The great part about RightOnline is that there’s a terrific set of options going on seemingly simultaneously. This morning, I attended a breakout session titled titled Preaching Beyond the Choir: Growing the Ranks in the Free Market Movement.
Prior to the first presentation, I struck up a conversation with Geraldine Lewis of News Nation Brewing. We agreed that it’s impossible to show up 3 months before an election, ask somebody to vote for your candidate, then expect that group to vote for your candidate.
We agreed that what’s needed is a consistent presence with the groups you hope to connect with.
The first presenter was Anita MonCrief, formerly of ACORN. She talked about how she simply went through her neighborhood, talking with people. The people simply told her what was important to them. That led Ms. MonCrief to this conclusion: “If we want to take America back, it has to be block-by-block.” She said that “people won’t trust us at first.” That led to Ms. MonCrief’s next major point
Ms. MonCrief’s next major point was that it’s an ongoing effort. Staying with the project is important because it’s what tells people that you’re with them through thick and thin. That’s how people learn that you’re trustworthy.
Teri Christoph was the next presenter. She focused mostly on reaching out to women, a group that Republicans haven’t done well with. She said that it’s her experience that it’s best to have women talk with women. She said that conservative-leaning women have children so they can’t do some of the activist things but they can get on social media.
Christoph then said that “Over the last 8 months, 800,000 women left the workforce”, which is why the economy is the message that will resonate with women.
Another major point Ms. Christoph made is that “Anything that shrinks a family’s options” is a great conversation-starter with women.
The final presenter was Mike Barerra. Here’s his first major point:
Democrats want to talk to us. Republicans want to talk about us. We’re just looking for someone who will talk with us.
Mr. Bererra’s other major point was a reminder of something that Ms. Christoph and Ms. MonCrief said: that staying in contact with people is the key to building relationships. That, Mr. Bererra said, is how you earn people’s trust. That, in turn, is how to win elections.
Looking around the room, it’s apparent that the free market message is expanding into places where it’s never been. The biggest demographic group represented were African-American women, followed by Hispanic men, then women in general, followed finally by young white men and women.
That’s proof that the free market message is outselling the Democrats’ doom and gloom, the-sky-is-falling message and that it isn’t even close.
Demographics aren’t destiny. Appealing to people with great ideas will persuade people. This morning’s meeting was quiet. Like a powerful jackhammer is silent when it isn’t in the street in front of your house.