Fred Dryer, famous back in the day as an athlete before enjoying a long career as an actor, diagnosed the fractured GOP’s communication problem with piercing accuracy in a Breitbart News radio appearance Sunday. Observing that core conservative principles are much nearer to mainstream Americans’ own values than the party’s leadership believes, Dryer wondered aloud why the GOP establishment has accepted the notion, successfully promulgated by progressives, that conservatism is a fringe ideology.
The “cowardice that is in the Republican Party today is only matched by their myopic opinions of themselves,” Dyer said. Here’s a snippet from Breitbart’s own write-up:
Dryer said the Republican Party bosses want to be liked by The New York Times and have bought into and been “intimidated into believing” the notion that, if they oppose liberal policies, they are “racist, sexist, homophobe, those types of things.” He said the establishment Republicans have done an excellent job of institutionalizing “complete stupidity” by adopting and abiding by various rules that “only weaken them” in national elections.
To Dryer, this has been going on since President Ronald Reagan left office. Dryer blasted the “neocons” aligned with President George H.W. Bush, whom he accused of undermining everything Reagan was trying to accomplish. Dryer even slammed Bush’s “1000 points of light” speech as a slam on Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” rhetoric.
Implicit in this kind of criticism is the understanding that the Republican National Committee and GOP leaders are struggling to overcome a kind of timid self-hatred — one that forces them into believing they must apologize for core conservative values while defending the party against barbs from the political left.
That makes a mockery of any adaptation the GOP might make to accommodate more libertarian ideas, because party leaders are controlled by the fear that progressives will simply celebrate any present-day tweaks in the Republican platform as an ideological victory: The GOP can’t beat us, so now they’re trying to join us.
Of course, nothing of the sort would actually be true, but the GOP establishment has painted itself into a corner when it comes to communicating the party’s own values in an affirmative — and not a reactionary — way.
That’s where psychologist Timothy Daughtry comes in. A conservative who, like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), prefers to discuss mainstream America instead of the Republican Party’s inner sanctum, Daughtry is calling for a new communications strategy for the GOP — one that affirms deeply held convictions and doesn’t merely react to criticism from the other side.
“We have to make the left start defending socialism instead of us defending liberty,” Daughtry told The Daily Caller’s Ginni Thomas in a recent video interview. Here’s a synopsis:
Conservatives are on defense too much to succeed, he thinks, but also believes that help is on the way as citizens are waking up to the problems caused by both political parties.
“We have to make the left start defending socialism instead of us defending liberty,” Daughtry said.
… Losing cultural institutions to the left, like the media, education and entertainment, is far more significant, says Daughtry, than the harm done by the U.S. government. Daughtry also discusses how to respond to being called an extremist or a racist in this two-part interview.
He thinks conservatives should not accept the left’s premises, since the left has done incalculable damage to the black community with their policies and programs. Now more than ever, conservative solutions need to be introduced to the marketplace of ideas that many activists are now joining.
Making a strong case for the idea that conservatism, at the individual level, is far from dormant, he explained that average people still hold values that, in fact, stray farther from the ideological left than the ideological right. “We have to realize that the left is in control of most of our cultural institutions,” he said, “but they’re not in control of the dinner table.”
Bottom line: Conservatives need to stop apologizing and acting as though they’re in the ideological minority on every issue, and they need to begin demanding progressives justify their own views in the public eye. And if the Republican Party’s leadership isn’t prepared to do that, they’ll eventually be forced into a position, by the party’s own base, in which they’ll have to either come along or find themselves permanently on the outside, looking in, at mainstream America.