I just noticed a trend today: my two most recent posts are about conservative proposals for change. “Conservative” and “change” is not an oxymoron, either, because (unlike the idea some people have of conservatism) conservatism does not just represent stagnancy, or going back to something that once was. It does represent certain principles, many of which are rooted in the past, but there’s nothing against new solutions based on those principles.
All too often, though, the Republican Party (and conservation, which is not the same thing) has allowed itself to be defined as staying in the past, a sort of ossified fuddy-duddyism that doesn’t meet people’s needs. If conservatism is ever going to appeal to enough people to matter, it must change that perception and somehow override the liberal press to get out a message that will resonate with people.
There is no question in my mind that conservatism has such a message, and that it is a better message (although a more complex one) than that provided by today’s liberalism or the left. Conservatives had better learn how to formulate it, operationalize it with specifics, and deliver it in a way that people can hear and understand, or they will be marginalized. I’m convinced it’s possible to get the word out, but to do it conservatives can’t focus on side issues. Right now it’s the economic issues (including Obamacare) that are in people’s faces and for which people want solutions. The hype is that Republicans and/or conservatives don’t offer them. We need to stop complaining that the press is obscuring the real conservative message (although it is) and concentrate on making that message louder and clearer.
Of course, that’s hardly the only thing that needs doing. But it’s a very urgent thing.