Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Going Forward - What Conservatives Must Do

The 2012 election pointed out some serious flaws in our system that has resulted in choices that are, at the very least, dubious. Though we are a center-right nation, we have twice elected a far-left liberal to the Oval Office, and far-left lunatics like Elizabeth Warren to the Senate. It becomes obvious that there is a disconnect with the electorate when so many far-left people are given power in a center-right country. In fact, even today as I write this 64% of Americans say we are on the wrong track - so HOW and WHY did those who put us there get re-elected?

This post, I hope, will be a wake-up call to us all, because it will take all of us, not just a Romney or a Reagan, to fix what is wrong.

Listen up! ONE example: A full 42% of voters polled said Hurricane Sandy affected their vote, as they saw Obama being patted on the back by Republican Governor Christie. It does not matter that Obama has DONE NOTHING for Sandy victims - all that seemed to count was the PERCEPTION that was presented by that one photo op that Christie was dumb enough to provide.

This shows that many people are so ignorant of what is really going on that even a simple, misleading statement or photo can sway their vote. In other words, they are UNINFORMED, ignorant, foolish and can easily be led like lemmings.

If conservatives want to win elections and put this country back on track (assuming it is not too late), ALL conservatives need to do their part. Here are some things we must begin doing:

1) If there is one thing I learned selling real estate, it's that people do not buy FEATURES. They buy BENEFITS. They could care less if a house is near schools. What they care about is that Mom can sleep late because they live near the schools. Get it?

We need to advertise the benefits, not the features, for electing conservatives. We need to create PICTURES for the small-minded electorate, not just words. Conservatives are good at offering great ideas and plans, but liberals are good at drawing SIMPLE PICTURES designed to appeal to EMOTIONS, not intellect (which 38% of people lack in any quantity). The uninformed do not pay attention to grand ideas, but they will always be attracted to a pretty picture. Bear in mind - a whopping 38% of the electorate have no clue what is going on, and they make choices based not on reality, but on the pictures they have in their minds. To them, a photo-op is not just perception - it is reality. Hence, conservatives need to start presenting their ideas with simple pictures that appeal to a person's emotions.

Case in point: which do you think is more effective - a thoughtful discussion on a plan to save Medicare, or a visual of Republicans pushing Granny over a cliff?

2) Conservatives need to build a synopsis of their goals, in order of importance. Some would call this a PLATFORM. Then we need to choose our fights - do not waste time and resources fighting for the minor points that are not all that important, or those that are not shared by a  majority of the people. Concentrate on how we are ALIKE, not how we are different.

Again, as a real estate investor I learned the biggest secrets to successful negotiations. One of those secrets is to be willing to give up nickels for dimes. Be willing to give up something little in exchange for something bigger. I would offer to pay an extra $3,000 for a home if the seller agrees to pay half the closing costs.

Choose your battles wisely, and do not let the liberals draw you into battles on small issues.

3) Conservatives need to learn how to make the other guy THINK he has won something worthwhile. Seek out things that are important to liberals, but not all that important to conservatives, and let them win on those points as long as you win on your bigger point.

4) Of great importance, conservatives should never forget that liberals hold conservatives to a MUCH higher standard than they do other liberals, so we need to deeply vet our candidates, to reduce the chance that a scandal will cost us the seat.

5) Conservative politicians need to shut up on issues that are not important to the platform - do not stick your foot in your mouth with personal beliefs, as did Akin and Mourdock. Liberals can get away with that (their lower standards), but conservatives cannot, and must control what comes out of their mouths.

6) Conservatives need to present themselves and their ideas in a way that gets them into the national liberal media. The media strives to subdue anything that is pro-conservative, so we need to approach the media differently. One thing conservatives could do is create YouTube videos that are fun and entertaining (granny over the cliff), so that they go viral. When that happens, the media cannot ignore it, and even if they do, millions still see the video and learn something of value.

Jesus was the perfect example - he understood that most people shut off their ears and brains when you preach to them, but they listen - and learn - intently when you tell them an entertaining story. Jesus won people over with his parables. Aesop taught life's lessons through his fables. Conservatives need to do the same.

If conservatives want to take back our country, we ALL need to start teaching others the truth, not by preaching, but by entertaining, memorable stories and mind-pictures. People react more to emotion than to intellect, and you cannot teach anyone anything if you cannot get them to listen.

Stop selling features - sell BENEFITS. Stop talking about great plans and start presenting the folks with IMAGES they can hold onto that also get your ideas across. And be more entertaining in how you present your ideas - use parables, fables, YouTube, cartoons...

Reagan was entertaining. He was funny. He used stories to teach us. He used imagery. After all, he was an actor, and that was his strength. That is how Reagan won 49 states, and why he was called "the great communicator". He talked to people, and taught them, by appealing to them on their own level, not on his own level.

Winning has never been easy, but it becomes easier when we understand the audience we are playing to.


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