July 6, 2009

Pent up demand for conservative products

It's only been 8 months since the 2008 electoral massacre that the GOP suffered. In that time, Republicans have gone through a bewildering range of incidents - the Limbaugh versus Powell chronicles, the Sanford drama, the RINOs versus the base in-fighting, the relief of the Arlen Specter defecting, the spectacle of Coleman versus Franken and it's preposterous conclusion, the Meghan McCain versus anything conservative side show, and now the Palin resignation conundrum.

You'd figure that the GOP is approaching the point of being irretrievably lost. You'd be wrong. The President's over-ambitious agenda, which has it's own lessons for conservatives*, and is ineffectual foreign policy have left him easily within striking distance. Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Harry Reid have all left themselves open for a lot of criticism. And while they may not all be on the bubble individually, they've certainly tarnished the Democrat brand overall.

Both sides have damage to repair. Meanwhile there's a pent up demand for all things conservative, since the ability to do much at all, either in Washington or in the media, is clearly severely limited. What are conservatives to do? Where do we go to find solace or conservative sustenance? There are servings of red meat available from sources like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Coulter, Malkin et. al. But that doesn't satisfy every need. Conservatives are in a position of relative powerlessness in a time when the country needs a steady rudder. It has led to Tea Parties - conservatives borrowing a page from history and a technique from 60's liberals - mass protests.

But other outlets are needed and there are some obvious choices and they aren't as hard as you'd think. For starters try voting with your wallet. As much as it pains me to say it about an American company, consider boycott GM until it's been fully re-privatized. Any bank that has the burden of TARP funds over it's head (i.e. federal ownership) is a bank that you can consider not banking with. Of course everyone should consider boycotting socialist gas from Hugo Chavez' Citgo. And why would any conservative, unless they are monitoring liberal propaganda should avoid reading the New York Times, and not watch MSNBC.

But it goes further than that. Proactively send your money where conservative values are not betrayed, or at least treated equally. Watch Fox News. Go further just avoiding MSNBC - they're owned by NBC which is owned by GE. These companies are directly or indirectly supporting the destruction f your country. Look where your money is being spent. Do you watch NBC at all? Do you but GE light bulbs?

Protests are one thing, but the truism 'follow the money' is never more true than in an economic downturn or even a recovery. Put your dollars where they don't betray your beliefs. Yes it requires some effort, but it's something you can do in your every day life that ultimately helps or does not betray your principles. Rahm Emmanuel was right - every 'crisis' is an opportunity. In this sense, conservatives have a lot more power than they realize that they simply aren't using.

And don't let the guilt of putting people out of work discourage you. Sure, you put people out of work at Citgo. But the demand doesn't go away - it moves. Those jobs will be needed elsewhere - either with competitors or upstarts who are taking up the slack in demand.

The same holds true for candidates. Contribute and work for conservative candidates. Do not do so for those who aren't really holding true to your ideals, unless it comes down to lining up against a Democrat. Obama has proven a RINO is better than a socialist. Even if it's a matter of degrees*, just try to live your beliefs.

*The lesson to learn is that the ONLY way to succeed is in incremental success. Anything more will result in a serious backlash and is less likely to be permanent. Progress works best in incremental doses. Time is the only solution. Look at the creeping liberalism that has infected America versus Obama trying to get the grand slam all at once. The creeping version is tolerated because each change is relatively small. But when the change is ominous, opposition coalesces against it.

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