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U.S. News and Commentary



Thursday
May092013

Attention, Maj. Leader Cantor: We shoved ourselves into the corner

Does House Majority Leader Eric Cantor have a valid claim by accusing media of shoving us in the corner? I think, to a degree, he does.

But fact is, we Republicans and Libertarians shove ourselves in the corner and nothing will change until we address our lack of media resources.

Nowhere was this lack more evident than in the 2012 election.

I can’t tell you how many times I screeched at the TV, Hillary Clinton style, during two Election cycles—the 2008 and 2012 races for president. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Gov. Mitt Romney (R) were both capable men. But their media approach was too soft, too polite and far too defensive.

One thing you learn when you work in media all your life—you either drive the messaging or it rolls right over you.

I’ve often said I believe the Republican Party is the only viable option for returning this country to stability. I can’t be a Democrat—I refuse to see people as a color or a faith, I’m offended at a mandate to vote “with your private parts,” and I also see the wealth redistribution policy not only as inherently socially unjust but as damaging to our country. I pretty much gave up on Dems when, among other offenses, former President Bill Clinton sold us out to the World Trade Organization and the income inequality worsened just as some labor leaders and economists predicted.

Libertarians have some great ideas but they also have some serious flaws when it comes to national defense in my opinion. Furthermore, they do not have a reasonable path to seriously competing in a General Election nationally, although that may change if the GOP does not live up to our Big Tent brand.

I watched as former President George W. Bush and fellow Republicans refused to fire back when Bush was blamed for the financial meltdown. We all know a major factor in that meltdown was federal housing policy—even President Barack Obama’s first Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner admitted it.

I continue to witness conservatives, libertarians and Republicans cite legacy media in blogs, news stories and speeches even though there are perfectly acceptable alternative media to cite.

Having spent a lifetime working in media, I am keenly and painfully aware of the mindset among many conservative media. Newcomers need not apply. There are very few freelance opportunities—submissions information is rarely even posted on websites.

Dare to disagree with a single conservative pillar and you will be viewed as suspect or called some sort of silly name like RINO or neocon or any of the countless labels applied. Did you ever hear a Dem call another a DINO? No. Dems are smart enough to know that every single voter is key to winning.

By contrast, you can sustain yourself as a freelancer in mainstream media as I did for more than two decades. You can, if you acquire credible credentials and an adequate publication record, join organizations like the American Society of Journalists and Authors or the Authors Guild. It took me years to get into those organizations, just so I could say I qualified. I don’t network with a soul in either and the vast majority of active members are aligned with Democrats.

Until Republicans and Libertarians as well as conservatives and true independents (not Dems masking themselves as indies) build a viable media infrastructure, we will be at a disadvantage in messaging. Democrats control most major newspapers, alphabet TV networks, near-monopolistic search engines and social media. Creatives align with Dems because creatives are not sought or welcomed by the opposition.

Don't even get me started on our speech writing. Put bluntly, we don't even come close.

When I read Cantor’s remarks, I was surprised to learn about The Ripon Society. I had no idea it even existed. One small example of how little we know about ourselves.

We’re in a corner alright, but thing is, we pushed ourselves into that corner.

What are we to do about it?

Could we try building something to encourage others to come?

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 9, 2013)

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