Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Yes, the liberal media voted early in 2006. The result was a major loss for the conservative movement in the U.S. Fear was projected by the media in order to create the “better-change-now” buzz in the nation.

In addition, the Democrats replicated Republican 72-hour strategies and a number of other excellent “get out the vote” methods. In Maryland and Virginia they even brought out “Slick Willy” himself (President Bill Clinton) to ensure Senatorial victories in these states.

In retrospect, a one–two punch was used in communications. First, the national media exposed “the emperor’s new clothes” with regard to the war in Iraq. Next, a more sophisticated, secondary messaging strategy was used to knockout conservatives. Liberal and Democratic Party messaging sought to impact six distinct demographic groups. The five following groups were part of creating the conservative coup of 2004, which re-elected George Bush:

1. Evangelical Christians

2. Hispanics

3. African Americans

4. Economic Conservatives

5. Independents

Each group was earmarked to receive a specially crafted message announcing that the GOP could no longer be trusted to actually execute programs based on conservative values.

In retrospect, it is clear that conservatives did not have a compelling, message designed to respond to liberal fear-mongering. During the next two years, if conservatives want to maintain the White House and recapture seats in Congress, they will have to be very strategic in both creating policies and messages that are designed to affect these groups.

In my last commentary, I called the messages that conservatives must communicate “tipping points.” The idea is that proper message delivery in ‘08 may tip voters back towards conservative candidates. In that article, I talked about blacks, Hispanics, and immigration. Let’s look at three remaining points.

Tipping Point 4: Fiscal Follies

The message conservatives must send is that tax-and-spend Democrats have not changed their stripes! Further, Democrats will have to explain to their supporters credible reasons for the changes which must be made. Although Bush will get the blame for the problem, he will not be call racist or “classist” (anti- the poor and middle class) because of the tough choices which must be made.

As the war is reigned in strategically, the Democrats will have to endure the ire of their constituents as budgets are trimmed. Fiscal conservatives will become quickly frustrated with the legislative branch’s lack of creativity during the next two years.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

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.