Haywards article is spot on in its diagnosis of the problem and about 95% correct in its prescription. What is lacking, it seems to me, is something that has been frustratingly lacking in most of the conservative organizations with which I have been associated. Where is the attempt at mass appeal, a la Reagan? All of the things Hayward describes are good and important and, in some ways, MORE important than what Im calling for because they will lay a strong and solid foundation. But Conservatives strike me as too patient in this and they always seem to underestimate the power of their arguments with regular people. If you take a look at the majority of what passes for "enlightened opinion" and "education" out there, you must know that regular people (by which I mean intelligent and good citizens who dont want to or cant spend hours of their precious little free time digesting scholarly tomes or even BLOGS) are starving for something, anything, that inspires and animates their own basically good instincts. We conservatives need to get off the bandwagon that laments the corruption of the American people. We need to recognize, as I know Steve does, that it is the elites and not the American people as a whole who are corrupt. That is not to say that they cant be corrupted if the prescription Steve lays out is not heeded--but it will take longer than the 100 years Progressivism has had to monkey with things. There is still something within the breasts of most Americans that wants to love their country and knows that its original principles are good.
How do we cultivate that? All of the things Steve talked about will have an important trickle down effect but we also need to cultivate statesmen capable of making these arguments on the larger scene. We must be ready to support their arguments when they make them. We need to cultivate solid conservative voices for talk radio and television news--where most people will still get their information no matter how popular BLOGS become. Above all, we need to be bold with our friends, acquaintances and associates. Be polite, of course, but we have a country to save. Its amazing what you can accomplish with 1/2 an hour, a good bottle of wine, and a decent person who has never heard any of these things before.