Thoughts on SPN 2009

I have been missing from the site for several days and I’d like to explain why. I attended the State Policy Network 17th Annual conference in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Here is what I found:

Some final thoughts on the State Policy Network‘s 17th Annual Conference.

It was invigorating to be able to share a conference with so many folks of like mind, a conservative, free market, liberty-minded mien. And with nearly 500 participants, the biggest conference they’ve yet had, it was something very worth attending if you are interested in furthering these sorts of policies among the various states.

But I have to say one thing that this conference proved and it is something that is, in the end, detrimental for the country. This was a 500 person conference where each participant spent no less than $1,000 to attend, many spent far more. There we saw free market think tanks from every state all trying to find ways to defeat the extreme Obama left. We have all this effort, all this money, all this time spent to defeat liberalism all in evidence at the conference. While that is good because it needs to be done, the sad thing is that it has to be done in the first place. The fact that this conference gets bigger every year and that more and more people from across the country have created state policy organizations to fight the un-American left is sad, when you get right down to it.

The left has become so pervasive, so detrimental to America’s economic, social, and military health that these 500 people who are representing many thousands more in their employ, who have invented their various organizations to save the livelihoods or many millions of Americans yearning for a return to America’s greatness, have been forced to take time out of their lives and money from their pockets to fight the left.

Many conservative groups are late to this game as the left has been doing this for many decades. But the fact that so many have come into being shows that the fight is not going ignored by the right. So, even as it is a shame that the fight has to be fought at all, it is heartening that it has been joined.

And lastly, this on the use of the Internet among these groups. In my discussions I found that some of these think tanks have good web presence, some are just feeling it out, and some have no web presence at all. But here is the worst part. Few of them really have a general public friendly out reach on line. As all of you who know me understand, I am all about putting current events and issues in reader friendly pieces of between 300 and 500 words length. Just enough for people to get the idea of what is going on and then links to sources for the reader to find more depth.

I wish that more of these think tanks and policy organizations had blogs that had short, easy to read, public friendly entries where people could get fired up about the important issues. Sure a 500 page white paper is a necessary thing and great to have but these sorts of things are only read by other think tankers and political wonks. Such long, dry, in depth research — much as it is needed — cannot appeal to the general public. And, whether these groups understand it or not, it is the general public, the voters, that they need on their side. Not just other policy wonks or mere politicians.

In any case, I know that all these organizations were in various stages of increasing their web presence, but they need to do it at light speed, not leisurely. I hope that they do get in gear.

My previous posts on the SPN2009 event:

SPN 2009 Conference: Final Day

State Policy Network Conference Update

The 17th Annual State Policy Network Conference

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