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  • Always the Optimist, Feulner Has High Hopes for Conservatism

    Ed Feulner in November 2008 (Photo by Chas Geer)

    Today at the Conservative Bloggers Briefing, Heritage President Ed Feulner described a path back to dominance for conservatives that relies heavily on viral marketing and communicating via the Internet.

    He described an interaction in the last couple days with an unnamed Republican in Congress who gloated about “6,000 emails lauding his opposition to the TARP bailout.” Feulner asked the congressman what he did with the email addresses. The congressman responded, “Well, I read most of them.”

    Feulner sees this as a too-common and dangerously naive response on behalf of conservatives today. “Some of them don’t realize what incredible potential tools they’re sitting on.” Conservatives need to learn “how best to integrate [6,000 emails] into an asset that literally you can use as you reach out to the grassroots.”

    President-elect Barack Obama understood the power of these new tools and continues to use them to his advantage. “With the exception of a few people around the table, like [Newt] Gingrich and some others, there are very few who’ve got as much gray hair as I have who understood what the potential of this is on our side of the movement. Which is why getting together with people who do understand it … is so important.”

    That’s about as close to a hand-written invitation that young leaders of the conservative movement will ever get from an an old Washington lion like Feulner. He knows it can’t be done by the current leadership. “Try and explain [text messaging] to John McCain and it’s like talking to a blank wall. It doesn’t work.”

    Conservative ideas, no matter what party wins elections, remain empirically true. What’s needed is an understanding of principles articulated through digital media that will mobilize people. As Feulner’s Facebook profile says: “Successful politics is about addition and multiplication, not division and subtraction.”

    The Internet is that multiplier, with exponential potential.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Always the Optimist, Feulner Has High Hopes for Conservatism

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    2. Brian Sikma says:

      Kudos to Mr. Feulner for not only being a champion of conservate ideas for so long in Washington, but also being curious enough to probe new methods of communication and understand the tremendous potential that they have for the furtherence of our ideas. The New Conservative movement must have the same principles as the old one, but with an internet, e-mail, text message, radio, TV and direct mail presence. We must use every tool at our disposal. If you're not getting your ideas online, you're not reaching the critical next generation; additionally, if you're not accessable from a search engine you're missing a massive opportunity to spread your ideas and provide support and information to local conservatives spread out across this country.

    3. W Howard Baker, Bard says:

      I am 64 and although I have no way to text message, I do use Email on the internet to contact my representatives. When time gets short though, as it was with the immigration bill, I have found that FAXes work the best, The problem that we might run in to though is the shutting down of alternative radio. It is there that I have gotten the "heads up" on impending legislation that is liberal or downright fascist. Hopefully, "The Morning Bell" will give us this advance warning if the fascists take our alternative radio off the air.

      This also applies to Dr. Fuelner's plan to bring conservatism back to the forefront. It will only work with an informed citizenry and this president only wants one story told and that is his story.

    4. James Wolbert, Garf says:

      I believe that Mr Obama plans to use his internet base to gain support for his plans once he becomes President. I know that Conservatives should do the same as we move toward the 2010 midterm elections. We need to shock and awe the opposition.

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    6. DRL, Kansas says:

      The statement, "The Internet is that multiplier, with exponential potential" is absolutely true! However, the GOP did not capatalize on this. I would suggest a "broken arrow" policy. Bypass the MSM entirely and focus on linking conservative web-sites and bloggers to create a powerful new news source that reaches more people than the nightly news, talk/interview shows,and print media could ever hope to reach.

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