Part of the problem is structural. When the conservative blogosphere first emerged, we were in the midst of a political upswing, with back-to-back-to-back victories in 2000, 2002, and 2004. Political activism wasn’t going to be a comparative advantage for the right online. Most were content just being pundits or media critics. This trend was reinforced by the blogosphere’s success in scalping Dan Rather, part of a series of new media-driven events that arguably changed the trajectory of the 2004 election.
Ever since then, a radically different set of circumstances has dominated our politics. It’s one that requires a substantially different response — one that requires us to stop being pundits and start being change agents.
Put simply, the party, and in many cases, the movement, has lost its moorings. Earmarks exploded ten-fold, and it wasn’t under a Democratic Congress. In this winter’s primary, we saw the once mighty fiscal-social-national conservative coalition turned in on itself, with economic conservatives pitted against social conservatives. And too many of the “experts” in the Presidential campaigns this cycle failed to modernize the way the party does business, clinging to the old top-down rostrums of direct mail and fundraising-by-cocktail-party in an increasingly networked and crowdsourced world.
It’s no wonder that Joe Conservative outside the Beltway feels that none of his self appointed “leaders” are listening to him. He looks to Washington and sees a leadership class that is too often arrogant, timid, divided, and technologically behind the curve. It’s no wonder why this year more than most his wallet has been sealed shut when it comes to supporting Republican candidates — even the good ones.
Patrick Ruffini :: Introducing The Next Right