It's wrong. You're doing conservatism wrong.
I hear that a lot on Twitter, directed at the likes of Steven Crowder and Milo Yiannopolous. It is said with disgust for their antics, their bluntness, their ability to get attention and focus. I've seen claims made that individuals such as these are nothing more than attention seekers, nothing more than a right-wing version of Jon Stewart and they need to be ostracized. I've heard claims that their conservatism isn't genuine, but merely a vehicle for furthering their career. It all boils down to one thing in the end: they don't act in previously agreed upon ways and that puts them on the fringe of Approved Conservatives.
To that I say: a pox on y'all.
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Conservatism has a marketing problem, one that the left has been able to control for several years. The image of Republicans is one of "boring old white men." This image was even used during the early stages of the GOP primary, despite the varied candidate field. Whether it's true or not, it doesn't matter. The issue is that people perceive the party as that, and as any marketing student could tell you, "perception is reality."
Enter the firebrands. Enter Milo. Enter Crowder. Enter people who don't just break the mold, but then raze the factory the mold was in and salt the ground underneath it.
People like this are on the forefront of the culture wars. They are the ones attacking political correctness, and they are the ones getting their messages across.
Milo, a flamboyant (but fabulous) homosexual writes articles giving straight people the permission to use homosexual slurs. He attacks feminism, trans-whatever agendas, and showed an unfairly maligned group of gamers that conservatives were nothing as the media portrayed, either.
Crowder can stand up and deliver a hilarious and heavy-hitting monologue tearing into SJW extremists on college campuses. A video of that event can go viral and garner attention that most pundits can only dream of.
And what is the response from the self-proclaimed gatekeepers of conservatism? These people are doing conservatism wrong. They are a plague to be removed. They should be mocked and ridiculed and blacklisted.
What have you critics done for conservatism lately? Have you caused such a stir that college campuses are seeing a rising tide of young conservatives not afraid to speak up? Have you encouraged, inspired, and brought to the plate any amount of young people? Have you challenged the "boring old white people" image? Has the left attacked you with such vehemence because you say what they fear, what isn’t proper?
In a war of ideology, it's not just about the truth behind the ideals that will win. It's about the marketing of it. The very constitution that we hold dear needed a marketing team via The Federalist Papers. And today conservatism needs a marketing team that can push back against the media narrative.
The firebrands that are “doing it wrong” are doing more for bringing fresh blood to conservatism than most people realize. They're attacking and making gains on liberal university battlegrounds. Their victories, their gains, are what this party needs. You cannot lament the lack of growth of the movement on one hand and then attack the very people that are doing something about it.
The gatekeepers of conservatism are the very issue that needs to be dealt with. They are the ones that perpetuate the image of conservatism being boring and old. They are the equivalent of leftist elites, decreeing from above and expecting the lower class to follow along. The firebrands simply don’t accept the self-proclaimed authority of the gatekeepers.
Excise the firebrands at your own risk. Unless, that is, you would prefer this party to be only boring old white people.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.