Voters like fighters. I’m pretty sure that is one of the reasons the far-left likes Bob Filner — he ain’t afraid to draw a line and defend that turf. Republicans do a pretty good job at talking about “making government work,” but to really capture the hearts and minds of future voters Republican candidates should be talking a lot more like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz and a lot less like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
Let’s start with this question: What is government’s most important role?
If you answered “to keep us safe,” don’t pull papers to run for election. If you answered “to secure our individual liberties,” ask me to donate to your campaign — you just passed “Campaign Messaging Lesson One.”
Lesson Two: Civil liberties matter.
Republicans lost something on the way to the Global War on Terror — it’s called the concept of limited government. Limited government means more than low taxes and less regulations. It means the right to be left alone. It mean staying out of people’s businesses, bedrooms, mail, emails, Facebook pages, and phone calls. If you can’t tie legislation to authorization in the Constitution, or a principle enshrined in the Declaration, you’re probably stepping over the line — so shut up about it.
Lesson Three: Talk about this…a lot.
Rand Paul’s filibuster was a major media event. As much as liberal talking heads (and McCain) like to call it a “political stunt,” it galvanized both sides of the aisle around a VERY American principle — the right to be left the hell alone by our government. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly’s “Audit the CPS” bill and his nullification of indefinite detention bill are popular…with the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, the ACLU and the John Birch Society. That’s bringing people together around principles.
Finally. Repeal or Nullify the PATRIOT Act and Obamacare.
Any chance you get, talk about how Obamacare and the PATRIOT Act are the two biggest infringements on individual liberty in 60 years. The latter has been around for ten years and, as I predicted back when it was implemented, Republicans would hate it when Democrats would be in power. When we look at the scandals surrounding the Obama regime (IRS, AP, Verizon) it’s easy to see that St Augustine’s concept of libido dominandi has infected the Democratic Party…(and yes left-of-center readers…the Republican Party, too).
If you’re running for school board, talk about the fact that labor unions have far too much power on the education monopoly and introduce ideas for school choice. If you’re running for the water board, talk about how you won’t infringe upon individuals’ right to collect and store rainwater on their property. If you’re running for a city council, point out that it’s good business to limit or prohibit outdoor patio smoking but a violation of property rights to prohibit it by law. If you’re running for Sheriff, talk about how you trust armed citizens and hope they’ll join a posse when you need them.
Civil liberties matter. Democratic elected officials have become some of the worst violators of individual rights. Young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and tea party people are getting harassed by the libido dominandi of the Left. Stand up for civil liberties, draw a line in the sand, defend that turf, and say “civil liberties matter” over…and over…and over again. You’ll win your election by a landslide.