Over the weekend I was observing the frustration of several friends when it comes to “true conservatives” being in the running for or elected to public office. And while the definition of “true conservative” may be debated, the point is: how is the message delivered and received?

As I considered the issue it came to me that many conservative candidates’ message through the years came across as angry, frustrated and not focused on the benefit of the views they espouse. The presentation in that mode overshadowed the policy. They became the clanging bell, not the voice of reason. The persistence of principle became a bellwether of success as opposed to the practicality of governing. That was a mistake.

And now, from statewide to local races, candidates often faced with misleading or even lying campaign tactics or attacks on their records, have assumed those tactics so well used against them. It makes them no better than those who employed them previously, and therefore no different in the mind of the voter.

Can it be turned around? Maybe. I have seen glimmers of hope in the recent interviews we have conducted in various races on BML. I’ll share a couple of examples.

First, Tyler Sirois. Even as falsehoods were directed at him and his campaign by his opponent, who also pulled the dumbest stunt of this political season so far by picking a fight with Brevard’s most known and powerful lobbyist, Sirois stayed on message and talked policy and positively about his vision for the office being sought.

It’s the second that came as a pleasant surprise. Matt Nye, also running for the Florida House, had the best interview of his political career last week. Matt has been a leader in the Tea Party movement and a successful organizer and officer in the Republican Liberty Caucus.

When I think of angry presentation, it’s often Matt’s previous appearances and calls to the show that come to mind. They were not so different from calls and discussions I have seen and heard from many in the conservative or liberty movements. The ideas were right. The presentation was wrong.

This most recent appearance was different and, along with Sirois’, can be an example to those wishing to have a message heard and understood as opposed to making noise akin to a cheering crowd at a football game that has great motives, but no impact on the game. Both presentations on the show were issue focused as opposed to personality or attack driven. The candidates stayed on message with no anger, but matter of fact, direct policy and principle discussion.

There are lessons to be learned if conservatives want to win elections and make a difference. The examples are before us if we really want to attain the goal instead of being part of the roaring crowd.

In this primary season we have candidates and their advocates using lies and distortion about their opponents in the governor’s race, for attorney general and even in a local county commission contest.

There are those who stand above the muddy waters of dirty politics and those who have chosen to wallow in that mud. For me, I’ll take the candidate focused on the job and the reasons to put him in office as opposed to the one who screams negatives about the opponent, especially when the negatives are distortions or lies.

Conservatives, it’s up to us to send the message if we want to win. Stop the anger, share the message and stop the lies or be relegated to the sideline where we can make all the noise we want, but have zero impact on the game.


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