It’s no secret that the Democrat Party knows how to win, and has absolutely won the culture, conventional wisdom, public opinion, etc. If we want to win long-term we have to figure out what we are doing wrong, and stop doing that. We have to figure out what they are doing right, and copy it.
We can copy many of their tactics, and use them to achieve our strategic objectives.
Today I saw an example of a group doing two things right, one thing completely wrong, and thus losing completely and providing ammo to the enemy. It’s a little story, a little event – but in the end, everything starts that way, so let’s look at this one and maybe learn from it.
Some City Councilwoman in San Antonio was caught saying some homophobic stuff. Public denunciation by liberal city officials ensued, demands for her resignation, etc. The typical thing. Elected officials say harmful things all the time. It makes no sense to spend any time trying to find that perfect candidate who will never say something the other side will use against them. It makes no sense to spend any time trying to make the left not seize on every stupid thing and try to win points. We can’t change other people. We can change how we react to those other people, how we choose to neutralize a bad situation, or even turn it into a positive.
What DID happen is that the River City Tea Party issued the following statement:
“The River City Tea Party hereby expresses its support for our fellow Conservative, District 9 City Councilwoman Elisa Chan and her anti-homosexual stance.”
RCTPP president, Brandon Burkhardt, also told KENS 5, “She has her opinion and she’s entitled to her opinion and we think she should stand by it and we stand behind her.”
GOOD – A little group like the Tea Party issued a statement to the news media. That’s excellent tactics. You raise your own profile in the community, position yourself as a thought leader and source for the news folks to go to. Make it easy for them to contact you, get copy for their story. That’s good publicity for your organization. Put yourself out there, well done!
GOOD – Stand by the conservative politician who did something stupid. Resist the urge to toss her under the bus. This is VERY important, and it’s the kind of thing we need to go much more of. FAR too often our bloggers, pundits, and consultants will take to the microphone to eagerly denounce the silly thing that the left is getting outraged about. No one wanted to be thought of as crazy or stupid, so they just tossed Todd Akin right under that bus. Their own ego was more important than the race, than having another GOP Senator. They chose the easy way rather than the “best for the country” way. So, good job standing beside her.
BAD – Explicitly stating that you support the anti-homosexual stance. And now…you’ve killed yourselves, and caused some damage to the conservative movement, and to the Tea Party name in general.
With that one bad, they wiped out the good. How can any outreach to the gay community be successful now? Any other conservative group that chooses to work with you will now have to fight the impression that they are anti-gay. They have limited the potential coalition, dramatically. They have reinforced the accusations that Tea Partiers hate gays.
Would have been quite easy to come out with some relatively neutral statement of support “We support Ms Chan and everything she has done for the City of San Antonio. Her comments were part of a private strategy session, we believe they were ill-advised. We hope that she continues to make political decisions based on the needs of her constituents and what is best for the City rather than personal issues she may have” or whatever.
You stand by her, you find a way to highlight the good things she’s done, and brush it off as off-the-record, and move forward with your own agenda. Always move forward with your own agenda.
We’ve got to get better at this, folks.