Time For A Vast BRIGHT-Wing Conspiracy
by Martin Lewis
Written November 03, 2004

Time For A Vast BRIGHT-Wing Conspiracy

Reclaiming America From The Conservatives

The election results are bitterly disappointing for us. In the midst of such disappointment – there will inevitably be a lot of hand-wringing, a chorus of doom-sayers and much navel-gazing. And it is right that there should be a period of reflection. But there is also a danger of over-doing this and throwing out the liberal baby with the bath-water.

There are definitely some changes that need to be made on our side. But they are NOT primarily changes of message. The basic message IS decent, good and sellable. The work we still need is in COMMUNICATING the message.

And by this I do NOT specifically mean the messenger as in the candidate (though there is always room for improvement with individual candidates) - but the actual WAY our overall message, philosophy and ideology is communicated. And WHEN the message is communicated.

People do not form their opinions about broad ideological issues just in election years. As the conservative movement has so successfully proved – people make their minds up over time. All the time...

And there are election defeats and there are election defeats…

If you suffer a 1964 Goldwater-type landslide defeat - it may well be the message that needs a major overhaul. (Though even in that instance - look how little time elapsed till Nixon’s 1968 and 1972 victories – and more tellingly – Ronald Reagan’s 1980 victory.)

But if in two successive presidential elections you lose by respectively an electoral fluke (having won the popular vote) and then by just 3% against an incumbent who wrapped himself in a war-time mantle – then you are in severe danger of letting your natural disappointment allow you to self-destruct. When what is actually required is major attention to what the other side has been doing for the past 30 years – and what we HAVEN’T been doing for those same 30 years.

Think FOR ONE INSTANT what the Republicans would be doing today if they had lost the election by just 3%. They would be dusting themselves off – and preparing to do everything in their power to rattle the cages of a Kerry Presidency. And setting in motion plans to make big gains in the 2006 mid-terms – then cap it all off with a massive victory in 2008.

Some of us Democrats/liberals/progressives see the result as a crushing defeat and repudiation of our entire philosophy.

But Republicans/conservatives would see this as a disappointing set-back and use that disappointment as a cantilever to spring back into power.

THAT is a lesson we could and should learn.

Today I announce the launch of “VAST BRIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY” – a new foundation to work with existing organizations and think-tanks to help restore a sound, long-lasting, deep-seated Democratic majority in the US.

The mission is simple – though the task is massive:

Assisting the Democratic Party, Democratic politicians, progressives and liberals to fight and win the ideological, philosophical and cultural war for the hearts and minds of the American people that the conservatives and evangelicals have been waging – and winning - for the last 30 years.

This is not just a short-term mission. It is a short-term, medium-term and long-term mission. The 2006 mid-terms… the 2008 elections and equally important – the presidential elections of 2012, 2016 and 2020.

This is identical to the mission that the conservative movement set itself after the Watergate disgrace of Richard Nixon in 1974. Its first major results may have been the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan – but the seeds were sown in the mid-1970’s. They tackled the problem at the grassroots and built up slowly but surely. They demonized the word “liberal” – and the concepts of liberalism, progressivism and all the basic tenets of the Democratic Party.

They did this systematically and with skilful, plodding certainty. They did it by re-writing history – especially the cultural and civil rights wars of the 1960’s. They have used that re-writing of history as a means to attack all that we hold dear. And to poison the minds of almost an entire new generation.

It is our duty and task to restore firstly our own pride – and then the nation’s pride - in the word “liberal” and the noble philosophy of liberalism. It is deeply rooted in the American tradition. The word and the concept have been besmirched and despoiled. Now we must stand and fight.

For the next four years – we must be like the brave warriors in Nazi-occupied-France during the Second World War. We are now The Resistance – in Conservative-Occupied-America.

In the words of Bruce Springsteen from his song "My City's In Ruins" (performed so memorably in the TV memorial after 9/11) – “Come on, rise up. Come on, rise up…”


November 3rd 2004

Martin Lewis is a British-born, US-based political commentator and marketing strategist.

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