At the end of a second week of what can only be described as an abysmal public relations failure, Arts & Entertainment Television revealed something very intriguing to the watching world. Their foolish action in the (non-)issue of Phil Robertson exposed three rather profound lessons that voters and candidates would be highly advised to pay attention to.
1. Economics still defeats activism
2. Pro-family activism has changed
For a while, modern pro-family voters have felt they were part of a lost cause.
The last two GOP presidential candidates ran away from family-oriented voters as though they had the plague. It is commonly believed that since President Obama was re-elected with 9 million fewer votes than he got in 2008, that had Mitt Romney only been willing to eat a simple Chick-Fil-A sandwich and state his support for a person’s right to practice their faith, as well as their business, that he might have easily beaten Obama.
His purposeful distancing himself from the simple pro-family people of this nation injured him in a way he was unable to recover from.
For the last two election cycles, the willingness of organized pro-family activism to have any impact on the outcome of the candidate selection process has left many feeling that their opinions would never matter again.
Pragmatism in exchange for access has become a large part of the trade in talk radio. But pro-family voters don’t understand such compromises because the health of the family, in their mind, is the singular truth — that the weight of all other debates rely upon.
In the Phil Robertson episode, it wasn’t some group inside the Beltway asking for more contributions, promising to turn things around (and then not delivering). It was merely everyday people, speaking up — for themselves — and doing so through self-organization with Facebook, Twitter, and social media.
3. The compromised need not apply
As the discussions for 2014 and 2016 begin to be had, overpaid consultants from the last two failed presidential bids will be trying to score jobs.
A bit of free advice here: Don’t hire them!
In fact, if they have Romney or McCain on their resume, see what else they have on there before assuming they have anything to offer. For if the modern consultant can’t recognize the benefit of tapping into a voting bloc that caused a fast-food franchise to run out of food coast to coast in a single day, or don’t see the benefit of attracting the audience of a show that weekly draws 12 million viewers (especially since the difference in 2012 was around 4 million votes), then their advice is not something I’m sure would be all that insightful.
We’ve been running these campaigns their way now for several cycles, and I’d prefer to win, rather than not. This is why potential 2016’ers need to be ready to answer for themselves on issues important to this group of voters. Enough with the pretending to be on the team of family voters; this time you need to have actually contributed to the cause.
The capitulation this week by A&E to more or less admit that they were over the economic barrel had been manipulated by GLAAD into creating a controversy that wasn’t, and that their only route of action was not healthy for the reputation nor the bottom line of their otherwise pathetic network demonstrated that hundreds of millions of people in America were more legitimate voices to listen to than GLAAD.
But it did not happen in a vacuum — and that is a lesson worth coming away with.
Yes, pro-family, faith-based voters in America do not have the easy road of the dominant worldview of most citizens anymore. But this reality doesn’t mean that that worldview is dead nor that it will be allowed to be disqualified simply because handfuls of Godless activists can bully media outlets and pronounce immorality as the now only acceptable viewpoint.
Because even though GLAAD wished to punish Robertson, as they have wished to punish yours truly and others through their faux campaigns of calling for “accountability” (when in reality, they are attempting bullying, intimidation, and censorship), A&E had to still live with and react to the consequences of their actions. The voices of the faithful eventually drowned out the minutia of the godless.
The power today, as it was in the days of the founders, rests in the hands of “We the People.”
Pro-family voters have been given a glimpse of reality: sexual activists don’t outnumber people of faith — all is not lost — and when one voice attempts to shout you down, speak louder, more clearly, and more direct.
Now let’s apply these lessons to the work before us next!
Kevin McCullough (firstname.lastname@example.org) hosts “AFA Today” every weekday at noon Central time on American Family Radio. He also is the nationally syndicated host of “The Kevin McCullough Show” weekdays and “Baldwin/McCullough Radio” Saturdays (9-11 p.m. EST) on more than 600 radio stations. His newest best-selling hardcover from Thomas Nelson Publishers — “No He Can’t: How Barack Obama is Dismantling Hope and Change” — is in stores now.