John Smith who stands for the following." The left's goal is to paint the conservative movement as the radical forces but the reality is 2 out of every 5 voters consider themselves conservative, and another 2 out of 5 consider themselves moderates. The remainder view themselves liberals, or in our case, leftist. Standing for the Federal control of healthcare, banking and auto industry is hardly a liberal idea; it is a radical idea. Don’t allow the left to paint itself as being the new center.
Second rule, set the agenda. The biggest failure so far in 2011 has been the conservatives' and Republicans' inability to set the agenda and have allowed the left to set the perimeters of the debate. In the 26th Congressional race in New York and so far in the second phase of the 36th Congressional special elections in California, the Democrats have set the agenda by making the claim; Republicans will destroy Medicare and favor tax cuts for the rich while destroying the safety net. This is inexcusable.
From this point, every conservative group and candidate needs to emphasize bureaucratic control of heath care for both seniors and the rest of us. Take the following, senior’s health care decisions are being decided by an independent board acting as a death panel, determining who gets care and who dies. Continue to attack Obamacare, note the word, attack! Remind that millions of Americans will see their health care changed after the election under Obamacare and the care they expect will disappear! Every ad should include the question, who do you want to determine your health care, unelected bureaucrats or you and your doctor?
On taxes and the budget, the phase, Democrat leftists are stealing your children's future! As for favoring tax cuts for the rich, borrow a line from Herman Cain, “Every American have a right to succeed!” This line often sends the house rocking!
Third rule; don’t be afraid to attack Obama. Yes, you will be declared a racist for attacking Obama, but then you will be declared a racist for not attacking Obama. Treat Obama like you would treat any leftist candidate! Force the left to defend his record!
Fourth rule, change the narrative. Democrats will claim they saved the country from a Depression. Wrong, the Democrats kept a strong recovery from happening. According to every economic measurement, the recovery began six months after Obama took office, so why is unemployment as high today as it was when Obama took office? Remind voters that every other recovery in the post World War II era saw stronger recovery than this. Make the case that if Obamanomics has been rejected, we would be in a stronger recovery! And there is a threat that we are in the verge of a second recession and we have no weapons left to deal with it.
Fifth rule, don’t forget foreign affairs. Remind voters in spite of killing Osama bin Laden, the world has become a more dangerous place since Obama took office. Arab spring has become Arab winter; radical forces are in the ascendancy in the Middle East. Obama has appeased our enemies and stiffed our friends like Great Britain and Israel.
Sixth Rule, drill baby drill! Energy exploration and jobs are interrelated. The states with some of the best economic development over the past few years also have been energy producing states. With the discovering of new sources of natural gas, oil and coal in America means new jobs and a more energy resilient America.
Seventh Rule, bureaucrats don’t govern! The Obama administration has used executive orders to get what he couldn’t get through congress. From net neutrality, labor boards and EPA, Obama is using non democratic ways to socialize America. Use the phrase non-democratic ways! The phrase, “How can our government deny companies the right to place businesses anywhere in the United States?” or (in honor of net neutrality) “Do we want the government run the internet just as they are trying to control our health care?”
Eighth Rule, Who will pick the next judges? Most lefties believe that using the argument who will pick the next judges is a winning wedge issue for them. If done properly, this is an issue that is a winner for conservatives. It is all how you phrase the issue. Use the phrase, The next President will determine the next Supreme Court justices, do you want a judge who will allow local voters to determine what is marriage, protect the right to bear arms, protect free speech and private property rights and even protect the rights of the unborn?” Remember for 2012, being pro-life, pro-family, pro Second Amendment is a wedge issue that works for conservative candidates. Those who view Pro-life as their primary issue, vote Pro-life and as even Democrats have learned, gun rights are very popular!
Ninth Rule, don’t forget Hispanics and African-American voters! Hispanics represent a growing segment of the voting population and many Hispanics want economic opportunities, better schools and tend to be social conservatives. More Hispanics consider themselves conservative than liberal. In many areas, Hispanics will prove to be the decisive voters. They are not automatically going to vote Democrat.
As for African-Americans, it is conventional wisdom that they will march in lock with the Democrats when Obama is on the top of the ticket. Surrender to conventional wisdom means giving up much of the Midwest and even key southern states. Again, more Blacks consider themselves conservative than liberals, but due to conservative incompetence, most black conservatives vote Democratic!
Two rules to remember when dealing with opposition blocs, the first being when you take the fear out of voting for your side; many voters stay home. The second rule, you pick up additional votes and this could prove decisive in key battleground states! In Ohio, independent efforts to attract minority voters allowed Bush to win the 2004 elections and in 2010, it helped elect Scott Walker in Wisconsin and sent Russ Feingold into early retirement.
Conclusion: We have the issues on our side, so set the agenda and remind voters, who is responsible for the weak recovery and how many Americans are seeing the American dream being crushed. It is Obama and the Democratic Left! Set the agenda; force the other side to argue our issues and not theirs. Change the narrative and show it is the left that will destroy the best healthcare system for both seniors and the rest of us while bankrupting future generations.
2012 is not 2010 and Obama has the advantages of the White House and is backed by a movement that will do anything, including lying, to win. We have one advantage, the truth! Use it.