HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR'S DEFEAT -- A PARADIGM SHIFT?


A NEW PARADIGM IN ELECTION INFLUENCE, A NEW ERA BEGINNING?
As you read this keep in mind GETTING OUT THE VOTE, something conservative Republicans have not done effectively for many election cycles. They focus on ideological purity, even single issues or parts of issues, and refrain from voting if the candidate isn't "pure" on their issue. Ideology alone cannot win elections, getting voters out to vote does. And, we cannot govern if we don't win. Sure, it sounds trite, but it's a truism. Also, please know that, in my opinion, Brat's issues were sound conservative ones and his focus on the Virginia Republican creed was music to the ears of many of us. However it is my strong and considered belief that he beat Cantor with the constant hammering on the issue of amnesty for immigrants, all led by radio talk show hosts. (edited June 15, 2013) JAM

Congressional Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss to a conservative political neophyte, Professor David Brat, in the 7th Congressional District of Virginia is being discussed by media in terms such as unbelievable, shocking, an earthquake, a bombshell and more. While the loss is being viewed legitimately as an event reflective of a Republican Party whose so-called controlling “establishment” leadership is ineffective at uniting somewhat disparate factions, especially conservatives from the more liberal, it is likely more complex and definitive than that. I'm compelled to think more in terms of a change in who and what influences elections. Is this the beginning of a shift in influencing local and regional elections? There's reason to think it may be so. Think talk radio and such names as Laura Ingraham, prominent talk show host and TV personality.

Is conservative talk radio, with powerful personalities like Ingraham, on the verge of countering, in part at least, the dominance of social media and internet “news” by Progressives (aka Democrats)? If so, how much impact can they have in countering the plethora of activist left-wing political propagandists -- such entities as The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Salon.com and countless others. While there are conservative outlets as well, the left-wing dominates. In addition there are literally thousands of left-wing memes constantly pouring into social media, especially Facebook, under such names as “To Be A Liberal” and many more.

Ingraham made much of her focus on Cantor's defeat before the election and is basking in the glory of having helped defeat him. Legitimately so it would seem. She now reports that “I went down there (Richmond) and we had 600+ activists out for Brat.” While the number may not seem large for a congressional election (regional), it's remarkable to draw that many people who are enthusiastic enough take time to show support for their candidate.

Ingraham is a strong and vocal advocate for immigration control. Rightly or wrongly, she is opposed to the concept of comprehensive reform and tends to equate comprehensive with amnesty. While I am one who believes that comprehensive immigration reform is possible, even necessary, without amnesty and even wrote a proposal for President Bush, Ingraham disagrees. And, she sold 100's of others on the notion that Cantor favored amnesty by favoring comprehensive legislation. That's her right, she did what she had to do for her cause and the cause of many conservatives, and she won her case with help of other conservative talk show and TV personalities. She, and they, beat the so-called “establishment Republicans. How important was her activism. In this case it would seem she, and they, made the difference in the running of the House of Representatives by ousting the Majority Leader. What will the outcome be? We'll have to wait and see.

What seems to be true from this case is that talk radio hosts can focus on local and regional candidates, saturate their segment of voters with constant messaging and get out the vote. Quite an accomplishment with Republicans who have no hesitancy to complain rather than vote.

We may have just witnessed the beginning of a paradigm shift in influencing election outcomes.
Has a new era begun? It's not too farfetched to think it might be so.










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