At NRO, former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis tells important truths to conservatives — namely, that we need to learn how to talk to people who aren’t already on our side and who are not of natural cultural affinity with us (not that they are necessarily culturally against us, but just that they aren’t automatically in cultural concert with us either).
Many of them work with their hands, and their backs and legs and feet hurt at the end of the day. They worry not about freedom, but about the depleted state of their savings. They don’t carry around a pocket copy of the Constitution, but they know that too many of their tax dollars go to Washington, and is it such a quaint thought that they want a return on their investment and want government to work for their interests?
What do we have to say to them, the people who work with their hands….?
Davis is right. Paul Ryan and Bobby Jindal are saying similar things, with Ryan naturally recalling the themes of his late, great mentor, Jack Kemp.
I’ll throw out an issue conservatives need to do better at. We, myself definitely included, have made lots of justifiable noise about the dangers of vote fraud. We cannot back down on that issue no matter how many media people spread cheap shots about how our real goal is “vote suppression.” BUT…. BUT…. BUT, we also must show that we are intensely interested in making sure that as many people who legitimately qualify to vote find it as easy as possible to register and vote — and we must particularly try to figure out how to make voting not such a chore, so that nobody is forced to stand in line for hours just to participate in the electoral process. If there are any left-leaning people who seriously want to reach out and find solutions rather than bash us, we should find them, and see if we can find common ground. If they will admit the indisputable fact that vote fraud is a problem, and help us fight against it, we should admit that our voting system is often too complicated or convoluted.
Anyway, that’s going astray from what Davis said. But it’s just one example, admittedly on a second-tier issue (for most people), of how conservatives should try to broaden our reach. More importantly, we should likewise try to broaden our reach on economics, on opportunity, and on health care, among other major topics.
I’ll end with by quoting Davis again:
The world that Obama does not see in his progressive manifesto, the world that he barely acknowledges or address, it is the space that we can occupy as conservatives if we will only claim it.