Conservatives, as opposed to the Republicans who partially overlap them on the Venn diagram of American politics, need a strategy. Strategy differs from mere tactics – it is a synchronization of potential ways (think courses of action) and available means (think resources) to achieve a long term end. Tactics are the techniques supporting the strategy. The Tea Party/conservative revolt had effective tactics – rallies, town halls – but the movement’s decentralized nature, with groups springing up around the country, kept it from developing an effective, coherent strategy this year.
Obama certainly had a strategy, to make the election a choice of him versus Romney. In contrast, Romney’s strategy seemed to be not to be Obama, which was not really a strategy at all, and the conservative strategy was merely to back the GOP nominee.
Right now, there is one strategy that offers us hope of turning the leftward tide. Insurgency is the classic fallback strategy for groups that cannot prevail in a stand-up fight, and right now we can’t. It’s clear that while we represent a significant minority of voters, we are facing highly organized ideological opponents who occupy the high ground in the government and who can rely on the unwavering support of the mainstream media. Like the allies in Vietnam, they have the cities and they have the firepower.
Insurgents survive and win by avoiding decisive engagements until a time and place of their choosing. Tet was not the Communists’ time, and right now, we are not in a position for a decisive battle either. So what do we do?
We start thinking like guerillas – political and cultural guerillas.