Many folks out there wonder why the Republican party in its current form is so far away from the party as it existed under Ronald Reagan. The answer isn’t a simple one. Where new media has helped Democrats, it has hurt or hindered Republicans. Ever since Howard Dean used the web to garnish campaign donations the Democratic party has utilized the world wide web to its advantage. How were they able to be so successful at it and the Republicans so bad? Smartphone operating systems, sandboxes, hot chicks, and basketball can explain everything. In this article I lump conservatives in with Republicans. Lets face it. Conservatives are probably not going to vote Democrat.
I don’t have a definitive answer. I do have some ideas as to why Republicans and I’ll lump in conservatives as well are floundering. There will be plenty of folks who will note the differences between the current Republican party and conservatives and hate being lumped in together but for the purposes of this article, you ARE the same. Since I’m a Geek, I’ll use some computer operating system speak to make my point. The difference between Republicans and Democrats right now is the difference between iOS and Android operating systems for smartphones. iOS is a closed solid system. Android is a fragmented operating system with many variations. Democrats are iOS right now and Republicans are Android.
Not a geek? How about this? The Republicans/Conservatives are playing in the sandbox while the Democrats/Liberals are using the entire playground. The liberals own the main stream media. The liberals own Hollywood. Getting their message out is a “no-brainer” for them. Conservatives on the other hand have a much harder time of it. Fox News is just one channel. Democrats have all of the others.
Conferences for the sake of conferences. CPAC Florida? CPAC Chicago? Really? We need people to spend money on candidates and elections not conferences full of people who have the very same things to say year after year. No need for you to get up behind a podium and speak to a crowd of people who already agree with you. Really. We already KNOW what your position is. Seriously. Speaking to a crowd of people who don’t know what your position is, however, now that is the real trick. How about financing a train trip to towns you’ve never been to and talk to people you don’t know about issues that mean something to you? What if CPAC was a travelling show? CPAC is a train trip or a bus trip or a caravan. Now THAT is an idea.
Conferences haven’t been around THAT long really but somehow we’ve adopted them as “standard operating procedure.” As a famous bar tender on a Star Trek episode once said, “if the enemy knows everything that you know, then its time to throw that book away.” Because there are so many conferences and “cons” out there, it is difficult for central messaging and unified communication. When it was just CPAC, everyone got their messages from a central place. Today, everything is fragmented. The general take away from CPAC Florida may be different than the take away message from CPAC Chicago.
Eye candy doesn’t work for conservatives the way that eye candy works for liberals. I would even suggest that having the prettiest women on Fox News isn’t the brightest idea. I just watched S.E. Cupp. Do I remember a damn thing she said? Not really.
No one thing is responsible for the Republican fragmentation. One thing is painfully clear to me. The Republican party has no clear leadership. No clear message. No clear goals other than to win the White House. They have no roadmap to do it with. Obama has so many negative issues flying around his administration right now that this election should be a “slam dunk win” for Republicans. It won’t be. Instead of being on offense, the Republicans will go on defense and unfortunately for them, its the offense that puts the points on the board.