- How often do you hear: “We only preach to the choir!”
- After six decades of conservatism, is government bigger or smaller?
- Is the Constitution even relevant to our politics and policies today?
Freedom lovers everywhere are frustrated by the answers to these questions. Yet the temptation is strong to do more of the same. It’s familiar. It’s what we know.
But it’s not working.
THE PATH WE’VE TAKEN
Those who see government as the solution propose one government program after another, one bureaucratic regulation after another. With each, they sap vital energy, ambition, and resources from hard-working Americans. Meanwhile, government power grows. Government oversight grows. This has been our path for the past 75 years.
If we maintain course, there will sooner or later be nothing to oversee. Government eclipse of private enterprise results in…nothing, or close to it.
ECONOMIC NIHILISM, OR FREEDOM?
We know the alternative to economic nihilism: free, productive, entrepreneurial activity incentivized by property rights, rule of law, and confident knowledge that one can keep whatever one produces or legitimately acquires. Freedom is the way people improve their lives, a truth demonstrated by theory and history.
But the human soul is complex. No human soul is pure reason. The soul can be moved by naked truth, sure, but it’s rare. Human belief requires persuasion. And persuasion often requires poetry, appeals to feelings no less than facts.
Every religious movement, for example, appeals to passion no less and usually far more than reasoned facts and calculating cost-benefit analyses—unless one happens to be Vulcan. Many people believe in religion, deeply. Others are skeptical. But who among us can doubt the incredible success and successful persuasion of the world’s major religions? There’s a valuable marketing and communications lesson for those willing to learn.
RECALLING THE SOUL AND WHAT MOVES IT
Yet many on the side of freedom seem to forget the very real contours of the human soul when it comes to the politics of freedom. They flood opponents with raw facts and data regarding the growth of government and corresponding demise of freedom. They articulate and defend abstract principles, and reason their way to policy conclusions. Then they stand bewildered that others aren’t moved to the same opinions they themselves hold.
It’s time to change our tactics.
It’s time to re-orient our message around what I’m calling “shared interests solutions,” beginning with interests virtually all Americans share—making tomorrow better than today, improving life in every measurable and meaningful way—and helping others discover for themselves the advantages freedom offers.
I’m leading a new venture to offer a radically different and better approach to save our birthright freedom. I’m developing a wholly new set of educational and communications products, all aimed at stopping the growth of big, wasteful government and recovering the miracle of Constitutional authority, rather than heavy-handed bureaucratic fiat. It’s fresh, both the content and the organizational model. I hope you might be interested in participating.
SEE YOU IN STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO, AUGUST 23
I’ll be unveiling this new effort on Saturday, August 23, 2013, immediately following the luncheon at the Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This special event is open to the public. If you are looking to the future, if you are upset with decline, if you are frustrated with doing things in the same failed way, please join us.