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Is It Time For Conservatives To Start Thinking Long Term?


In the world of business, especially in the corporate world, they make use of short-term, mid-term, and long-term planning. Typically this begins at the department head level. Someone(s) further up the chain then consolidates these plans into plans for the division and those plans will be consolidated to produce short, mid, and long.term plans for the corporation. Short-term might mean one year, mid-term might mean three years, and long-term might mean ten.years, just as an example. The short-term plans are typically the basis for annual budgets. Mid-term plans alert management to many things they need to be doing in the way of more detailed planning.  An example might be that a new product is scheduled to come on-line in that three-year period and, therefore the marketing people must begin finalizing their marketing approach for the new product. Long-term plans typically don’t change much from year to year. They are useful for many reasons one of which is that they often show certain trends that are appearing that must be watched because if they continue they can have major impacts on the business.

Obviously, planning is useful in many, if not all, aspects of life, right? And, one more thing before I end this short lesson of the principles of planning. There is a Cardinal rule in planning. This cardinal rule states that a plan is not a plan until it is put in writing, A plan that is not put in writing is not a plan. It is an idea. Plans and ideas are two very different things. Plans in writing are never cast in concrete. Plans can always be modified, changed, and improved upon. In other words, plans are living documents.

Let’s talk briefly about how America got in the mess it is in today? There is no single or short answer to that question. But, an important part of the answer is that some people applied some very effective short, mid, and long-term planning to make America what it is today.

About 100 years ago, some serious thinker who truly believed in the teachings of Karl Marx arrived at the conclusion in groups and by individuals that their dream of a workers paradise, their dream of defeating capitalism was not going to be achieved by the use of force. These people concluded that they would have to take the long-term view of gradually defeating capitalism from within. They looked at the United States of America, the bastion of capitalist free enterprise and realized that they had a serious problem.  They realized they would have little chance of convincing America’s working class that their worker’s paradise was a better way to go. The reason, of course, was that the American working class was enjoying great benefits from America’s capitalist economy. Their quality of life was improving rapidly. It never occurred to these socialist thinker that they might be wrong; that maybe capitalism was better than their ideas. These thinkers were convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that their worker0s paradise was the very best way for mankind to live together. For them it was like a religion. And so, they began putting together short, mid, and long-term plans to destroy capitalism in America from within. And yes, they put their ideas into writing and, thereby, converted their ideas into plans. Articles and even books were written and circulated among like-minded people so that they could add to, and modify them, or write plans of their own and circulate them. In this way they developed, although somewhat vague, at first, plans for remaking America. They were convinced that by this approach, Americans would one day wake up and find that they were living in a socialist country. These plans were not secret. They were not bashful about talking about their plans in public.

Well, it is now 100 years later and we all know how well their plans have worked out for them, don’t we? America today is almost where they want it to be.

Tell me something. How many times over the last couple of years have you heard/read a conservative blogger or pundit cry: “What is wrong with we conservatives? Why can’t we learn from the successes of the left and use some of their same strategies and tactics to slow down their progress and eventually reverse the course America is on?” Many times, right? But, what I haven’t seen, although they may be out there somewhere, is any of us converting our ideas in to plans.

What I am asking you, dear friends, is isn’t it time to face reality and accept that we are not going to get our America back in the short-term. Short of a miracle, that is not in the cards, is it? So, isn’t it time for conservatives to start converting our ideas into short, mid, and long-term plans?

On Thanksgiving day, I came across an article by Andrew Klavan. I have to admit that I didn’t know that Andrew Klavan wrote articles. I thought he only made his “Klavan on rhe Culture” videos that we enjoy so much, it goes to show how out of touch I can be. The title of his article is “The Long Game . Interestingly the article was published on November 7, 2012, the day after we all learned that Barack Obama had won a second term. Unlike most of us armchair quarterbacks, he was not pointing fingers or making suggestions about what the Republicans must do now. Instead, Mr. Klavan took and idea and turned into a written plan. He is taking a long-term view on what conservatives need to be doing. The tag line to  his article says: “Three areas the Right should address, financially and intellectually.” The three themes he addresses are:

  • The mainstream news media
  • The entertainment industry
  • Religion for intellectuals

I hope you will read Andrew Klavan’s article because I would like to hear your opinions on a few things. First, I would like to know if you agree that is time for conservatives to start taking a longer view and develop the short, mid, and long-term plans to get our America back. And, there are two things about planning that I should have mentioned at the start. One is that no matter the term of the plan, the starting point is always the goal or objective of the plan. Once there is agreement on what the goals or objectives are, only then can we begin to fill in the details of a plan on how to achieve those goals. The other important point is that the short and mid-term plans need to fit or complement the over-all or long-term plan. It doesn’t matter if the long-term plan is vague. That’s the norm. The short and mid-term plans over time will improve and clarify the long-term plan.

Besides that, I would like to know what you think about…. I almost said his ideas, but it is more than ideas it is something approaching a plan….the three aspects of Klavan¡s  plan. Do you agree with what he is saying or would you have other key themes in your plan? And, most importantly for me is, do you think Klavan’s plan could be a seed to provoke other conservative thinkers to turn their ideas into  suggested plan that other can chew on and eventually arrive at a good but vague long-term plan that conservatives will buy into and begin the long process of getting America back; if not for us, then for future generations of Americans.

Well, now you know what I’m thinking.  What are your thoughts?.

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

  • Seipherd

    Sure, conservatives might benefit from thinking long term. However, another, perhaps more valid approach or perspective to what is needed, is conservatives need to learn to market their ideas better. To this end, conservatives need to learn the ins and outs of horizontal and vertical marketing.

    Too many conservative mantras or ideals or ideas are dead ends as far as marketing goes, at least to those outside the conservative fold.

    There’s just not that much vertical marketing that can be done to “controlling other people’s lady parts”, which is the literal Democrat translation to ProLife. However, there are all sorts of vertical possibilities if social conservatives focused upon privatizing (NOT DEFUNDING) Planned Parenthood. For one, there’s the opportunity to develop other women’s health clinics without abortion and competing for marketshare…

    Meanwhile, many of the Democrat ideas and ideals of big government social marketplaces for education, food, housing, pensions, and healthcare are inherently vertically marketable. Free this or that begets more free this and thats, plus better ways to distribute the this and thats, creative ways to collect revenue for this and that…. It’s also shouldn’t go unnoticed how similar many of these big government social marketplaces are in design — that helps marketing…

    Meanwhile, the conservative small government mantra translates in the Democrat play book into ‘conservatives want to take away your free stuff’ or conservatives have no health care plan. There is virtually no vertical marketability to the small government concept in an open political debate.

    However, if conservatives had a set of viable social marketplace concepts for how to better deliver individually driven healthcare, education, pensions and more, implementing even one would result in a smaller government. In other words, not all small government have viable individually locally driven social marketplaces, but all societies with viable individually driven social marketplaces result in smaller governments.

    Also, once one has one viable functional individually driven social market, that design can typically be transposed into similar solutions for other social marketplace needs in a politically marketable fashion.

    • Jim

      I like what you are saying Selphred. I jave made that same argument before. I don’t have your apparent expertise, however.