I've been thinking lately that the Republicans need a new message, focused on the positive and aspirational, rather than righteous indignation at the latest outrage committed by the Administration and Congress. And it has to answer "What's in it for me?"
A public that has been lulled into complacency, victimhood, and dependency on the munificence of the government needs to relearn the joys of the freedoms we inherited from the Founding Fathers and renewed each generation by legions of patriots.
I came across a couple of articles today, on entirely different topics, that still make powerful cases for freedom as a way of life. The first is a Newsbusters blog post about Senator Jim DeMint's commenting on Arlen Specter changing parties. Mr. DeMint said,
"We're seeing across the country right now that the biggest tent of all is the tent of freedom and what we need to do as Republicans is convince Americans that freedom can work in all areas of their life - for every American, whether it's education, or health care or creating jobs. [snip]Over at Big Hollywood, Russ Dvonch waxes eloquent in his essay Heroic Hollywood: American Exceptionalism and the Hollywood Hero:
"What it means is what has worked in America are free people, free markets for years," DeMint said. "And what we see now is a government expanding into all areas of our economy, increasing spending and debt at levels we never talked about. Americans who are normally not even political are coming out to tea parties and protesting. These aren't Republicans or Democrats. These are just concerned Americans."
Hugh Hewitt's favorite anonymous ad man isn't sanguine about the GOP getting its act together soon to craft a more compelling message:
Freedom is fundamental to American Exceptionalism. The central moral idea of America is that individuals, by right, should be free to choose their own destiny and that the purpose of government is to insure the freedom of individuals.
And freedom is fundamental to the Hollywood Hero. Hollywood filmmaking assumes that the hero has free will. The Hero is presented with numerous moral choices during the course of the movie, just as we are faced with moral choices in life. When he makes the wrong moral choice, things go badly. When he makes the right moral choice…well, things may still go badly and it will be a tough fight, but in the end the good will win out.
The blessings of Freedom are the “opportunity and hope” that America (sic) Exceptionalism brings to humanity. And freedom is the inspirational message behind the Hollywood Hero.
If the momentum from the Tea Parties is to continue, it's up to individuals to continue it. Waiting for the GOP to pick up the ball and run could not only cost momentum - it could cost the game. The Tea Parties indicate that although the GOP still hasn't figured out 21st Century communications, conservative Americans most certainly have.Sigh.