The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

War on Three Fronts

(Writing’s slowed down, mostly because Obama hasn’t done anything that I can criticize yet. So…more thoughts on strategy.)

Part of a successful strategy for Republicans/conservatives to win back the hearts and minds of the electorate will include some sort of plan for actually how to do the outreach that needs to be done. In formulating this strategy, there are three areas that must be addressed. Viewed from a military perspective (as I see most things), they are:

Putting enough people on the ground to actually get the message out (the “ground war”): A good case study (and a recent one) is my home state (commonwealth!) of Virginia during the 2008 elections. Obama opened up, at last count, 41 offices across the Commonwealth. Meanwhile, McCain opened up (according to my best information) 12. The Republicans basically wrote the book on last-minute voter mobilization (the “72 Hour Campaign”), but that does no good if moderate conservative/left-leaning areas have already been visited-multiple times!-by your opposition. We have to figure out a way to harness our base elements and keep them engaged during the entire campaign season.

Winning media outlets outside of conservative circles (the “air war”): When Obama did his 30 minute television buy the week before the election, Bill O’Reilly offered McCain free air time to rebut Obama’s message and spread his own. McCain turned him down, not wanting to “overshadow” Obama. Not the best move, though even air time on the O’Reilly Factor would have only reached a limited demographic.

Republicans this year were stung by a brand name that the country really wasn’t trying to give the time of day to. That was no more apparent than in the media, where major news outlets (the Washington Post being one) have begun to admit their bias towards Obama and the democrats. So we have to fight to get our message out in an openly hostile environment…and we can’t rely on conservative media to carry our message to the masses for us, because-deservedly or not-conservative media has taken a hit in credibility (with Limbaugh’s rants and all).

What we need are strong messengers that are able to stand up to the media and insist that our story be told. And I’m not talking about a reverse “Fairness Doctrine;” if we have to fight editorial boards and in newsrooms to get our story and message out there, then we should not run from that challenge.

Creating a strong internet/social networking presence (the “space war”): The GOP and conservative movements have to move into the 21st century. It’s not optional. We can curse the scourge of the Internet and how it’s corrupting our children all day, but the reality is that more people get information from there than from newspapers, TV, etc. This will come with an infusion of younger Republicans/conservatives, but it really can’t wait until then. Conservative bloggers are doing their part, and there’s sites such as Free Republic and Modern Conservative (and others) that are taking the necessary steps forward.

The Internet is the cheapest, easiest way to get our message out to millions of people at a time. We refuse to harness it at our own peril.




Written by Coby Dillard

November 25, 2008 at 11:33 am

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