Saturday, July 19, 2008

AFP RightOnline summit: Malkin keynote "Be like them? No thank you!"

My liveblog notes:

Malkin, after gunning for "Weaselly" Clark's slam of the conservative 'freak show', said she was there to 'pump you up'. She took umbrage at the meme that the right is behind: "I reject the MSM narrative. ... I will make that my new slogan."

"Our thing is defending what's right - with a little 'r' and a capital 'R'." (Not just electing everyone with an R next to our names.)

Noting the foulness of their rhetoric, their hypocrisy and their nuttiness, her response on being more like the Left netroots was: "Be like them? No thank you!"

Wants 'blogger' to be on her epitaph, because, as someone who has one foot in the old media, it was through that which liberated her from the gatekeepers of the Old Media. Mentions her old reject leaders.

Mentions Tony Snow, and mentions about him being a Freeper.

Mentions Rathergate, shamenesty, 'faux-tography', grassroots "Gathering of Eagles". "There is so much more that conservative activists that do which does not get front page news in New York Times." 8-hour web telethon with Melanie Morgan raised $1.5 million for troops overseas.

"There are talkers and there are doers. Among the people here, are the doers."

Freerepublic "I was registered member since 1999." Mentions Redstate, and fight against Jihad, and exposing the YouTube hypocrisy

"Corruptocrat John Murtha" has an opponent Bill Russell, decorated combat vet, and is currently in active duty. "Something really special going on in this race."
Chesty Puller, most decorated combat vet, when surrounded, said: "Great. We can shoot at them in all directions."

Her parting call: "We need more of you."

Summary: We don't need to emulate the left, we have many victories to count on and we need to keep going. The view that we are 'behind' misses the victories and advances that have been made.

My response: She has a point. The RightOnline has gotten an inferiority complex. This AFP RightOnline summit was put together since March and is just one of several AFP summits around the country. Yet they were able to get over 500 at this event. The Netroots leftie event was a third annual event and got over 2,000. But the MSM comparison is stunning; tiny mention of RightOnline summit, and frotn page news in the Statesman of Gore's visit to the Netroots convention. Since when do we bow to the liberal MSM narratives?

While we can learn from their successes, we do not need to emulate them, and we have some successes under our own belts, using the internet and alternative media to bust open stories. A stellar example is "Rathergate".

Despite the catcalls you can make about John McCain's vs Obama's website (McCain's website is way behind), the fact is that Obama's campaign is an over-scripted 'web 1.0' campaign, his website is 'high-touch' and personable, but the campaign is also over-controlling and over-scripted. Nothing really new except the hype. But the most amazing online story of 2007 and 2008 has been the Ron Paul 'revolution' (moneybombs, etc.) and the American Solutions "Drill here, drill now" campaign. Both these campaigns are all web 2.0, bottom-up grassroots activism-centric efforts ... and they are on the right.

There is a lesson here. One comment in the conference said Morton Blackwell was right when he said "Technology is politically neutral." Politics is still local, and it remains about making personal connections and winning hearts and minds. These evolving internet technologies are new tools and we can gain an advantage as we utilize them more. But don't believe the lie that liberals have some dominating advantage, or that any advantages that they have are inevitable or permanent.

Conservatives need to learn, study, copy and adapt when the left is succeeding at using certain tools better. There are lessons to learn. But don't stop there (go beyond the left), and don't fall in the trap of thinking they are 'winning' due to their own self-congratulations. Oftentimes, that too is hype. The fundamental ground-breaking 'wins' of the right is when we challenged the elites and their version of truth and wisdom, through highly connected bottoms-up activism. we have a unique heritage and records of success the left cannot match. It's time to stop the inferiority complex thinking and get to work and making it better for our side.

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