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I imagine I'm like many of my peers and despite November election results, I was hoping that the GOP might learn a lesson or two and adjust accordingly. I was skeptical, but hopeful nonetheless. Then the 100 page report happened and confirmed what I knew in my gut - the GOP hasn't learned one damn thing. And so, my list of grievances. Were I in D.C., I'd nail them to door of the GOP headquarters in the most theatrical way possible, but I digress.
1. Why was Reince re-elected?
Yes, I know this isn't necessarily an issue with the 100 page monstrosity, but it's my blog post and this bothers me. When you have one objective that you don't satisfy and the future of the free world hinges on success, how do you get another chance? I was a "Reince again?" naysayer but was assured by party betters that he sounded like he was on message, that he knew what to fix. Perhaps it's because I tend to be slightly more aggressive, but Reince strikes me as a weak, pandering-pro. Media interviews being an indicator, he bunts instead of swinging for the fence. I don't find this encouraging in the least. We need someone who unapologetically conveys Conservatarian values and their benefits, not someone who walks in to interviews presuming the public already believes in the benefits of liberty and limited government. We can do better than Reince and we should.
2. It's 100 Freaking Pages Long
Print media is dying a slow and painful death. Gifs, memes and viral videos are the way of the world, and the GOP releases a 100 page report. This was a squandered opportunity; a chance to use a different medium to attract people who might otherwise not care about elephants and colored circles. At the end of the day, a white paper was decidedly the best way to convey that the GOP is moving forward? But the GOP isn't out of touch, archaic, dying, self-marginalizing, no, no. They're hip with times, yo! At least it had colorful graphics on the first page.
3. Um, where is the Tea Party?
An entire document devoted to messaging and outreach managed to ignore an entire base of voters and grassroots organizers who resurrected the GOP from the dead in 2009 and gave rise to a emboldened liberty movement. These energetic and devoted activists want to work with the party if the party will work with them. If it wasn't so offensive, it would be hilariously ironic. When the party's official position doesn't include any mention of working with the very people who engage in their communities in ways far more effective than any GOP sanctioned deployment or phone bank, we have a major problem. Rather than utilize an existing framework, the GOP plans to bypass some of the most enthusiastic righties at their disposal? Smart. The Tea Party/GOP relationship is one where there is going to naturally be tension and needs a lot of work and TLC. Factor in the quintessential establishment character, Karl Rove, and his ridiculous war on the grassroots, and the GOP intentionally placed themselves in a precarious pickle. The GOP sucks at reaching out to certain demographics, there's no denying this, but it makes no sense to ignore an active voting base that's largely in line with your objectives. The GOP didn't do themselves any favors by leaving the Tea Party folks out in the cold - again.
4. No love for bloggers and new media
See also, "print media is dying." As a blogger/new media type, I'm not personally offended by the GOP's lack of love for me and my peers, but I find the exclusion troubling. I'm a firm believer in utilizing all forms of media, traditional (yes, even though they're painfully biased), viral, new media, cloud writing, I don't care. Whatever it takes to get the word out. While I appreciate that the GOP realizes we're behind digitally, part of overcoming that widening crevasse is beefing up new media presence and usage year round, not just during election cycles. We don't have the luxury of a fouth estate in our back pocket. We have to work that much harder to promote a culture of independency year-round.
I had sincerely hoped the GOP would have come out of this last thrashing with better ideas than those included in their 100 page report... alas. If anything, it's motivation to get out there and make up the difference and boy do we have our work cut out for us. As Dustin Stockton, organizer of The Day of Resistance Rallies and other general anti-establishment mischief put it, "The Republican Party thinks that they need to instruct you with a 100 page manifesto. When really all we need to do is spread out and wreak havoc!" Wreak havoc indeed.