"Welcome back to another round of your favorite show! "Big Government Game Show! On the blue side we have the Donkeys; on the red side, the Elephants! As usual before we start each show, let’s take a stroll down Election lane. In 1993, our winner brought you scandal in the White House. Bill Clinton! In 2001, our winner presented "dream of his father". George W. Bush! In 2008, our winner day viewed “the hope and change of America". Barack Obama! This year, several contestants will compete again for a chance to win “Big Government Game Show”. We have packed this show full of surprises, and incentives. These contestants are playing for Leader of the Free World. They will vow things like Amnesty, tax cuts, buked-up military, free education, environmental regulations, loan forgiveness and women's choice. Let's get ready to play “Big Government Game Show: 2016!"
Sound about right? How many times have you heard that presidential elections are like game shows or the Olympics? Yet, every 4 years we let the fillies out of the gate and the last one standing is the winner. The Republicans will cut the free cash to the bone, and the Democrats will make your teammates cough up the cash to fund the prizes for the winner. But even more intense is that sometimes it’s the "house" that gets the final say in the game show. In “Big Government Game Show”, we call this the Congress. But this also can translate as the American public. They ultimately have the power of the purse and oversight on foreign and domestic policies. In the last 3 game shows, they have swung like a pendulum across America, shifting the game ever so slightly from one court to another. Overall it just sounds exhausting. As a conservative, I of course would like to see a like-minded winner of this hamster wheel of a game show. So how do we achieve this?
1. Recognize and appeal to the American moderates.
In 2011, Gallup polled and found the 37% of American classified themselves as moderates. 21% were liberal; 42% were conservative. No one political ideology can win the presidential election on its own. Now appealing to moderates does not mean offering free stuff. It means compromising on policies that will benefit everyone. Bring them to the table for a conversation. Hint: don't offer free healthcare, offer employers incentives to offer healthcare. This will bolster job numbers and provide competition among job providers.
2. Don't let your character wear a mask of personality.
Have you ever seen those masquerade balls? The men and women dress up in billowing gowns and starch collared suits. But they are hidden behind a mask that usually represents there personality. Elections are about transparency. No one wants to vote for a swan and find out they are a viper. Americans crave intentionality. Hint: Let the reason why you stand for something, your character, be at the forefront of your actions.
3. Americas next generation cannot be bought.
While I appreciate the idea of free winnings, I know nothing is actually free. Therefore, no amount of free incentives will ever be my reasoning for voting for a "contestant". In fact the more they throw free incentives at me: healthcare, education, tax cuts; the more I question that there will be a catch. Eventually I just become insulted. I would like to believe that America’s youth will also find this to be so for them. With the era of professional development upon us, we have no more time for participation awards. Hint: We are not here to play kumbaya politics; we want competition. That can’t be bought.
Next year starts the first of many episodes of the "Big Government Game Show". Up till now we have just had the preliminary auditions. In order for conservatives to win big in the "house" vote, they need to seek intentionality, appeal to moderates, and stop trying to buy their way to the top.
“Love is Patient. Love is Kind.”