As I watched Rev. Wright ranting to his congregation, it occurred to me… People are hungry for inspiration. To be sure, his brand of inspiration leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth, but clearly, his congregation was inspired. So the question arose in my mind:
Is there a market for conservative inspiration?
And I answered to myself a resounding, “YES!”
I think this is the essence of all of the “be like Reagan” talk you hear from pundits. Nobody really wants another Reagan. Sure, he was a great man and stood for great ideals, but what we really want is to be inspired, like Reagan did. So, is there a market for conservative inspiration in politics? Yes, of course. But is there a market for conservative inspiration in general?
Once could argue that we already have this in the form of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, and thousands of conservative bloggers (yours truely). But it is not the same as standing in front of a group of people and engaging them directly. It is different.
What would the new conservative inspirational model look like?
First and foremost, it would not be tied to a political campaign. To be part of a candidate or campaign would necessarily tarnish any inspiration which may have otherwise been derived. All you need to do is look at the behavior of any number of so-called conservatives in Congress to see that conservative ideals quickly wane in the face of power – real or perceived.
Once you take politics out of it, one could argue that the need for conservative inspiration is already being met by our think tanks, like the Heritage Foundation. Except that with the exception of the Washington elite, who really has access to Heritage? To be sure, they do great work and are a huge asset to our cause. But really, when was the last time you went to a Heritage Foundation event?
So what are we left with? A market opportunity.
Picture this… Some enterprising conservative (aren’t we all by definition?) gets the word out to friends and family that there is to be a meeting for conservative inspiration. The meeting is to be held at a local community center, private school, or the like. A simple agenda is sent out the day before via e-mail. The agenda looks something like this:
8:00 – 8:15: Introduction and Vision
8:15 – 8:30: Topicality – News and Why it Matters to Conservatives
8:30 – 8:45: Effecting Change – How We Can Do It
8:45 – 9:00: Moderated Open Discussion
9:00 – 9:15: Closing Remarks and Pledge
So this little meeting takes place and is an inspiration to those who attend. The discussion is positive and uplifting. In short, it is inspirational. The next meeting is planned for the following month.
The next month arrives and the agenda is the same, only now we have some new members. All coming to be inspired. To take action. To be part of something special – the conservative movement.
This is not a religious event. More like a tent revival for conservative thought.
Once the process is put in place and polished, these events and groups could be franchised across the country.
What is the goal? To effect positive change by evangelizing conservative thought.
This all occurred to me during a 20 minute drive. I heard a clip of Rev. Wright and heard the screams of adoring congregants. It seemed so clear that conservatives have no major grass roots outlet to share thought and action to effect real change. As mentioned above, there are plenty of outlets, but none that touches people directly, personally and powerfully, they way Wright does with his (cooky) brand of preaching.
Sure, there may be little conservative groups here and there, but there needs to be something so inspirational that it captures the spirit of the nation.
When you read books like “Real Change” by Newt Gingrich or even books like “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, you are excited and inspired to get something done. Let’s take that type of excitement and bring it to the masses, one little group of conservatives at a time.
Okay, now…who’s going to set this up?