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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, April 01, 2016

The Lost Opportunity Campaign

by Newt Gingrich: The real tragedy of recent mud-slinging that seems to dominate presidential politics is a lost opportunity to talk about the things that actually matter.

The candidates and their campaigns (including SuperPACs) have been guilty of a lot of destructive, personal, and negative attacks.

The news media is an enthusiastic enabler of this kind of destructiveness because it is simple and attracts an audience. Smear someone’s wife, and it is easy to cover. Get involved in a conflict with a young female reporter and the news media knows how to be shocked, horrified, intrigued, and judgmental.

There is an old rule of local TV news: “if it bleeds, it leads.” There is a similar rule of national TV coverage that if it is nasty, negative, and personal, it is easy to cover, easy to explain and easy to dramatize.

Governor Kasich, by refraining from the pettiness, the negativity and the cheap shots, has guaranteed that he receives very limited coverage. Positive, cheerful campaign events simply don’t get the air time that noisy nonsense does.

For conservatives, the tragedy of all of this is the lost opportunity to describe a dramatically better future and the lost opportunity to describe just how bad the Clinton-Sanders model of bureaucratic big government is.

Describing a dramatically better future for all Americans is more difficult because it requires imagination and an ability to think beyond the immediate 30 second sound bite of the day. The opportunity for Republicans is to describe the huge breakthroughs in science, technology, engineering and entrepreneurship that will lead to better lives for all Americans in the very near future.

There are enormous opportunities to improve the Veterans Administration, the Indian Health Service, and dozens of other agencies. Our lives could be better in health, learning, and safety, not to mention the cost, convenience and transparency of government.

This vision of a better future, though so close to reality, is also complicated and difficult for candidates to explain and for the news media to cover.

The other great opportunity for Republicans is to make the case that the Clinton-Sanders world is failing. This is a far easier case to make and far easier for the media to cover.

Clinton and Sanders advocate bigger and bigger government, more unionized bureaucracies, greater spending, and centralized decisions in Washington.

The opportunities to highlight the failure of that vision are unending. The Metro system of our national capital has been so badly run that it may close entire lines for months at a time for safety repairs. The Veterans Administration is filled with corruption, incompetence, inefficiency and massive failures to serve veterans. Everyone agrees that the Pentagon procurement system is utterly broken with cost overruns, inefficiencies and time-consuming bureaucracy that take too long to produce too little. In area after area, there are case studies of the failures of the very bureaucracies and systems Clinton and Sanders want to expand.

This campaign could be a remarkable contrast between two visions — that of a better future, and that of a disastrous government.

Sadly, the Republicans who should be making that case seem mired in the politics of petty trivia, personal destruction and meaningless but exploitable baloney.

We still have seven months to have a campaign about a better future and a failed government. That would be a vast improvement over the mess we are in now.
----------------------
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, lost opportunity campaign, Republicans, presidential candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:30 PM - Post Link

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