Not a day goes by without a conservative reacting to a left-wing position with some variation on: “Really? Who cares about this?”
It made its way into the latest CPC ad. Is legalizing marijuana “the biggest problem we have to solve?” asks one of the actors who apparently decide who governs this country on the strength of the candidate’s resumés.
When the NDP decided they were going to plant their flag in support of home mail delivery, you know that was your exact reaction. Silly backwards NDP, always on the wrong side of history.
I guess this wouldn’t be worthy of comment if conservatives didn’t spend as much time saying “Who cares?” as they did complaining about how we win elections but lose the culture war. How every step taken by the CPC towards a more conservative Canada is blocked by a bunch of activists with too much time on their hands.
And yes, this is one reason why opposition parties have to abandon conservative principles to gain traction with “the mainstream.” The conservative infrastructure is just simply not there, and it’s not there because nobody takes the time to do what the left does.
One of the biggest supposedly non-political political stories of last year was #Gamergate. It’s far too complicated to explain in detail here (here’s a super detailed chronicle which will take you about a week to read), so let me summarize: A loud minority of leftists decided it was time to politicize video games on the grounds that they promoted racism, sexism, homophobia, what have you.
Gamers, a generally non-political group, didn’t like having what they did for fun turned into a left-wing hobby horse and really could have used some help from the conservative family, but didn’t get it.
When I tried to explain #Gamergate and why it’s important to conservatives who’ve never picked up a video game controller in their lives, I mostly got blank stares.
“What does this have to do with low taxes and small government?” they said.
I shouldn’t have to tell you that of course leftists see gamers as prime converts. If they wind up caring about politics at all, they will be more hostile to conservatives than they were otherwise.
Now of course we have that wonderful old saw about how these single issue voters “don’t vote.”
Maybe not. But again: If we’re going to complain about how the Left changes the culture and blocks conservative governments every step of the way, we had better start reaching out to these voters too and ensure that they do vote. Our way.
Besides, you may not realize it, but smart conservatives are already doing this. And you’re cheering them on.
Why do you think Harper and the CPC spends so much time microtargeting their policies and messages to various segments of the electorate? Andrew Coyne may take offense, but for every Andrew Coyne the Tories lose, they pick up a bunch of new converts every time.
Oh, but that’s not principled, you may say. Well, what do you think Monte McNaughton was doing when he spoke up for parents opposed to Kathleen Wynne’s sex ed curriculum?
I was working on Monte’s leadership campaign and I took calls from people who knew nothing about the political process and didn’t even know which riding they lived in who wanted to become lifelong PC Party of Ontario voters and volunteers on the spot.
Those seasoned political insiders who want to win would do well to recall that once, they were also fresh-faced single issue voters who just needed a push in the right direction.
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