As stated in their history, GOPAC was founded in 1979 to recruit and elect new Republican leaders at the state and local level. This was after then-Delaware Gov. Pete du Pont noticed that Republicans were sort of a dying species in 1978. Well, it’s 2014–and the GOP is stronger than ever at the state and local level. With Republicans controlling the two-thirds of the governorships and the most state legislatures since 1920, the work of GOPAC shows that the new talent is derived from the local elections that don’t get much attention in the press. It’s starting to now given that Democrats’ talent pool is shrinking rapidly.
Yet, we have a huge presidential election coming up against a huge, though flawed, political machine that’s being helmed by Hillary Clinton. Republicans at every level need to be ready for the assault. To prepare, GOPAC is returning to its roots with a series of videos called Imagine. Share. Impact, which is a throwback to the organization’s instructional tapes made by GOP leaders between 1986-1994 (via Library of Congress):
The tapes inform the public and aspiring politicians of conservative positions and assist them in articulating and honing their language and message on a wide array of issues, as well as providing "how-to" primers on everything involved in running an effective political campaign. The recordings have proved to be extremely influential in shaping political discourse from the 1980s to the present.
At the same time, no one is listening to audiotapes, so YouTube will have to suffice.
The first of these “how-to” videos from GOPAC’s Educational Fund was released today featuring conservative radio host and commentator Hugh Hewitt, where he discusses the “S’s” of winning in 2016.
Hewitt called on politicians and public figures to embrace specificity since we’re all tired of talking points. He noted how he knows nothing about net neutrality, but all he gets from people on the subject is that they’re for or against it, and then they dole out a talking point; no one explains to him what it’s about. Another issue that will require more than talking points is reforming the tax code.
Another point he made was speed; the nation is moving a bit too slow on critical issues. Hewitt asked, “Why does government move like molasses?” Hewitt noted that he, along with the vast majority of Americans, is constantly moving. Hewitt has four jobs–and he wonders why the government simply doesn’t put forward important legislation early–and deal with it early–instead of the usual protocol of having committee hearings, maybe a dinner, and then adjourning for a recess. While government moving slowly is not necessarily a bad thing–our Founders emphasized safety over efficiency–it’s killing us regarding some important issues, like in the Middle East and the Islamic State. Hewitt mentioned that this slow speed is “ingrained” in our history since ideas took some time to reach the frontier regions of the United States in the early 19th Century. Then, there had to be time to debate these ideas that were eventually returned to Washington over an extended period of time. Maybe it’s time to retire this mindset, especially on issues that need immediate attention.
Dovetailing with the discussion bit, Hewitt also mentioned sacred spaces, especially after the same-sex marriage decision. In the aftermath, he says, we will have to debate whether people can hold certain beliefs without shunning. We don’t have time to dabble in such nonsense since the “barbarians are at the gate.” And we need to return to the notion that we can live together and disagree. Hewitt noted that he has a 33-year rule in his household regarding his sister-in-law, who’s a hard-core liberal, that they do not talk politics at the dinner table. Yet, he loves her, she’s the de facto grandmother to his children, and “that’s the way America ought to be” with regards to these issues.
Lastly, he mentioned Spanish; the vast majority of the Spanish-speaking public in this country reads media in their native language. The same goes for every single ethnic group that arrived in this country. Figuring out a way to get into this market will establish a critical foundation to expand on the GOP’s inclusion operations, especially in states like Colorado.
While Clinton has her flaws, this could be a hard fight next year. Regarding the long game, it’s possible that Democrats could have trouble finding a new deep bench of candidates after the Nancy Pelosis, the Clintons, and the Harry Reids have long passed. State-based Democratic Party apparatuses have “atrophied (especially in rural America),” and Hillary Clinton has made it her pet project to rebuild such party operations if she’s elected president. That’s a direct challenge to GOPAC’s mission.
“Ideas unite individuals to take action on a common cause. The Imagine. Share. Impact. series will keep us at the forefront of educating elected officials and their constituents on the path which leads to healthy, growing economies that create opportunities,” said GOPAC Chairman David Avella.
Let’s see if adding YouTube to their arsenal can keep the enemy from climbing the walls … for lack of a better term.