No Better Time to Be a Contagious Conservative

Terry Paulson, There has never been a better time to make a case for the conservative cause. President Joe Biden has done his best to show over and over again the flaws of progressive priorities. It is one thing to campaign as a “moderate” and another to put actual policies into action and live with the results.

Can conservatives be thankful for Biden, Schumer and Pelosi? In a strange way, yes. They have shown for all to see America’s future under liberal leadership-open borders, higher taxes on citizens and businesses, economic controls, mask and vaccine mandates, federalized elections, an accelerated pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, a botched Afghanistan exit, and unchecked deficit spending for years to come.

Are you a contagious conservative? It’s easy to get applause and “likes” on social media from citizens who already agree with you. We need to become effective conservative evangelists. The critical challenge we face is bringing more and more independent voters to our side in upcoming elections.

Thankfully, recent polls indicate that President Biden is doing a good job on his own in souring independents who previously were fooled by his “moderate” promises. An August 13-19th national Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll polling shows that Biden’s net approval among independents dropped by 14 percentage points overall since June, and by 19 points for his handling of the coronavirus.

More importantly, after largely favoring Biden over Trump in the 2020 election, independents are now evenly split in their support for Biden: 46% approve while 46% disapprove of Biden’s performance in office. Two months ago, 52% of independents approved of Biden’s overall performance, while 38% disapproved. The heavy-handed management of the pandemic and the fallout from Afghanistan have contributed to a broader erosion in Biden’s popularity. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that for the first time in Biden’s presidency more Americans disapproved of Biden than approved of him.

Biden’s performance and the resulting drop in his poll numbers make his administration more vulnerable in the upcoming midterm elections. But things can and will change. Conservatives can’t depend on the incompetency and overreach of the Democrats. Now, is the time to work to ensure that conservatives can capitalize on the opportunities the Democratic have created.

Trusting that Biden was such a poor candidate, President Trump focused on attacking him rather than focusing on his accomplishments and second term priorities. Such attacks reminded voters of what they most disliked about Trump–his personal attacks and combative style. We can’t repeat that mistake again. To make converts, forget the Biden attacks and talk about why you’re a conservative. Unfortunately, not all conservative priorities ar compelling to independents.

It would be easy to focus on high taxes on small businesses and the rich, but most people aren’t rich, don’t own a business, and are increasingly comfortable on letting others pay their taxes. You could focus on abortion, but the issue tends to be divisive in both parties. You could rally around being tough on crime, but some still feel the January 6th “insurrection” impacts conservative credibility. Fighting for fair election reform tends to create more disagreements, confusion, and claims of “fake news” than new converts.

Here are three highly visible issues and critical opening questions that highlight our differences and show promise in changing minds:

Do you support President Biden’s open border policy? No matter how voters felt about President Trump, his wall and secure border policies had slowed illegal immigration to a trickle. Biden has turned that trickle into a tidal wave of illegals from Haiti, Mexico, Africa, Central America, and the world. Some reports indicate that over 400,000 are populating caravans that are just weeks away. At a time of oppressive pandemic requirements on our citizens, the estimated twenty percent of illegal immigrants with COVID are not turned away. Those crossing the borders are overwhelming small cities forced to deal with the onslaught. Like responsible countries around the world, conservatives want secure borders and support legal immigration with proper controls and vetting.

Do you support President Biden’s vaccine and masking mandates? Democrats loved labeling Trump as a fascist, but it’s the Democrats who are imposing vaccine and masking mandates that are forcing people to lose jobs, being refused service, and being not allowed to travel. They’re making no allowance for the effective immunity from having COVID. Already, the most vulnerable have embraced the vaccines, but the heavy-handed controls are just creating more division, resistance, and cost for those unwilling to take the risk of vaccination. As has been said, COVID will have its day whether you have mandates or freedom. Instead of pushing mandates, put a positive focus on sharing the evidence of vaccine efficacy. Make it easy for citizens to get vaccinated, but join the conservatives in ending unnecessary mandates.

Do you feel you should be able to exercise school choice for your children? Right now, unless you have the funds, your children are forced to attend public schools. Bad teachers are seldom fired, parents are forced to endure what they get. In Sweden, school choice has been instituted. Public schools had to compete, and they did compete. Poor teachers were fired, schools improved to attract children for the right reason-a good education. We know competition works. Join other conservatives in forcing schools to compete for the funds parents ought to be able to control.

These are but three winning issues that can attract the vast majority of Americans. Instead of just attacking progressives, It’s time we talk about what we are for and sell the conservative values and priorities we know work.

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