At the end of a second week of--what can only be described as--an abysmal public relations failure, Arts & Entertainment Television revealed something very intriguing to the watching world. Their foolish action in the non-issue of Phil Robertson, exposed three rather profound lessons that voters and candidates would be very advised to pay attention to.
1. Economics still defeats activism -- Let's face it, the minute the spokespeople from GLAAD began screaming on the other end of the phone, A&E executives got nervous. A lot of A&E programming is aimed at rather promiscuous audiences. GLAAD surely threw around threats of boycott and other negative influence if they didn't deal with the (non-)issue of Phil Robertson. And like most activism that originates from people who identify themselves based exclusively on the type of sex they have, the bark was much bigger than the bite. When people of faith began to realize the modern day lynching that GLAAD was attempting to execute, they made their voice known, or at least they were on my hundreds of affiliates. My viewers/listeners called not only A&E, but also the two leading sponsors, and reminded them that though GLAAD might be loud, there are still many more people in this nation that observe traditional values, and that we were now watching their next series of decisions. When sponsors began publicly stating that they stood with the Phil Robertson, the network had to acknowledge they were on the losing side of the debate based purely on numbers.
2. Pro-family activism has changed -- For a while modern pro-family voters have felt they were part of a lost cause. The last two GOP presidential candidates ran away from family oriented voters as though they had the plague. It is commonly believed that since President Obama was re-elected with 9 million fewer votes, that had Mitt Romney only been willing to eat a simple Chick-Fil-A sandwich and state his support for a person's right to practice their faith, as well as their business, that he might have easily beaten Obama. His purposeful distancing himself from the simple pro-family people of this nation injured him in a way he was unable to recover from. For the last two election cycles the willingness of organized pro-family activism to have any impact on the outcome of the candidate selection process has left many feeling that their opinions would never matter again. Pragmatism in exchange for access has become a large part of the trade in talk radio. But pro-family voters don't understand such compromises because the health of the family--in their mind is the singular truth--that the weight of all other debates rely upon. In the Phil Robertson episode, it wasn't some group inside the beltway asking for more contributions, promising to turn things around (and then not delivering.) It was merely everyday people, speaking up--for themselves--and doing so through self-organization with facebook, twitter, and social media.
3. The compromised need not apply -- As the discussions for 2014 and 2016 begin to be had, overpaid consultants from the last two failed presidential bids will be trying to score jobs. A bit of free advice here: Don't hire them! In fact if they have Romney or McCain on their resume, see what else they have on there before assuming they have anything to offer. For if the modern consultant can't recognize the benefit of tapping into a voting block that caused a fast food franchise to run out of food coast to coast in a single day, or don't see the benefit of attracting the audience of a show that weekly draws 12 million viewers (especially since the difference in 2012 was around 4 million votes,) then their advice is not something I'm sure would be all that insightful. We've been running these campaigns their way now for several cycles, and I'd prefer to win, rather than not. This is why potential 2016'ers need to be ready to answer for themselves on issues important to this group of voters. Enough with the pretending to be on the team of family voters, this time, you need to have actually contributed to the cause.
The capitulation this week by A&E to more or less admit that they were over the economic barrel, had been manipulated by GLAAD into creating a controversy that wasn't, and that their only route of action was not healthy for the reputation nor the bottom line of their otherwise pathetic network demonstrated that hundreds of millions of people in America were more legitimate voices to listen to than GLAAD.
But it did not happen in a vacuum and that is a lesson worth coming away with.
Yes pro-family, faith-based voters in America do not have the easy road of the dominant world view of most citizens anymore. But this reality doesn't mean that worldview is dead nor that it will be allowed to be disqualified simply because handfuls of Godless activists can bully media outlets and pronounce immorality as the now only acceptable viewpoint.
Because even though GLAAD wished to punish Robertson, as they have wished to punish yours truly and others through their faux campaigns of calling for "accountability," (when in reality, they are attempting bullying, intimidation, and censorship), A&E had to still live with and react to the consequences of their actions. The voices of the faithful eventually drowned out the minutia of the godless.
The power today, as it was in the days of the founders, rests in the hands of "We The People."
Pro-family voters have been given a glimpse of reality: sexual activists don't outnumber people of faith--all is not lost--and when one voice attempts to shout you down, speak louder, more clearly, and more direct.
Now let's apply these lessons to the work before us next!