The Chambers Compact

John J. Walters Dec 7, 2010

Red Maryland recently released the Chambers Compact, a four page roadmap to a stronger conservative party in one of the only states that didn’t experience the same “red tide” that the rest of the country did.  While it is undeniably true that the conservative party needs to get their act together if they ever hope to turn the tables in this state, there are those who aren’t entirely sure this document really cuts it.

Perhaps the CC was kept intentionally brief and vague so that it would garner more widespread support, but for those of us who were frustrated by Ehrlich’s constant claims that he would change the state of MD while he simultaneously avoided spelling out what exactly they were, this strategy doesn’t pay dividends.  There’s a lot that can happen between saying that we need to promote small government and local business and enacting even the most well-meaning legislation.

My main point of contention, however, seems to be shared with Kevin Waterman of “Questing for Atlantis” -- that there are several references to Ronald Reagan (the great communicator) and very few references to the utter lack of proper communication that has characterized the republican party.  In fact, the failure of the CC to spell out what kind of change must be made and to address the issue of how to encourage said change is emblematic of this problem.

The thing that conservatives of all kinds need to understand is that it “feels” way better to be a liberal.  Liberals are the party for the little guy; the party that is always trying to fix some problem with society.  There may be some debate about their track record, but at least they’re trying.  Conservatives, on the other hand, are often perceived as hesitant to help out -- even selfish. 

To overcome this emotional gap (or whatever you want to call it), the GOP needs to focus much of its efforts on explaining to the general public why they think the way they think and why they act the way they act.  To assume that people will just “get it” because they’re fed up with what is going on may work in the short term but won’t work forever.  Pendulums swing both ways.

If republicans want real converts for life they need to get to work crafting well-thought-out plans that set them apart from the democrats and then explain the hell out of them.  In other words, they need more “great communicators” -- something Maryland (and the country as a whole) hasn’t seen on the republican ticket for quite a while.