“First you win the argument, then you win the vote” was a motto of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
A key part of winning any election is communicating to the American people that you can best represent their opinions, beliefs, and interests. Self-government is based on the notion that informed citizens can choose representatives who reflect their views and who explain what they promise to do if elected.
This is what gives the people the confidence to give you their vote.
At the suggestion of Governor Romney’s campaign team I have agreed to organize a series of workshops at the Republican National Convention which they dubbed “Newt University,??? aimed at winning the argument just as Margaret Thatcher described. Each morning from ten to twelve we will be sharing a series of ideas focused on the major challenges we have to meet as Americans.
I am excited to have an opportunity to introduce many successful people in both public and private life.
Our goal is to start a dialogue about the big ideas of the campaign. We will use the opportunities created by the Internet and the growing field of distance learning to form a more solid understanding of what is at stake this fall.
Our challenges are so great that we have to reach beyond the 30 second sound bite and develop a much more informed and more positive approach to self-government. Today we have Internet based technologies which enable us to share ideas and information with a depth and focus that would have been literally impossible a decade or two ago. So rather than an election about trivial issues, we can give the American people the choice they deserve, between two very different sets of ideas.
America faces challenges in every aspect of life. From government budgets to obsolete bureaucratic systems to inadequate education, mismanaged approaches to health and healthcare, cumbersome systems of defense procurement, misguided economic and energy policies, communities of poverty isolated from the world of opportunity, and international threats, the challenges facing the American people are collectively as complex and daunting as any we have faced since the Civil War 152 years ago.
Newt University is focused on empowering citizens with facts, principles and solutions so they can make the most informed decision about which candidates can better help to solve the problems in their own lives.
We will help supporters, activists, and candidates learn how to “win the argument” with defenders of the obsolete, failing systems and policies in campaigns, in the media, and in public policy development.
We will bring together presenters from every level of American activity ??? from government, business, and civil society ??? to explain how smaller, smarter government can lead to a bigger economy with more jobs and more prosperity.
To win the vote in November, citizens across America must first win the argument in conversations with their friends, families, and neighbors. The resources we develop at Newt University in Tampa and which we hope to make available online will be designed to help do just that over the next 76 days.