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Boots and Bytes: The Federalist growth strategy

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We received an email this morning asking us to buy an ad in a print-only magazine. I asked how much and received a phone call within seconds of replying to their email. It’s a well-known publication most often read on airplanes. The pitch was a great one: captive audience, bold messaging potential, 400,000 copies in planes or mailed out every issue. Then, the price-tag came. $12,000.

As I noted in yesterday’s post, we can reach 2,650 people on Facebook for $50. We can email 50,000 people for $245. Why would we ever consider buying a print ad for so much more? Answer: We wouldn’t.

The sales rep emailed me a picture. It looked like she had just taken it with her smartphone after leafing through a recent issues. I was supposed to see it as validation. Another third party had taken advantage of their offer. It wasn’t the full-page ad she was pushing me to get, but she noted that they were an older, more experienced party and had put out ads with them at least once a quarter for years. I wanted to ask her how many elections they’d won by buying the print ads, but decided not to be rude.

Personally, I like a good newspaper or magazine. Call me old-fashioned, but there’s something appealing about looking at paper rather than the glow of a screen. With that said, I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve actually read an article in a newspaper or magazine over the last few years. We’re in a digital age. Our information comes in bytes instead of ink.

The Federalist Party will use modern technology and trends to reach the masses. As appealing as it is to nearly every other party to advertise in traditional media sources like print, radio, and television, we understand that the most cost-effective way to spread our message is digitally. Social media, text messaging, branding ads, and articles will get us more exposure for our efforts and expenditures than traditional advertising. That’s not to say we’d never look at traditional media; we have a contract we’re about to sign to hit 40 radio stations across the nation. However, it has to be the right deal. We won’t spend money or put effort into traditional advertising just to be able to say, “Look at this shiny magazine ad we bought.”

Does that mean we’re going to put all of our eggs in the digital basket? No. The other portion of our outreach strategy is getting boots on the ground. The best way to truly reach the grassroots is one handshake and conversation at a time. We will put a great deal of emphasis on meeting people face-to-face and sharing with them the virtues of smaller government, greater freedoms, and the fight to protect life.

For this, we need to be frugal as well. It can get expensive travelling around the country. We’ll have to pick and choose which events to attend and how we intend to be represented at them. Memorial Day weekend’s Rolling Thunder event in Washington DC is an example of picking the right event based upon access, potential reach, and most importantly our ability to demonstrate fiscal responsibility. Our supporters work hard for their money. We need to treat every dollar we receive as the precious gift that it is.

Direct contact with people is absolutely necessary for the party to grow. We might not touch as many people at Rolling Thunder as we would through a bulk text message blast, but the touches themselves will be more meaningful. We’ll actually be meeting people and talking WITH them rather than most advertising platforms where we’re talking AT them. The Federalist Party wants to be the most technologically advanced party, but we won’t let our tech-savvy side disrupt the interpersonal engagement we can only get by talking to people directly.

We need the tech to help us reach the masses and we need boots on the ground to help us reach people one-on-one. It’s a solid 1-2 punch that will give us the upper hand when mobilizing for elections in the near future. We’re in growth mode now, but the current “boots and bytes” strategy is a microcosm of plans we’ll implement when running in actual races. Just because you won’t see us in a magazine on your next flight doesn’t mean we’re not working hard to be seen.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

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Politics

Sen. Dean Heller is a perfect manifestation of the Trump conservative

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As we learned in the aftermath of Rep. Mark Sanford’s (SC) GOP primary loss to Katie Arrington after he was targeted for elimination by Donald Trump for having the audacity to criticize him while being “unhelpful” to his campaign, conservatives are being systematically snuffed out, politically speaking, from the Republican party and are being replaced by a re-branded version of conservatism where unconditional loyalty to Trump has replaced principles.

The fallout from this reality is twofold. First, it severs all ties the GOP once had with Reagan-styled conservatism where it was understood that government can never be the solution to our problems because government is the problem. Second, it opened the door for Trump’s Nationalist Populism to fill the void created when the GOP abandoned the conservative ideals of limited government and free-market capitalism, along with watering down fiscal and social conservatism.

While there are many examples of what this looks like, there is perhaps no greater example of re-branded conservatism than Sen. Dean Heller (NV), the GOP establishment candidate endorsed by Trump.

When Heller made his decision to run for re-election last year, he proved to be the epitome of what a Trump conservative looks like when he defended Planned Parenthood during an appearance at a local town hall, saying:

“I will protect Planned Parenthood.”

“I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Since his primary victory—a job made easier after Trump conservative Danny Tarkanian dropped out to run for Congress at Trump’s request—Heller has been doubling down on his Trump loyalty pledge. For example: with Trump’s trade war heating up, Heller recently appeared on FOX News Trump TV to declare that he would give Trump “a wide berth” when it comes to imposing tariffs, which means he will put Trump ahead of his Constitutional responsibilities.

In his TV appearance, Heller also pledged to run on Trump’s tax cuts because, according to him, it has meant $2,500 more a year in Nevada paychecks, despite a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing that average wages are down since the tax law was passed. The tax cuts have proved to be a windfall for corporations, however, so maybe Heller can run on that as we get closer to November.

As I wrote earlier this week, this embrace of Trump’s faux conservatism has given us casualties outside of the Republican party, and Heller once again proves my point. Despite his current pro-abortion position—I say current because he’s been on both sides of the abortion issue depending on how close he is to an election—Heller recently received the full endorsement of the National Right to Life.

The only “conservative” part of the Trump conservative is the use of the word, proving once again that the GOP is no longer home of the conservative movement.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Culture and Religion

Is Mike Pence too political for church?

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There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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Democrats

Family separation battle will save DACA and lead to citizenship for illegals

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The latest outrage du jour by the Washington Establishment comes from the news that children are being temporarily separated from their parents as they try to enter the country illegally.

In her latest presentation of the gospel according to Nancy Pelosi, the part-time Catholic and full-time idiot, blasted “all people of faith in our country” for depriving DREAMers of the “respect they deserve” and for “taking babies away from mothers and fathers.” Meanwhile, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers (R-OH) issued his call for an end to family separations at the border.

In the Senate, GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) called for an end to the “zero tolerance” immigration policies. On the other side of the aisle, Democrats rushed to the border to grab a handful of election-year photo ops to document what former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro called “state-sponsored child abuse.”

Melania Trump, in addition to four former first ladies, shared how they “hated” to see families separated and called on America to “govern with heart.”

The outrage over family separation is coming from both sides, but it’s fake. These reactions are nothing more than election-year grandstanding by politicians in both parties who have no interest at all at fixing the immigration problem.

As I wrote last week, the GOP-controlled House is already working on an immigration bill that makes DACA permanent and provides a pathway to citizenship for approximately 1.8 million DREAMers. House Speaker Paul Ryan made sure to point out that this legislation also includes a provision ending family separation.

Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced that he will introduce a bill that ends family separations at the border, which in an amazing bit of coincidence comes at a time when his Democrat opponent for the US Senate, Beto O’Rourke, also called for the separation policy to end. Cruz’s proposal enjoys the unanimous support of Senate Democrats.

For the record, this “for the children” approach to illegal immigration is how we ended up with DACA in the first place. Also note, as this article shows, that Trump is lying when he blames Democrats for the family separation fiasco.

The family separation issue is being used as a primer for the eventual surrender on immigration. And for those who believe that Trump won’t support this surrender, consider this: he allowed Melania to openly oppose his immigration policy, and he recently announced that he’s open to anything that Congress puts on his desk, even if it means doing the opposite of what he promised to get elected.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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