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If you want to win a political race in the era of "gotcha" era, there are two keys. First, don't say anything stupid.
But perhaps more importantly, know what the heck you're talking about. Be not only well-informed but be an expert. Thomas Sowell writes in Investor's Business Daily:
Nor is it necessary for every Republican candidate for every office to become an expert on every controversial issue. Just as particular issues are farmed out to different committees in Congress, so Republicans can set up committees of outside experts to inform them on particular issues.
For example, a committee on income and poverty could be headed by an expert like Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. This is a subject on which demonstrable falsehoods have become the norm, and one on which devastating refutations in plain English are readily available from a number of sources.
A committee on the counterproductive effects of liberal policies such as minimum wage laws on minorities could be headed by someone like economist Walter Williams. Here too, there are many writings in plain English that could expose the huge harm done to minorities by liberal policies that claim to be helping them.
It is not necessary to explode every single lie put out by liberal Democrats. All that is necessary is to thoroughly discredit a few of their key claims, exposing them as liars.
What is even more necessary is for Republicans themselves to understand the urgent need to do so, for their own sake and — more important — for the country's sake.
As to the first point, let's talk about how the "gotcha" media takes advantage of moments of idiocy, going out of their way to make a candidate look bad (even through deceptive editing as done by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell) completely out of context.
To that end, having a candidate--or anyone who will be chosen to represent the conservative viewpoint, will be completely skewered. Like the donut holes who are claiming they want to secede. From Breitbart:
How many Americans have died to protect this country and to keep us united? But what… because we lost a couple of elections and gained an ObamaCare we're going to grab our marbles and crybaby all the way home to Texahomastan? Wanting to cut and run from the fight for your country is cowardice.
I'm sorry we live in a world where a biased media can take a fringe movement and tie it like a can to our tails, but this is the world we live in, which means that sometimes we have to very publicly point to these crybaby cowards and laugh at them, as though they were Alec Baldwin in 2004, packing for Canada.
Because if we don't do this, the media's going to make us own them, whether we want to own them or not.
These people are not only cowards for giving up the fight; they also get in the way of the fight, because the media uses them to constantly put us on defense and define who we are.
A twist on the cliche my mother used to use on me: If you don't have anything intelligent to say, it is best to say nothing at all.