Via-Front Page Magazine
By Bruce Thornton
Nearly 3 months after the presidential election the Republicans are still trying to fix what they think went wrong. A popular culprit is the Republicans’ alleged failure to communicate forcefully or persuasively a message that would move voters presumably receptive to conservative policies and principles. Just in the last week Jonah Goldberg, Daniel Henninger, Ari Fleischer, Ross Douthat, and Karl Rove have worked variations on this theme. Yet we should remember that any act of communication comprises not just a sender and a message, but also a receiver. We need to focus on the nature of America’s political “receivers,” the 65 million who voted for Obama in the November election, and the 93 million registered voters who didn’t vote. If those voters are not receptive to the Republican message, it doesn’t matter much how brilliant the messenger or the packaging of the message.
And that “message” has been out there for years now and constantly repeated. Only the stupid or willfully inattentive haven’t heard that we face a financial abyss waiting at the end of our entitlement road, that entitlements need to be reformed, that we have an exploding debt and deficit crisis, that a “tax the rich” policy only produces chump-change for solving that problem, that Obama’s economic policies have bloated the federal government at the expense of jobs and growth, and that Obama himself is the most left-wing, duplicitous, partisan, and incompetent president in modern history. And conservatives have identified repeatedly the bad ideology and flawed assumptions that have generated the policies that created those problems. The fact is, many voters know full well this dismal catalogue of failure, and they either don’t care, or they believe the fatuous rationalizations, lies, excuses, and economic magical thinking offered by the Democrats. How else explain Obama’s 55% approval rating in the latest Time/CNN poll? Either way, repeating once again the facts demonstrating that failure and the flawed ideology that has created it, or more effectively repackaging the facts and arguments and having it delivered by an oratorical genius, is not going to cut much ice.
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