The Motivation Deficit

How does a party, with as powerful a mandate as the Texas GOP just acquired, motivate for election day 2012? After all, nobody is afraid of the liberals right now. In one day, American liberals went from tigers to orange tabbies.

The truth is, the GOP should never lose elections in this state. Philosophically, the GOP represents the interests of a massive majority of the voting public. So why does the GOP sometimes have bad election cycles in Texas? The worst Republicans should do in Texas elections is “less good”.

The reason? A failure to account for, and protect against, the motivation deficit.

Texas liberals, unlike conservatives, are invincibly motivated for the 2012 election. They’re afraid. Fear motivates. They think this Texas Republican governmental supermajority will govern Texas back into the stone age. They’re wrong, god bless them, but they believe it. For these liberals, moderate Republicanism has proven itself a useless demotivation strategy—they want all Republicans out.

No, Republican moderation only demotivates Republican voters.

In a normal Texas election cycle, with a Texas GOP failing protect against the motivation deficit, Democratic ground forces could spend zero dollars and zero energy and still do quite well on election day–not as well as they could do, but well. Their base is afraid, their fear is based on the makeup of the Texas government, and that makeup won’t change before election day 2012. They’re going to show up.

The 2008 elections provided Republicans a chilling reminder that unmotivated voters turn out poorly. The national Republicans convinced conservatives the GOP either couldn’t or wouldn’t deliver on their promises. Dispirited GOP voters stayed home.

Fear, for Republicans, won’t be as useful in a voting cycle like the one we’ll encounter in two years. How can Texas conservatives remain motivated?

Here’s how: the Texas GOP dare not bury it’s talents in the ground, as it usually does. It must turn five talents into ten, or their masters–Texas voters–will be very disappointed. Dangerously disappointed.

This means taking chances. Not insane chances, but it does mean doing things that involve political risk. The Texas GOP risk appetite must increase. After all, the future belongs to the brave. Election Day 2012 is the future. Be brave.

It’s a basic human tendency to seek safety, and once found, to avoid doing anything to endanger it. Ironically, the nervousness–the cowardice this attitude represents is much more dangerous than the bold action that lead to safety in the first place. In truth, this kind of fear is the impetus for European social democracy, now crumbling before our eyes.

The solution is simple, but takes courage.

The Texas GOP must establish a momentum of governmental accomplishment that Texas Republican voters fear losing. This kind of “fear” isn’t really fear– it’s hope born from trust, gratitude, and resolve. Republicans all over the country are in office as a result of conservatives motivated by genuine fear. Trust, gratitude, and resolve–not fear– are how a supermajority will be built upon, but these things won’t be won by the timid. Champions win these things.

Texans needs champions.

Plus, American politicians need examples of “promotion elections”. We’re much more accustomed to bouncing between firing one party or the other on election day. Texas Republicans can show politicians all over the country what a “promotion election” looks like in 2012.

Your job doesn’t define you. You live in America – you’ll always have other options. Go earn a promotion. Go do the kind of thing you got in government to do. If there’s a dragon that needs slaying, don’t wait for someone else to do it.

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