“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
That’s Walt Disney—and that’s also the quote Glenn Beck uses in his email signature line. That thought reverberated through his broadcast Wednesday morning as he contemplated Ted Cruz’s exit from the presidential race, and where we go from here.
“…keep moving forward …”
I want to expand on that. Hang with me for a moment…
We’ve talked about Trump being a symptom. We’ve talked about Trump being a conduit. We’ve talked about Trump being a collective f*** you to the establishment.
Those are all true—but I want to focus on the first.
The fact that Donald Trump is now our presumptive nominee is a symptom. And it’s not just a symptom of a political class that has screwed us time and time again. The path to his nomination holds so many layers of significance.
We have a TON to learn from those layers.
Here’s the thing: We had an insurgent alternative; one who had ACTUALLY stood up to the establishment and took in on the chin right on the floor of the Senate. And yet we somehow got stuck with a guy who’s just paid lip service to conservative principles, and never quite got around to talking about making government smaller. We’re stuck with a guy who praised Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and scads of other people he now claims to be diametrically opposed to.
Basically, this sucks.
Yup, this sucks.
To paraphrase The Blaze’s Jay Severin, ok, so “what do you make out of suck?”
In other words, what on earth can we get out of this situation?
Here’s my take:
We need to raise humble patriots.
We need to personally strive to be people who love our country SO much that we’d be willing to sacrifice a career, political aspirations, whatever—if it meant saving the republic. Instead, in this election cycle we had candidates hanging on for dear life to campaigns that did nothing but divide the vote and further push the constitutional candidate away. We had radio hosts and TV personalities set conservatism aside to either ride the wave, or stay away from the fray by ignoring Trump’s flaws all together. These are people who could have made a difference … if they had only set their egos aside.
We need to get nimble. Now.
Cruz has the conservative message. Cruz is the outsider bucking the elites in Washington. Yet, since Donald Trump is a master at quickly changing the intent of just about anything anyone said—none of that really mattered.
Take Ted Cruz’ “New York values” comment (one that I believe was the beginning of the end for him). We all know what Cruz meant by that comment (and apparently, so did Trump), but Trump quickly and effectively turned the entire conversation around and made it about strong compassionate New Yorkers on 9/11. Cruz should have fired back twice as fast: “Donald, a raving liberal can be compassionate. I’m talking about principles.”
I’m not suggesting we twist words into untruths and play the political word game. Simply be QUICK with the truth.
Think Milton Freidman. Seriously.
Our message delivery needs to get better.
Remember what I said above about nimbleness? We need to be pithy, fast, and memorable. I LOVE Ted Cruz, I LOVE what he stands for. But in a world where we desperately needed him to be the infographic, he was War and Peace.
Whatever you’re trying to say, say it fast, and in a way that’ll stick in a mind like superglue on a finger. We live in a bumper sticker, 140 character world. Time to start campaigning like it.
Would any of this have made a difference? Who knows. All I DO know is that Donald Trump is baffling every expert and novice alike. He not only tapped into an incredibly forceful vein of frustration, but he’s tossing the entire book on traditional campaigning.
That probably means there’s probably something to learn.