"What a difference a day makes," are the words to a popular song. This song is a testimonial about how someone can be smitten by the love bug in just 24 hours. A day can make a world of difference in romance and matters of the heart. The first Tuesday of November 2006 showed that the same is true in politics and cultural trends.
In the new classic book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell showed us that cultural trends can dramatically change if the right circumstances and players are in place. In light of this understanding, I would like to suggest that the recent conservative political bloodbath can be easily reversed- if we can identify several "tipping point" factors.
In an October article for Townhall, I suggested that the Liberal Media had voted early. They put an all-out push to convince several targeted demographic groups of the need to make a change. The liberal media directed stories, polls, and testimonials of disgruntled former conservatives to six target groups.
The national message of the liberals was simply that the current administration could not be trusted to protect them internally or domestically. The second message the liberals gave came from a strategy I have seen them use for many years. The liberal community often attempts to tell a minority or special interest group that they cannot make it on their own. They suggest that a larger more powerful group is out to get them. Liberals also imply that people have to stay with "their group." No matter have far they could have gone individually. It is implied that they will never outgrow identification with their group. This liberal approach can dreg up xenophobic fears and create an "us-versus-them" mentality that is not easy to shake.
Conservatives, at their best, speak of the potential of the individual. They believe that individuals who are free from unnecessary governmental limitations can achieve far more than their personal history would typically predict. Conservatives are often viewed as pro upper class and anti-poor because there is an understanding that free enterprise, wealth creation, and upward mobility are a part of bringing dignity to work and social enterprise.
An easy way to reverse the mid-term election trends will be to follow-up with each group and to communicate to them the actual losses that occur under liberal leadership instead of the fear-based hype given just before the elections. This means that we must write articles, books, host town halls, and encourage news features that tell the truth.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
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