I got a lot of feedback last year when I wrote a column entitled “The Problem With Libertarians.”
Seems they didn’t like anyone saying they had any problems at all, but they did, and they still do. The same problems, in fact. Many libertarian friends, including quite a few who work at the organizations I cited, privately thanked me for writing it because they felt the same way but couldn’t say it publicly. And many more conservatives and Republicans were glad someone said it as well. Well, that probably will change, maybe even flip, after this one.
There are major differences between the various factions of the political right – social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, national security conservatives, Tea Partiers, etc. – and all bleed into each other to varying degrees. Each has individual problems and strengths, and I understand that. But for purposes of brevity here, I will just refer to them all nebulously as “Republicans.” It may irritate some, but tough. This is about politics, not pandering.
Republicans are awful at messaging. I don’t care where you fall on the Republican spectrum, you are awful. It ranges from passionate people who say stupid things to stoic people who have a strong command of facts at their fingertips but can’t articulate the message. There are few people –a very few – in the middle.
Voters won’t follow someone who says stupid things (see the last round of elections) no matter what they may have meant. Nor will they follow someone who says all the right things in a way that makes the teacher Ben Stein played in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off sound like he’s tweaking on meth.
Without naming names – because that’s not the point – when was the last time a really smart Republican senator, congressman or activist, made you laugh? Not at them, but at an off-the-cuff joke or analogy they made? Months? Years? Never? When was the last time one made you cringe? Bet it was sooner.
We don’t need stand-up comics, but we do need people who not only know what they’re talking about, but can convey it in a way that is less painful than home dentistry.