First Step: Stop Saying "2.0"
Memo to Ralph Reed: YOU ARE DUMB.
Time for the latest entry in one of my favorite all-time categories of stupid, here at You Are Dumb Dot Net. Old conservatives, filled with longing for an even older time, trying to stay current and relevant by appealing to the younger generation. It's especially poignant when the conservative movement is in the wacky shambles it's in today, where the best they can manage is to bitch about where Obama was born and wait for Democrats to do their work for them.
So, which zombie Jesus-freak is looking for his second chance in the spotlight, hoping to woo the young kids with his talk of faith, Christian values, and voting for Republicans? Why, it's Ralph Reed, of course. The man whose Christian Coalition made the 90s a solid 15% less pleasant than they could have been. Since he left the Coalition in 1997, he's been bouncing around from position to position, failed to become Georgia's lieutenant governor, and spent some time responding to allegations. But he's back, baby! And he's got a new coalition!
"This is not going to be your daddy’s Christian Coalition. It has to be younger, hipper, less strident, more inclusive and it has to harness the 21st century that will enable us to win in the future." - Ralph Reed, announcing the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Far be it from me to tell Ralph Reed how to run a coalition, but allow me to tell Ralph Reed how to run a coalition. Or at least one designed to appeal to The Kids Today. And remember, all of this advice comes from a middle-aged nerd who didn't know what the kids were into when he WAS a kid, so if I can figure this out, why are you fucking it up so badly?
First, never say "This is not your father's...". Unless you're clarifying who modeled for a dildo. You know who tries to convince people that this isn't their father's whatever it is they're selling? Grandfathers. Old motherfuckers. People peddling tired, exhausted brands with the stench of Brut 44 and Ben Gay on them. Oldsmobile. Tax cuts. Faith.
And oh, what a list of adjectives Reed wants his new Coalition to be. Younger! Because, well, most of the people who remember the 50s are dead, and most of the people who remember the 50s via the Happy Days and Grease in the 70s? They're not gonna be around much longer either. And how do you get younger people? By using words like "hipper".
And less strident! Even if less stridence is the key to conservative redemption, how the fuck are you going to pull that off? You've got birthers in the Congress, Beck on Fox, and the entire 2008 election was apparently a referendum on Marxism that Karl Marx won. You'd have to go around with a tranquilizer gun for a month just to get the stridence level down to where it was during Christian Coalition 1.0. It's actually a shame that's not Reed's plan, because I could get behind that.
Anyway, you know that if Reed is reinventing the Christian Coalition for the 21st Century, that he's also reinventing the analogy he's going to use to describe reinventing the Christian Coalition for the 21st Century... for the 20th Century. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"Even though I’ve been doing other things, this is kind of like Steve Jobs returning to Apple. You have to reinvent it. It’s the political analog to the iPod and the iPhone. It would be cool. It would be transformative. It would transform our politics and bring younger people to our ranks. All of those are critical imperatives."
Reed isn't talking about when Jobs returned to Apple this summer after a health-related leave of absence. He's talking about when Jobs returned to Apple... in 1998. When Apple bought NeXT. Remember NeXT? Ralph Reed does. And that's the kind of transformative mentality that will bring younger people into the ranks like the ranks were an iPod and the younger people were those song files, you know, the empty threes all the kids buy their music on instead of 8-tracks.
When with the Christian Right and the Republicans realize that they will never be able to appeal to large numbers of young people and minorities. The only way they can win over those voters is the time-honored, tested way that's worked for them throughout history - wait for the young people to get old, and hope some of the minorities get really, really wealthy.