Saturday, February 2, 2013

MNGOP Where Do We Go From Here

An event titled MNGOP Where Do We Go form here? was held on Jan 30.  Steve Hensley of and were the organizers

Hosts: Mitch Berg, Jeff Johnson
Panelists: Maryanne Stebbins, Mark Westpfahl, Doc Dan Severson, Sarah Janecek, Walter Hudson, Andy Parrish, Erin Haust
The complete video is available on this youtube channel a link is given below.

First a review of other articles "covering" this event:
If you searched for the traditional media attending the event, there were (as of today) two. They included little actual information about what was said, concentrating on a strident display of Andy Parrish's comments.  Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Cyndy Brucato attended the event and subsequently wrote articles.  I must give cudo's to Rachel E. Stassen-Berger.  She had twittered the obvious liberal take away line from Andy Parrish.
At which point I leaned over and asked "so are you going to be including in your article the line he said right after that?"  She responded "what was that?"  And though I doubt it was due to my prompting, she did report the entire relevant quote.  It was the dominating and closing point of her article.  Which left you with a completely false impression of what was the reality of the event.  However for the low-information voter, that will be all they see, and will be their reality.  Have you checked her linked article yet for that full quote?  You can also see it in the video, but here is the line: "because that's what the Democrats do"! The rest of the quote is entertaining, but not really important to the story.

If you want to actually get a good description of the nights discussion, here is the best. Predictably it is on a great news analysis blog, one of the sponsors of the event.

My Analysis:
One of the points that Cyndy Brucato closes her article with, is what typifies the liberal viewpoint that I find most mystifying, and of course quite incorrect.
The two-hour discussion ended as it began — with no unity on content of message, tactics or strategy but plenty of evidence that Minnesota Republicans are scattered well beyond the boundaries of the big tent.
One of the overarching themes that liberals attempt to claim as their own is that of "the value of diversity".  A message that in so many ways they reveal they really don't believe.  Cyndy's statement is evidence of that.  What was on display Wednesday night (Jan 30) was one of broad diversity of opinion.  Far broader than you see at any liberal meeting (which I film and attend many), where conformity to their singular message is mandated and enforced by enormous social pressure.  And resulting from that ambivalent mind set (i.e. double minded), diversity is the first thing the liberal commentators use to try to tear apart and dismiss the message and the content of the event.
From Rachel:
The panelists, who, at times, testily disputed one another, offered a wide variety of sometimes conflicting prescriptions.
Yes that is how real, lasting and enduring compromise is achieved.  It does not instantly appear, nicely packaged and ready for use.  It is earned and forged with messy discussion and hard work. To find that common ground where all can stand proudly and proclaim this is a solution we can implement for the benefit of all of us.  To the liberal mind it is merely an unwillingness to compromise and dis-unity.  To those who really seek to have theirs and other's voices heard, it is the path of hope.

In the panel statements that message is clearest heard through the voice of the ever eloquent Walter Hudson, on the question "What is your dream for the party"
at 1:39:06 - 1:40:39 in the video

Walter's dream (watch the video for full statement);
My dream for this party is that we learn, first to understand, and then to project the positive, morally good, life affirming philosophy that undergirds our policies.  Individuals seek out values, they seek out that which is going to perpetuate their life, help them survive, and to help them improve their quality of life, help them to thrive.  And the only way you can do that, as a human being, is if you are free to act upon your own judgement.  Thats unique to human beings. 
On the question of "What can we all agree on going forward?"
at 1:47:22 - 1:48:34 in the video

There was a time in this country where the reason to come here, the only reason to come here, was to be free of the tyranny that you were leaving behind in your country of origin.  And when you got here, there was no guarantee that there was going to be food or water or health care or retirement or anything. Other than land and trees and air.  I think we can agree as a party that we still believe in the pioneering spirit that brought those people here in the first place.  And we want to get government off, not just our backs, but everyone's back.  Especially those whom we would consider disadvantaged or "lower class" or in need.  Because, they more than anyone, they need that hope that "I can build something, I can achieve something, and I don't need somebody else to do it for me".
And on the question of what plans came out of the meeting, which Ms. Brucato did not hear, one of the several plans or tactics suggested, came from Erin Haust.  One which I am sure Rachael and Cyndy would say is completely unnecessary, because really the media is so fair and balanced.

Erin Haust at 1:14:14 - 1;16:12 in the video

We can talk all day long about what our messaging should be.  But if we don't have a tactical plan to get that message out, we're lost, we're dead in the water.  So some of the things we can do right now, and they seem like very easy things, but I promise you we are not doing them, and they [the Democrats] do them very, very, well on the other side.  Number one, start viral videos on twitter and Facebook   Have your candidates, have your issues, have your whatever it is.  Make it funny, make it short. Two to four minute videos, teaching a thing, talking about a tax, talking about something   The next thing we can do is advertise on Facebook  right now, right now, for 2016 elections.  2014 you might be too late to start changing a lot of the culture right now. But by 2016, boy we better have ads going.  Use memes and info-graphics, and if you don't now what they are get on twitter get on Facebook and find out.  Because if we're not using them we're lost.  The young people are using memes to make points every chance they get.  And then finally make friends with our local newspapers. One of things we also don't do very well is get media of any kind on our side.  We don't have a chance with MSNBC. We don't have a chance with some of the larger groups out there, but some of these local newspapers we can get people to apply for the reporter job that are already in our camp. We can write not just letters to the editor, but articles.  Let's talk about something great thats happening at a local business and say why the taxes will hurt that person.  There are things we can do right now, but we better start with social media.  We better start with twitter and Facebook, and if your not on it get on it right now!  And encourage all your friends to do the same.
So my response to the event was, of course, quite different from Rachel and Cyndy.  I saw a positive, and while not all on one message, start at the dialog that leads to agreement.  We need to understand the difficulties of achieving good compromise.  It is not simply submitting to one side and letting them control, much as Democrats want.  Defining opposing thought as always the one not compromising (see my article on Tolerance) does not achieve compromise or a useful path forward. Journalism, that does the hard work and critical thinking required to explore the historical context and opposing sides viewpoints is the best way to "get things done".  So the evening successfully presented the vast array of opinion that we call "Republican".  The work ahead will define the future of the GOP, and how it will implement those goals embodied in the messages, hopes, and dreams above.

The complete video of the event is available here:

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