This post provides a great explanation why the GOP should focus on shoring up the base first. Here’s the part I agree most with:

5) It’s conservatives, not moderates, who contribute the money, work on GOP campaigns, and are generally going to vote Republican, if they vote at all.

Although it’s fine to reach out to moderates, if you go too far and alienate the conservative base, it will hurt your fundraising, leave you without enough campaign volunteers, and may depress turnout amongst your most loyal supporters.

Our ‘alphabets’ fundraising has stunk the last 2 election cycles. That’s because the activists have refused to support candidates that would be as comfortable in the Democratic Party as they’d be in the GOP. The Democrats hire their GOTV machine. The GOP doesn’t. That’s why we need enthusiastic activists. The perfect example of this is in Minnesota’s 2nd District.

John Kline has impeccable conservative credentials. As a result, Rep. Kline had a big base of volunteers this campaign season:

John Kline and his supporters have turned out in force, in numbers ranging the low 30’s to over 70 per parade, and expect to continue such turnouts through the fall. Sarvi has missed a number of parades, and the number of his supporters has been much smaller when he has shown up.

John Kline gives CD-2 activists reason to volunteer. The above paragraph is proof that people will volunteer if our politicians are steadfast, principled conservatives.

John’s on the right track but he isn’t the only person on the right track. Erick Erickson of Redstate, Patrick Ruffini of the Next Right and others have started a project called Rebuild the Party. Here’s a little teaser of what they’ve come up with:

The time is now to set in motion the changes needed to rebuild our party from the grassroots up, modernize the way we run campaigns, and attract different, energetic, and younger candidates at all levels.

We must be conservative in philosophy but bold in our approach. We don’t need a slight tweak here or there. We need transformation. We can’t keep fighting a 21st century war with 20th century weapons.

Patrick Ruffini is one of the brightest political minds in the conservative movement. Having spoken with Erick Erickson from time to time, I can vouch for Erick’s vision for the conservative movement and for his impeccable conservative credentials. I’ll enthusiastically fight this fight with Erick and Patrick. I encourage every conservative to join in this effort.

What’s needed now is principled leadership. There isn’t a minute to waste if we we want to stay relevant. It’s imperative that we commit to this project. Liberalism can’t defeat principled, well-enunciated conservatism. It’s just that simple. On October 27, 1964, Ronald Wilson Reagan delivered his famous “Time for Choosing” speech. Forty-four years later, it’s still a time for choosing. It’s also a time for action.

Let’s get started.

Technorati: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at California Conservative

3 Responses to “Interesting Reading”

  • J. Ewing says:

    Glad to see somebody else recognizing that conservative ideas alone do not win elections, and effective tactics are not enough, either. You have to have all three– solid conservative principles, well-articulated, AND a powerful political campaign process. It’s as much about Get Out The Message (GOTM) as it is Get Out The Vote (GOTV). Maybe more so.

  • Walter hanson says:

    J. The point of the post was that good real conservatism inspires the volunteers and the money.

    Obama got his volunteers and money (okay some was just because he was black) because he was very liberal to the base of the party (anti war, pro labor, pro environment, etc.)

    The reason why Mccain lost was that he had an enthusiasm gap which allowed Obama to build up a ground attack in Virginia, Indiana, etc. The Palin pick helped there.

    A reason why Mccain lost was that support for him financial was weak because our base wasn’t excited for him. Palin once again helped close the money gap.
    In 2012 the Republican candidate will have to raise I say more than a billion dollars to win in part because they will have to do a real national campaign.

    Mccain lost in part because the Republican base wasn’t excited to vote for him. Norm may still lose because Republicans weren’t excitd to vote for him.

    Mccain lost in part because he wasn’t articulating a set of beliefs to the voters. If it wasn’t for Joe the plumber Mccain could’ve easily lost by fifteen points. The reaction to Joe the plumber got Mccain the most excited and consistent he was the whole campaign.

    And most importantly you got to campaign like you want to win. The Democrats go after Republicans like they think they are horrible terrorists who will destroy the country (to bad they don’t recognize the threat of terrorism).

    That’s why we lost. In 2004 we had people who wanted to win, but didn’t govern the way we wanted them to win. That’s why we got the butt kicking we did in 2006 and 2008.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • J. Ewing says:

    Walter, I have to remind you that we fielded 8 strong conservative Congressional candidates in MN this year, and only 3 of them won. Being conservative is not enough. Being conservative and articulate about it (as I believe all eight were) is not enough. We need still more, and, while I think “Rebuild the Party” has some good ideas, I’m not convinced THAT is enough, either.

Leave a Reply