June 05, 2015

Conservatives shouldn't ignore the single issue voter

Joshua LiebleinRebel Blogger

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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commented 2015-06-08 15:18:24 -0400
Oops – I had meant my comment for another article.
commented 2015-06-08 15:13:17 -0400
Why don’t we just ban “stupid!” Those that think we should all just lie down, and let the nannies tell us what to do, have another thing coming. Who are they to tell others what to do, just because they don’t like something. Get a life!
commented 2015-06-06 19:30:06 -0400
I just remember when the Candian Taxpayers Federation took McGuinty to court over the lies he told during the first election of 2003, the court pretty well said anything said during an election, “should not be believed”. The court said things change so the party could not be held to its promises. Conservatives have to stand up for their principles and shout from the rooftoops at everything the left says or does during the election cycle and remind voters of this court decision.
commented 2015-06-06 15:27:36 -0400
I have never had to recruit MRAs…feminists do that for me….:-) Sad fact is most people have no interest in politics until their ox is gored.

I personally do not agree with the marijuana prohibition. It is a bad habit…it is not a crime. Tax it like other bad habits.

So why do I not support Justin Trudeau ? If Justin made the promise to legalize it I would spray his pants with a fire extinguisher…it is a promise he is in no danger of having to keep.

I got an interview with a Ledain Commissioner who confided in me that even though all of the Commissioners agreed that it should be legalized none of them were willing to make that recommendation…..That was in 1969. The Liberals passed virtual legalization in the House of Commons twice…then had it struck down by their own senators…citing UN obligations and “you will regret it” advice from the president of Mexico.

Justin is very good at making promises he is in no danger of having to keep…..and at being the errand boy for grievance groups.

The unifying banner of the CPC is defence of freedom of speech. It is when the left has succeeded at silencing you that the war is lost…or the skirmish concerning your pet peeve.

Membership and attendance on MRA forums spiked over “gamer gate” …it had never occurred to most gamers that feminists were overbearing nannies until their fun got infringed on and chaperoned.

Want to swing some voters to Tory? Ask the opposition where they stand on “hatred of women on the internet and in gaming”.

Asking Michael Ignatieff where he stood on men’s rights did more to sink his ship that any analysis that has been done would indicate…other than by the author who was supposed to write a book on the slam dunk victory they were supposed to win…who was lavish in his criticism of the advice given by feminist policy advisors.
commented 2015-06-05 23:17:05 -0400
You are bang-on here, Joshua. Conservatives need to learn this simple fact: the left only wins by neutering the right. We must not be cowed by their bullying and mockery. When we embrace our principles, we can’t lose. When we let them push us into abandoning our principles, we leave a void that they always fill with money and bullshit. Bottom line, someone has to take every conservative activist and teach them how to stay strong and keep a spine. And reach out to gamers :)