I can remember being mentored years ago by a much older and experienced drummer during my newbie rock and and roll days. I was sixteen and he was seventeen — and when you're sixteen, one year is a huge gap. Now, when I say I was being, "mentored," I actually mean we likely were doing bong hits. (Hey, it was 1979, okay?) Anyway, my buddy offered me some profound words of wisdom that I've never forgotten. I still apply his words to various aspects of my Christian ministry, parenting and political pontificating.
"You don't beat the sound through the drum," he stated with Schlitz on his breath and a glaze in his eyes. "You pull the sound out of the drum." Sheer brilliance!
Conservatives, pay attention. We've got an indescribably important election coming up next year. It's perhaps the most important election of my lifetime. But tragically, many "red state-types" are so consumed by hateful name-calling and regurgitating mean-spirited rhetoric that our conservative message too often falls on deaf ears. And BTW, you Libs are just as guilty.
I recently was listening to a radio call-in talk show on which the host referred to the "Occupy Wall-street" protesters as "occu-tards." Okay, I'll admit it, that one did make me snicker for a second. But in reality, aside from ramping up his more extreme listeners for 2.4 seconds, the only thing that this host truly accomplished by making the crass comment was making himself seem small-minded.
Speaking of radio hosts, one of the most recognized names in conservative radio has cemented his reputation by consistently bombarding his listeners, callers and guests with lowbrow name-calling such as "creep," "jerk," "moron" and "idiot." In fact, this host and best-selling author now goes so overboard so often with his signature nastiness that I can no longer stomach tuning in to his nightly program. I'm sure that this type of entertainment appeals to many and I certainly can appreciate shock value, but as a hardcore right-winger, if I'm turned off by this type of dialog, I can only imagine how the other side perceives it.
Simply put, I'm in love with Ann Coulter. She's intelligent, funny and clearly, she's the most beautiful and alluring woman ever to draw a breath. She's right about everything and her unshakable confidence is a real turn-on. Yet despite my willingness to stick my arm gleefully in a wood chipper in exchange for the opportunity to become her personal "house boy," even I had a hard time choking down the non-stop bitch-factor of her 2005 best-seller, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).
(Our children will be beautiful!)
If you're selling vacuum cleaners from door to door and your pitch opener is along the lines of, "Good afternoon, ma'am. You better buy one of my vacuums 'cuz your house is a pigsty and you're a sucky housekeeper," chances are, you'll be experiencing a door slam, real quick — before you even get a chance to demonstrate the product.
I understand that most leftists never will listen to our side, regardless of how sensible our views are. Just as economically challenged folks never will buy that $3,000 vacuum even if it can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. But there are many folks out there who are in the middle when it comes to many political issues. If we merely are perceived as hateful, nasty, intolerant, gun-toting, building-bombing dolts who all can "see Russia from our houses," then we're going to miss out on connecting with a large faction of the electorate. And these voters will make the difference at the polls, come next November.
Be sure that as a conservative, I'm in no way suggesting that we go "soft" on the content of our message. But if the motive is to connect with the "lost" and regain the White House in 2012, I suggest that we make a better effort to "pull the sound out of the drum" as opposed to "beating the sound through the drum."
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