Still Undefeated

Written on:January 24, 2012
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As we follow the latest developments from the GOP primary ring, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily ups and downs of this very unconventional campaign season. Obviously, we want to stay informed on current events so we can follow who’s saying what. But we also need to take the long view, which includes remembering that the majority of Americans are not really paying attention yet, and those who are do not follow most stories closely. So much remains in flux that any hand-wringing or celebration over any candidate’s ups and downs would be premature. Many people have remarked that this election season is a marathon, not a sprint. We have much to do before November.

What can we be doing to positively contribute to events and lend a hand in shaping the prevailing narrative, even as it appears that our chief task is to watch and wait for the primary to come to our state? Exactly what we should be doing in any and all cases: talking to friends and neighbors, working actively to become involved in our communities, finding our place in the local party structure, and honing our abilities to clearly articulate our positions and defend the candidates we support.

One of the primary ways we can effectively reach ambivalent and un-engaged voters, and lay the groundwork for successful campaigns by any qualified conservative candidates, is through personal involvement and invitation. People may be easily swayed by the barrage of ads or headlines they see on TV, but the effect will be largely temporary (a large campaign warchest and a sympathetic media all but guarantee that the barrage of advertising will continue to hold sway until the election, but in the moment, trite sound-bites have brief staying power). As for actually changing minds, individuals respond positively to personal and individual persuasion.

We have the power to influence our friends, family members, colleagues, and neighbors simply by sharing our observations in a friendly, non-controversial way. One of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to provoke great dialogue is the documentary The Undefeated.

It can be a simple matter to strike up a conversation about current events and feel out how interested your friend is in current events. Ultimately, everyone cares about the fate of our country, even those who don’t consider themselves to be real political animals. Such a conversation could easily lead to an invitation to watch an eye-opening documentary about politics. You could phrase it so many different ways:

“I’d love to share with you a great movie that really opened my eyes to the kind of corruption that goes on in government, and showcases the ability of ordinary citizens to make a difference in the political process.”

“Sometimes I get the feeling in this election process that we’re just being manipulated and lied to. Watching this movie really gives me hope that one person, just like us, really can make a difference.”

“It’s been called controversial, but honestly, I can’t see any downside to a movie that champions one person’s fight against the entrenched power brokers. We need more leaders like this in politics. Even if you don’t agree with politicians on every issue, at least take the chance to be informed about their record so we can decide if they’re being fairly criticized.”

“This is definitely relevant. As Governor Palin continues to be a strong voice for the conservative movement, I think it’s important to understand where she’s coming from, as many on the Left continue to attack her and diminish her because they disagree with her message.”

Inviting someone over to watch a political movie may initially seem out of your comfort zone, but when you believe in something, people listen. Enthusiasm, when accompanied by complete confidence, is contagious and compelling.

Don’t give up! Persistence really does pay off. I’ve talked to several people who initially had no interest in watching a documentary about Sarah Palin, because “she’s not running.” My response? “Oh, but it’s not about any potential presidential campaign! This story is more timely than ever, because it reveals the kind of corruption she fought in Alaska politics and because I believe we are facing much of the same thing in Washington, DC, today. It’s an inspirational story for so many reasons, and it should give us motivation to examine the record of other candidates all the more thoroughly, especially given the fact that true conservatives are always going to face attacks from the media.”

There are several considerations to be accomplished in sharing the message of this movie:

1) Introduce others to the true record and accomplishments of Governor Palin, so that when she is quoted on TV or in print, her message will resonate and will not be dismissible.

2) Educate others about the power those in the media hold to shape the national dialogue. In many cases, a simple conversation about how you realized that even the “conservative” media were not to be trusted any longer may easily open the door to the message of this movie.

3) Inform others about the corruption rampant within the permanent political class, in order to free us all from falling for these tricks again. What Governor Palin fought in Alaska has been demonstrably present in national politics, and it must be fought by ordinary citizens like us.

4) Inspire others with a true story of good triumphing over evil, to encourage each of us that we have the power to make a difference if we take a stand for what we believe.

There are many ways to share this message. Inviting a friend personally over to watch the movie, hosting “Undefeated parties” where a diverse group of people can watch and comment on the movie, or even simply lending it out repeatedly to those with whom you’ve first “planted a seed” by starting an honest conversation, all are good approaches. You may even want to have several copies of the DVD to lend out; the main thing is to follow up with genuine interest, to ascertain that the movie was watched and the message has sunk in. It’s very difficult to imagine anyone watching the movie and not being moved by it.

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