In a legal dictionary, Advocacy is defined as the act of arguing in favor of, or pleading for something. The most common definition references groups or individuals who attempt to influence decisions and legislation made by political parties, social systems, and government units to respond to a particular cause, idea, policy, or group.
Unfortunately, advocacy has been taken over mostly by progressives and extremists who use it as a way of advancing fundamental changes to our society. Many colleges have a major called “Community Organization and Advocacy” usually in the field of Sociology or Public Administration. As taught and practiced, progressive ideals are foremost.
Why would conservatives be advocates, as they are the status quo that advocates rally against? If we continue to express conservative ideals as worthy of favor by our elected officials, we are often demonized as privileged, uncaring, tone-deaf people who cling to outmoded ideas regarding morals, family, money, and society.
If we conservatives advocate for social causes such as pro-life actions, we are painted as anti-abortion zealots who do not believe that women can be trusted with agency over their bodies. If we advocate for educational choice and parental rights to review material being taught our children in schools, we are called backward Jesus freaks who don’t want their children to be socialized. If we advocate for our Second Amendment rights, we are called crazy gun nuts. Any mention of religion is also met with derision by those who have “evolved” into apparently a higher plane of existence, beyond the bedrock beliefs and morals upon which modern society was built. Man’s nirvana of self-fulfillment, desires, and expediency overrule any constraints created over millennia of societies who have wrestled with humankind’s base desires and tendencies. Our historic moral code appears to have evolved into situational ethics where “whatever doesn’t hurt anyone else is OK.” That statement is usually followed by a rationalization of harmful outcomes to selfish choices.
Professional advocacy can be very profitable for practitioners. Advocates have become sophisticated advertising machines designed to turn public opinion to their cause. Unions are among the largest contributors to progressive candidates for public office. Also, look at the media, who adopt terms from progressive causes and weave them into news and entertainment stories so that there is a subliminal acceptance of fact. Terms like global warming, climate change, social justice, green living, the war on women, women’s choice, income equality, gun safety, acceptance, and unity are peppered throughout the media, including television dramas, comedies, and advertising.
So what are conservatives to do? First, we must become advocates, individually and collectively. Collective advocacy, like the Second Amendment Lobby Day in January, shows lawmakers that there is strength in numbers. And numbers represent votes.
Advocacy for our First and Second Amendment rights must continue, without letup, through this year and beyond, to prevent lawmakers from promoting failed radical bills that will reappear in next year’s General Assembly. Perhaps even more important, there are likely to be proposed limits put on our First Amendment right of assembly, and to free speech, cloaked in safety, justice, and anti-hate language. Christian expressions of faith could be restricted in all government functions, pushed by the “freedom from religion” advocates, and Christian-based adoption agencies, counseling, health centers, day care, group homes, and other organizations could be closed unless they swear fealty to “diversity” in order to retain their license to operate.
As our Second Amendment mobilization demonstrates, all is not lost. Both individual and collective action is needed on a sustained basis to counter the combined forces of progressivism. By cultivating relationships with our elected officials and the appointed staff who implement laws, we can be effective advocates to influence what laws are passed and how they are implemented. The Virginia Tea Party wants to assist with these efforts by the grassroots through Direct Legislative Action. We must be proactive, not just reactive.
Advocacy by conservatives needs to include the following actions:
• Identify failed legislation from the last General Assembly and begin lobbying against it now with our elected officials
• Join and be active in conservative and/or religious advocacy groups
• Develop collectives among conservative groups
• Mobilize faith-based institutions who have not advocated in the past
• Identify and support conservative candidates for fall elections
• Identify legislation you can support, and begin promoting it
• Identify and publicize how the culture is being changed by progressives in media
• Point out liberal bias in specific media statements: articles, TV shows, etc. and share via facebook, twitter, etc.
• Identify and publicize bias in public schools’ texts and curricula; engage the school board members, or run for school board
• Create media content that highlights the erosion of moral and legal constraints on our flawed human nature
• Support young people who rebel against the college status-quo and become ‘radical’ conservatives
So this sounds like too much work? What is the alternative, give up our morals, our faith, our culture, because it’s too hard? Let’s get going!