First came this (local TV news report from August '06):
Local coverage of the Wirthlins' story began just prior to this
October '06 hatefest (watch the ticker for familiar names):
Same day finds Mitt sharing the stage with Bishop Boone:
BAR has now begun to connect the dots.
But, there's still plenty left to document regarding
the coordinated 2006-2008 anti-gay messages that
were launched at Liberty Sunday (partial transcript).
And if anyone happens to have an extra copy
of the "Liberty Sunday" DVD lying around ...
... I'd be glad to place an order with you.
But before all that, came this (rewind nearly three decades):
The invention of "Quantifiably Safe Rhetoric":
Richard Wirthlin and Ronald Reagan
And when you've got an hour to spare, watch this
(or click [WATCH FULL PROGRAM] on the embed below
for the full hour or click here):
We are ruled by clean-cut dorks in thrall to the secrets
of public persuasion that have been passed on to them
from their once victorious and now geriatric overlords.
Speaking of geriatric, let's conclude the video portion of
this post with a clip of the Mormon gerontocracy in action.
Mormon Apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin:
Based on his sermon above, gotta say, out of all the Wirthlins,
I think I like Joseph B. best of all:
This variety of creation itself is a testamentI wonder if Joe B.'s in the loop about what his young'uns have been up to?
of how the Lord values all His children.
He does not esteem one flesh above another.
I have a hard time believing he's not.
I mean, if you're Mormon, you know:
There's no need to connect the dots.
"President Reagan respected Church," Church News, 12 Jun 2004:We are the dots.
"Ronald Reagan truly admired the Latter-day Saints. His administration included more members of the Church than any other American president, ever. Three of us, David Fischer, Gregory Newell and I, served on his personal White House staff. Richard Wirthlin was his chief strategist. Ted Bell served as Secretary of Education, Angela Buchanan was Treasurer, Rex Lee was Solicitor General. His White House included Roger Porter, Brent Scowcroft, Richard Beal, Blake Parish, Jon Huntsman Jr., Dodie Borup and Rocky Kuonen, and there were many other Latter-day Saints throughout his Administration. President Thomas S. Monson served on a Presidential Commission on Volunteerism. Others were ambassadors. LDS senators and representatives were held in special regard, and the Tabernacle Choir was his special inaugural guest." - Stephen M. Studdert, Special Assistant to President Reagan
P.S. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Stop The Mormons. STM's new site design/layout is downright impressive.
P.P.S. Before the next anti-gay ballot initiative comes along, we must begin preparing to run against our opponents on the basis of our shared values. That means putting LGBT families on the air to deliver the message directly to voters: we're different people, but we view the world (and our families) no differently than you do. We strive to make a positive difference in the lives of our family members so that they might one day go on to contribute as much to our world as they've already contributed to our family's happiness.
Richard Wirthlin, chief strategist for former president Ronald Reagan, made a discovery in 1980 that profoundly changed American politics. As a pollster, he was taught that people vote for candidates on the basis of the candidates' positions on issues. But his initial polls for Reagan revealed something fascinating: Voters who didn't agree with Reagan on the issues still wanted to vote for him.I'll keep railing against the folks who - for their own political gain - conspired to destroy 18,000 California marriages, but pulling back the curtain on these operators is no substitute for our side embracing the light and making a substantive case.
Mystified, Wirthlin studied the matter further. He discovered just what made people want to vote for Reagan. Reagan talked about values rather than issues. Communicating values mattered more than specific policy positions. Reagan connected with people; he communicated well. Reagan also appeared authentic -- he seemed to believe what he said. And because he talked about his values, connected with people and appeared authentic, they felt they could trust him. For these four reasons -- values, connection, authenticity and trust -- voters identified with Reagan; they felt he was one of them. It was not because all of his values matched theirs exactly. It was not because he was from their socioeconomic class or subculture. It was because they believed in the integrity of his connection with them as well as the connection between his worldview and his actions.
Whatever we may think of Reagan, this has been a winning formula for conservatives for the past quarter century. Progressives need to learn from it. Politics is about values; it is about communication; it is about voters trusting a candidate to do what is right; it is about believing in, and identifying with, a candidate's worldview. And it is about symbolism. Issues are secondary -- not irrelevant or unimportant, but secondary. A position on issues should follow from one's values, and the choice of issues and policies should symbolize those values.
One misunderstanding, common among progressive circles, is that the Reagan and George W. Bush elections were about "personality" rather than anything substantive. Nothing is more substantive than a candidate's moral worldview -- and whether he or she authentically abides by it.
P.P.P.S. What ever happened to that 2006 editorial in Bay Windows by Susan Ryan-Vollmar: "Robin Wirthlin is a bad mother" ?? IIRC, it ran across pages 6-7 in Bay Windows Vol. 24 Issue 19. Odd that it doesn't seem available now. What's up with that?
This is how we win: Meet our Families Day.