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Not Your Daddy's RNC

There are many reasons the Republican party has not done well in the past few election cycles and a failure to fully utilize available technology is just one of them. It is a big one, though. Even a great message will lose if it is not effectively communicated to the widest audience possible and today that means being able to use every technological tool available in the most effective manner possible. To do so requires being smart and creative and current. Thankfully for the GOP, new RNC chairman Michael Steele "gets" this and is reaching out to the best and brightest in the party.

Last Friday, Steele held a GOP Technology Summit in DC and as a result groups were formed to find the best ideas for the future of the party. An area I am working on involves the blogosphere. The many voices readers provide is what makes the blogosphere work. Instead of being one voice speaking to readers, the blogosphere is made up of many voices having discussions with each other. The GOP wants to tap into that wealth of voices and experiences that congregates online and better connect with and mobilize the grassroots.

Your ideas and comments will be considered and shared with the people who will be making the decisions for the future of the Republican party. To join the effort you can start by commenting here, then you can join one or both of the two groups launched by the GOP this week. One is the GOP TechSummit Grassroots group. The second, for Facebook users, is the GOP Tech Summit Facebook group which in three days has grown to over 2,000 members.

Dr. Melissa Clouthier describes the need for those who are not blog readers to become involved as well.

Part of the problem, of course, is that only 11% of the people on the internet read blogs, only a couple million are on Twitter, millions more are on Facebook and MySpace. Technology isn't just online, though. Nearly everyone has a cell phone and can receive a text.

How do we get the newbies--grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, who have the time and inclination but not the education--involved? They can be part of the technological revolution, too, but will need help.

Those outside the blog-social media world need their voices heard, too. I encourage you to email your friends and family this blog post and get their ideas and forward them.

Winning elections means winning in the world of ideas, first. But the best idea, insufficiently shared will die alone. Technology is, at its essence, a means to share information. We Republicans need to do it better. This is a start.

Read more about the new GOP effort from Dan Riehl.


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Comments (12)

If the GOP has an image pro... (Below threshold)
James H:

If the GOP has an image problem, that image problem lies with the mushy middle -- people who might be sympathetic to elements of the GOP platform, but hold stereotypical views of the party. Why not create a campaign to reach out to these center right to center left voters?

I'd set up a Web site that specifically caters to these voters. Rather than the red meat rhetoric that appeals to the GOP base, this site should deploy more moderate rhetoric. The best way to do this would be through Twitter, video, etc., channels created by Republicans on the ground in various states. The goal would be to replace the Limbaugh/Hannity image with something more palatable to the moderates.

These individuals' job would be to take Republican and conservative viewpoints and make them more relatable for an independent and/or center-leaning voter.

You could name this site something like "The Real GOP." Buy ads that are keyed to moderate-leaning Web sites and blogs (Joe Gandelman's blog, for example). In terms of key words, you might orient on things like "stimulus," "taxes," "family," and similar things.

One of the best things the ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

One of the best things the GOP can do to help themselves in the next election is prove they are serious about returning to conservative principals. One way to do this is by kicking the following people out of the caucus and running people in the primaries against them:

Clueless Collins
Spineless Spectre
Stupid Snowe.

Retired:What conse... (Below threshold)
James H:


What conservative principles should the Republicans return to? I know the question seems flip on first blush, but hear me out.

I can think of at several strains of conservatism that the Republican Party has espoused over the past 30 years, including evangelical conservatism, free-market conservatism, deficit-reduction conservatism, "compassionate" conservatism, and libertarianism. Which set of principles should the GOP return to? If more than one of them, how should the GOP resolve conflicts between the principles these philosophies espouse? Or should the GOP deliberately not resolve this conflicts and return to a "big tent" philosophy?

Retired:An additio... (Below threshold)
James H:


An additional query: If your goal is to return to conservate principles, how tolerant can the party be of regional or local deviations? After all, one can argue that being conservative in San Francisco and Athens, GA, can mean two entirely different things.

I know I keep harping on th... (Below threshold)

I know I keep harping on this, but the real strength of grassroots organizing lies in listening to average people, not just "mobilizing" them.

The Democrats have mastered this process very well. They have spent decades among their target constituencies, listening to problems and promising solutions. Of course we all know that in reality there is a huge disconnect between the "listening/caring" grassroots effort that the Democrats make, and the heavily socialist nanny state solutions implemented by the Ivy League elites who run the Democratic party. These elites claim to love the poor, yet they despise virtually everything that working class Americans value culturally and spiritually.

I think that Republicans can turn this disconnect into a winning strategy. Republicans need to engage the grassroots, listen to their concerns, and then formulate policies that honor traditional cultural and religious values and involve solutions based on private enterprise and voluntary cooperation rather than an oppressive nanny state.

Exposing the level of corruption within the Democratic party should help as well. In just two years, Democratic malfeasance has far surpassed all of the Republican scandals from 1994 - 2006 combined. Start naming names. Start demanding "truth commissions" to investigate House and Senate banking committees. Hold the Obama administration accountable for its broken campaign promises -- no lobbyists, transparency of legislation, full bi-partisan cooperation, no earmarks, no pork barrel projects, "pay as you go," 5 days to look at legislation, meetings open to the public, etc. Start here.

The possibilities really are endless.

One of the best disinfectan... (Below threshold)

One of the best disinfectants is sunlight. The GOP or other interested parties should set up a blog that tracks the progress (or lack thereof) of key pork provisions in the spendulus bill - where the money really goes, what the REAL outcomes of the spending is, etc. The information should be made available to the public via blogs, news outlets, media alerts, etc. Government agencies should be held accountable for providing information on the spending - if they do not, FOI suits should be filed to get the information. Obama wants transparency, right? Once the public gets a real look at how their hard-earned tax revenue is being misspent the backlash should be significant.

Along the same lines someone, somewhere should be keeping a detailed yet easy-to-read graph/tally board of how many campaign promises are broken by the DNC and Obama - with explicit info available by links. For example, 'transparency' versus rushing this bill without it being examined by the public. Closed door meetings, etc.

Most ethical Congress? (Murtha, Dodd, Rangel dossiers...)

The GOP really needs to thi... (Below threshold)

The GOP really needs to think hard about how to reach a wider demographic in an authentic way. I hate to say it, but conservatives should probably start by copying the successes of the liberals. Liberals have carved out niches for which there are no conservative equivalents. I love wizbang and townhall and americanthinker, but where's the conservative HuffPost or DailyKos?

As far as the blogosphere is concerned, there really needs to be a way for the little bloggers to become part of bigger projects. There are a lot of conservative bloggers out there who are ready to take action, and they are blogging their hearts out. But is anyone listening? NetRightNation is on the right track I think. A model like that really ought to be promoted by and receive strong support from the RNC.

Not to promote any specific group, my point is that the ideas are out there, the energy is out there, but it's all very decentralized. We believe in decentralized government...perhaps that preference for decentralization has spilled over too much into our political organization.


We need to gear up for the ... (Below threshold)

We need to gear up for the mid-term elections NOW and start building up viable, conservative candidates with clean backgrounds, a strong moral center and some SPINE - spine is what congressional Republicans have lacked in spades since practically the dawn of time!

As to doing the text message thing - frankly, I'm part of that "elder" generation and text messages just totally tick me off. The lack of grammar, full words, intrusiveness (not to mention that on some plans they cost the recipient money). Not cool, folks.

Get strong candidates to replace the seditious wimps, then support them and do NOT eat our own alive, as we are all too prone to do.

When the Republican establi... (Below threshold)

When the Republican establishment finally signed away the remaining bits of civil libertarian ideals in the name of "keeping us safe" (such an unmanly motto, that!) while playing up to the bread-and-circuses crowd (Reagan: EITC) and going on a gross spending spree for politics' sake;

AND when such a large enough body (no pun intended!) of registered Republicans rewarded such obsequious conduct from above (revealing the latent unrepublican Big Chief Syndrome embedded in fascism and African tribalism) by not hooting such bad players off the stage, but defending them and their legacy instead ,

then it will take more than Michael Steele and Tweety (I mean, twitter) and a small roster of inverted blogs to put things right. You are bleeding people, voters, votes, as people belatedly Learn that they "didn't sign up for this"(as they say).

As it stands now, the Republican establishment opposes the Democratic establishment strictly on the basis of political spoils, the programmes are variations on the same theme.

Good luck and get out (of the house of your mind).

Smaller govt.Lower t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Smaller govt.
Lower taxes.
Less govt regulation
More capitalism.

Yes there are some variances but the 3 clueless idiots to whom I have referred have consistently voted more with the democratic caucus than the republican ones. I was glad to see Chaffee get voted out. At least that is one RINO gone.

I dont believe in the extr... (Below threshold)

I dont believe in the extremes. eg I personally dont feel that abortion should be in at the federal level.
This can be decided at the state level.

conservative goals: encou... (Below threshold)

conservative goals: encourage competition, lower taxes, less government, less government intervention, review the current laws and ensure they are needed/update as needed/review regularly including the social programs, throw out any regulations / laws if they are not constitutional ..., hold the liberal media accountable for their biases, not allow stifling freedoms, revamp Social Security, the IRS, undo the mess Obama is making






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