Go read William Schambra on why conservative donors should refocus their efforts on localized, apolitical groups that shape policy in favor of a stronger civil society:
Conservative donors would turn to established groups like Robert Woodson’s Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (full disclosure: I serve on its board), or new groups based on Mr. Kuo’s American Compass to find, screen, and provide back-office support for grass-roots leaders who offer the best first-hand lessons in how to reshape public policy so that it supported, rather than undercut, our “little platoons.”
When politicians come calling on this new breed of conservative donors, they wouldn’t get any money until the politicos, too, proved willing to spend considerable time learning from the grass roots.
After direct, sustained, personal involvement in low-income neighborhoods by conservative philanthropists and politicians, a new and far more authentic compassionate conservatism might begin to take root.
Paradoxically, its ultimate political effectiveness would rely precisely on its “fast” from narrow political calculations.
Only if conservatives are willing to support low-income, grassroots groups outside the context of elections is it likely that they will ultimately get a hearing within the context of elections. As Mr. Woodson puts it, they must “sow charitably in order to reap politically.”
As with conservative efforts to reach out to minority communities, genuine efforts to help the poor come not through ad blitzes but direct engagement. This would be a welcome start, and the Sheldon Adelsons of the world should consider this next cycle instead of handing over millions to political consultants and tv networks.