Thursday, September 22, 2005

Knowing Your Enemy

Throughout the 2004 lead-up to the presidential election, the liberals knew that we were correct: we knew Kerry was the man, we knew the war was idiotic, we knew there were large holes in their logic and could point them out with ease.

JJ, one of the regs here, came up with a theory that makes sense: What liberals have lost, and the conservatives gained, is an ability to create a story for people to digest and stick to it.

It's not enough for us to bring up the facts and assume that they will be damning enough. Since Watergate, conservatives have been working away at ways to evade the truth. With the election and re-election of W, they have perfected it.

Here's a quick outline of how it goes (and for a more comprehensive discussion of it, check out Bruno and the Professor):

Instead of admitting that any potentially damning scenario is fucked up, it is much simpler, and easier to just ignore the point, pretend it doesn't exist, and attack some other whipping post or unrelated item, using misdirection and double-speak to guide the topic away from any weaknesses. They took the lessons of the last 30 years, watched Wag The Dog a couple hundred times, and started applying it to our current culture.

Liberals, on a national scale, can not let this go unchecked.

Liberals must now take the next step: As soon as the spin machine goes into effect, instead of re-iterating the original fact/point/question, we must jump to a likely conclusion and run with that. We have to learn to beat them at their game.

A prime example: Kanye West declaring on NBC that George Bush "does not care about black people." Goddamn if that ain't fiery; goddamn, if that's not a story to stick to.

And the thing is the facts may not support it (W does have a few tokens on his cabinet, after all, simply to deflect this kind of criticism), he actually doesn't care about the lower classes. But the facts are enough to intimate it, especially if you take the right's comments and actions since Katrina hit and use those too.

In other words, if you can't beat them, join them. And can I say just how sad it is that we have let our country's political discourse degenerate to a game of "nuh-uh" "yuh-huh" "you're a liar" "am not." (Though, I was glad to see that no amount of spinning has allowed W to wiggle out of responsibility for the Katrina mess. Funny that Rita may hit Texas, and already a much more efficient evacuation effort can be seen. Hmm. I just don't see it as learning a lesson from the previous hurricane, when you compare NOLA to previous FLA hurricane rescue efforts.)

The conservatives may complain that this approach isn't fair, to which I reply "have a taste of your putrid medicine, bitches."

The majority of our society has gotten to the point where the left cannot take the higher ground on a national scale. Those of us down here, locally fighting the battle against the right's peons, let us use the facts as weapons unrelentingly, chip away at their stubborn refusal to see the world for what it is.

Because when we have the undisputable facts on our side, that's when they shut up.

Besides, what's more satisfying than seeing that moment of stunned recognition/fear on some right-winger's face. (See the first Bush/Kerry debate, aka the real debate, for a main course in stunned goofball-ery.)


At 6:43 AM, Blogger EverydaySuperGoddess said...

From your blog to God's ears...

At 9:36 AM, Blogger JJisafool said...

Beigey, you're talking framing here, which George Lakoff did a great job expounding in The American Prospect in 2003. And some of the Dems have tried to do this, with mixed results (see Hillary Clinton's attempt to re-frame the abortion rights debate).

The problem is that this statement - "Because when we have the undisputable facts on our side, that's when they shut up." - is SO not the case. They don't care about facts. They are spinning narrative, which is more powerful than fact, which can too easily trump fact with bullshit.

That is their power. And especially the fact that good hearted progressives will always try and use truth. The right doesn't care about existing truth, only (their own) manufactured truth.

But, they have a story, and one that is a clear vision, and which doesn't rely on comparison to anything else. THIS is the way they see the world, and too often progressives try and craft their own narrative in response, at which point they have already lost. What we need to do is create, not respond.

Creation is where the power is at.

Obama came close at the DNC. But, I couldn't tell you Kerry's vision for America without referencing the BushCo fuckups he is positioning himslef against.

Don't feel like I'm quite elucidating the distinction here, but think it is really important.


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