Andrew Breitbart: a true happy warrior who wants to inspire an Army of Davids

Last night, after Andrew Breitbart had already left to catch his plane, a few of us hung around to chat and to try to answer one question:  what was the takeaway from Breitbart’s talk?  Eat their eyeballs?  Women’s dominance in the Tea Party means that men are eunuchs?  The fact that the Tea Party needs to sex up a bit (Breitbart suggested cleavage) to attract younger people?  Our responsibility to buy tickets to conservative movies even if we don’t attend, because brave Hollywood conservatives need box office support?  Nope.

Those were all enjoyable motifs that Breitbart interjected repeatedly to liven up his talk, but the real takeaway message was this one:  The true battle today isn’t being fought in the political arena, it’s being fought in the social and culture arena.  It’s there that we need to engage the Left; to out-Alinsky the Alinsky-ites; and to call Leftists on their behavior.  We can’t be afraid of confrontation, unless that confrontation will utterly destroy our lives and our livelihoods.

At first glance, Breitbart isn’t your typical warrior.  He’s got a cloud of graying hair; a smooth, youthful face; bright, clear blue eyes; and he dresses casually in sports jacket, jeans and All-Stars.  He is surprisingly handsome.  I say surprisingly because his handsomeness doesn’t derive from his looks (although he is very good-looking).  His handsomeness derives from his crackling vitality.  He has enough charisma for two people.  Even standing still, Breitbart is kinetic.  This kinetic quality comes about because — and this is a rare trait — you can actually see his mind working.  He is an unstructured speaker, but he brings such humor, energy, wit and (here’s that word again) vitality to his speech, that you feel you are getting the pleasure of engaging in a one-on-one conversation with the most interesting man in the room.

Breitbart’s discursive speech covered a broad range of topics.  The eaten eyeballs trope came about after he explained that he tells his kids that, if someone is trying to bully them, they should first try to handle the matter politely and, if that fails, they should yank out the other person’s eyeballs and eat them, a theme he returned to throughout his talk.  Since we were a sophisticated audience, we understood that Breitbart was not actually advocating violence and cannibalism.  Instead, he was reminding us that we cannot back down from a fight.  The Left’s MO is to bully all who threaten it or stand in its way, and the only way to handle a bully is through confrontation.  Eyeball eating was an amusing metaphor for the need to stand up to the insults and intimidation.

The “men are eunuchs” point was another recurring theme.  Breitbart pointed out that women outnumbered men in the room, something he says he’s noticed over and over again in his dealings with the Tea Party.  While acknowledging that women have more free time (or, at least, more flexibility to their time), he also went on to make the broader point — one I’ve made repeatedly in this blog — which is that the Left, using our schools, works hard to emasculate men.  Rather than cultivating their natural qualities as virtues (bravery, loyalty, energy, etc.), it’s castigated them as vices (aggression, bullheadedness, hyperactivity), and reduced many American men to cowering ciphers in touch with their feminine feelings.

Cleavage?  Yup, that came up too, since Breitbart told us that a friend of his believes that the Tea Party should be sexed up.  I’m not sure about the cleavage, but there was a larger point there, which is that young people are definitely missing from the Tea Party movement.  Older people have a visceral understanding about the Tea Party’s necessity, since it stands for principles that hit them where they live — mortgages, food, jobs, etc.  Young people, however, need another hook to engage them, and sex — or, at least, sexiness – sells. I would also argue that intellectual coherence sells, and the Tea Party has it in spades.  We just need to figure out how to market it to the young.

And that’s where Hollywood comes in.  When Breitbart decided there was a culture war that needed to be fought, and that Hollywood was Ground Zero in this war, his first thought was that he had, at most, an army of three:  Tom Selleck, Robert Davi and Chachi (Scott Baio).  As one Hollywood conservative revealed to Breitbart, though, Hollywood conservatives now number at least 1,500, drawn from all walks of Hollywood life, from writers, to stuntmen, to electricians, to actors, producers and directors.

The problem for Hollywood conservatives is that they commit career suicide if they come out of the conservative closet.  Breitbart told stories of people who were permanently blacklisted for donating a hundred dollars to the “wrong” cause.  This means that those stars who have come out openly as conservatives have taken an enormous risk.  It was in this context that Breitbart said urged us, even if we’re not seeing a movie buy the ticket for that all-important opening weekend.  And to buy the star’s book.  And do whatever else we can to make it clear to the money people that there is money in conservativism.

Perhaps because of his Hollywood background, Breitbart, more than many, understands the theater that is Leftism, and the need to pull back the curtain and show that there isn’t anything real there.  He likes to go up to protesters and simply ask them to explain the beliefs that motivate them.  As he’s frequently shown on video, whether they’re protesting the Koch brothers, Fox, or whatever other liberal cause de jour loads them on the bus, most of the protesters have no idea what’s going on.  They’re there because their masters have instructed them to be there.

The Left, Breitbart says, is a herd.  That is both its strength and its weakness.  He told a very amusing anecdote about spending several hours rollerblading through a vast SEIU crowd protesting a Koch brothers gathering.  After capturing many on tape saying very ill-informed and un-PC things, he decided enough was enough.  So, finding an open space, he announced loudly “We’ve spent enough time here now.  Let’s all go to Applebee’s” — and they did!

The problem for conservatives is that we’re not a herd.  We’re independent, iconoclastic, averse to mass crowds and gainfully employed.  This means that we can seldom get together long enough to create the visuals so necessary in a media age.  The fact that the Tea Party finally transcended this problem explains the explosion of crude, vile, incendiary hostility the MSM has directed at the Tea Party.  Tea Partiers are the first telegenic conservatives since Reagan.

If Andrew Breitbart comes to your town as part of his tour, take (or make) the time to go and see him.  He is a delightful and inspiring speaker, a true happy warrior.  And whether or not he comes to a town near you, buy his book, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!.  I’m already in Chapter 2 and enjoying every minute.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.

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Comments

  1. says

    Since we were a sophisticated audience, we understood that Breitbart was not actually advocating violence and cannibalism.
     
    Naturally. Tactically and strategically, such is unnecessary. If one seeks to terrorize the foe, live and maimed targets are a much better depiction of “what happens to those that resist”. If one does not seek to terrorize the foe, destroying the eyeball results in permanent damage. There is no need to do anything with the goo that is left.
     
     
     
    We just need to figure out how to market it to the young.
     
    From personal experience, the Japanese have their own marketing system on this aspect. It utilizes the Japanese aesthetic called “kawaii” which is different from samurai aesthetics of tea ceremonies and flower arrangement. All are, however, ideals which all Japanese should strive for. Meaning it is beneficial to one’s social status to learn to be “kawaii” and it shows culture and verve to know tea ceremonies and flower arrangement aesthetics. Flower arrangement and cooking are two of the most popular “hobbies” for career women in Japan, seemingly.
     
    They’re there because their masters have instructed them to be there.
     
    Which is how things should be in a serfdom. Can you imagine the chaos that would result if the masses started doing stuff without the approval of the aristocrats? *Tish tosh*
     
    This means that we can seldom get together long enough to create the visuals so necessary in a media age.  The fact that the Tea Party finally transcended this problem explains the explosion of crude, vile, incendiary hostility the MSM has directed at the Tea Party.
     
    Social media is perfectly capable of emulating mass protests. It is far more convenient to those with a career and family as well. Youtube has millions of people who video tape themselves to add themselves to the group consciousness.
     
    Thanks for writing up the speech assessment, Book. It was quite nice.
     

  2. abc says

    “The problem for conservatives is that we’re not a herd.  We’re independent, iconoclastic, averse to mass crowds and gainfully employed.  This means that we can seldom get together long enough to create the visuals so necessary in a media age.  The fact that the Tea Party finally transcended this problem explains the explosion of crude, vile, incendiary hostility the MSM has directed at the Tea Party.  Tea Partiers are the first telegenic conservatives since Reagan.”

    If you are independent, then why all the litmus tests (e.g., abortion, taxes, etc.)?  If you are iconoclastic, then who are your icons, besides Reagan?  (And why is the current GOP field so uninspiring?)  If you are averse to mass crowds, then why is the largely-conservative Tea Party movement showing such large numbers?  And if you are all gainfully employed, then why can’t you organize more financial support for those conservative films?

    As for the claim that you lack the visuals in a media age, you really should take a look at Fox News.  It is a wonderful propaganda machine for the right-wing, which Breitbart himself has engaged (remember his Shirley Sherrod video edits??).

    The MSM underestimated the Tea Party to be sure, but much of the criticism has hardly been incendiary, but quite rational.  It asks key questions, like:  1) why did the Tea Party movement allow Bush to blow up huge deficits for 8 years, but then start attacking Obama on budget issues within his first year?  2) why do Tea Party folks claim that the debt must be reduced immediately, even though the bond market tells a less panic-stricken story?  3) why do Tea Party folks worry about government intrusions only when Democrats are making the proposals but do not complain when Republicans undertake equally intrusive legislation (e.g., Patriot Act)?  And I could go on…  The broad brush with which conservatives  dismiss legitimate criticism of the Tea Party movement is nearly as bad as the liberal broad-brush claims of racism that some on the left have made in unthinking knee-jerk reaction to the movement. 

    What would be great is to have less politics-as-war strategizing on either side, which is terrible, and more truth-discovery, which will cause both sides to admit their own weaknesses and find compromise positions.  Breitbart is not interested in compromise, but in conquest.  A terrible prescription for American politics, representing more of the same…

  3. says

    None of these are absolutes. Individuals should not be classified into one box and kept in it forever. Independence is not lack of judgment. Scorning the herd instinct is not to remain isolated from greater humanity.

  4. Charles Martel says

    Why do I keep hearing echoes of “you people,” that dismissive phrase Democrats used to use on black Americans before they became the party of the oppressed and liberated blacks from education, work and marriage? Is there some need for superior intellects/races to address everybody as a member of a mass?

  5. abc says

    Charles, I think those echoes are in your head.  I am just asking questions and pointing out that every criticism that Breitbart makes about the left is also credibly and often made about the right.  I hope that one day we can start a national campaign against selective outrage and hypocrisy to hopefully shift the focus from partisan gain to more intelligent policy, but perhaps people are too irrational for that.

    Speaking of which, “you people…”  is also a phrase and strategy that Republicans often use when referring to minorities in their cynical attempt to race-bait in order to win elections.  The Dems had a bad record on race, that is beyond dispute, and then when they changed it, the racists switched parties as the GOP exploited in their so-called Southern Strategy.  Funny how you only see the dirt on one side.  And funny how you imagine dirt in my comments that isn’t even there.  isn’t there some biblical quote about seeing the speck in your brother’s eye but missing the beam in your own?  I’m not sure, since I am suffering, apparently, from a perpetual rage against religion, so I obviously cannot quote the Bible reliably…

  6. Charles Martel says

    “The Dems had a bad record on race, that is beyond dispute, and then when they changed it, the racists switched parties as the GOP exploited in their so-called Southern Strategy.  Funny how you only see the dirt on one side.”

    I don’t recall the GOP creating the abysmal public schools black kids are imprisoned in in Washington, DC, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, Newark, New Orleans and other enlightened Democratic strongholds.

    I don’t recall the GOP supporting the Great Society welfare scheme that helped destroy the black family, per (Democrat) Pat Moynihan’s warning that it would.

    I do recall Richard Nixon creating affirmative action, that foul mendacity that has done more to harm race relations in this country than almost anything since the Democrats’ Jim Crow laws. (However I don’t recall the GOP since then supporting affirmative action’s incipient racism.) 

    I don’t recall the GOP sanctioning the locating of so many Planned Parenthood abortuaries in black neighborhoods. You’d think that a political party that despises blacks would wholeheartedly support such an effective means of eliminating them.

    I don’t recall the GOP calling buffoons like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton inauthentically black despite their transparent con schemes, racial hustles and shakedowns. But I do recall Democrats questioning the negritude of men like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain: (http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/02/12/black-history-month-is-herman-cain-playing-the-race-minstrel-for-cpac/) <–Note who the coward who wrote this writes for regularly.

    As for the beam in my eye, I’d say the partial list above does a lot to reduce it to as magnificently as small as mote as yours.  

  7. Michael Adams says

    A, (May I call you A?) Bless your heart,  you do not remember, but I do, that the the first Southern States to start electing Republicans were border states, long before the idea caught on in the Deep South. John Tower, for example, was elected to the US Senate from Texas in 1962. That was before Senator Everett Dirksen had rallied the other Conservative Republicans to break the filibuster by Liberal Southern Democrats, and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
     
    The Tower election was also before the “War on Poverty” was passed, on which our country has now squandered nine TRILLION dollars.  We remember how opposition to this rape of the people’s treasury was denounced as “racism,” from the very beginning. I can also remember not seeing, for many years, that the problem with all that massive largess was not the money spent on eleemosynary endeavors, but the four fold amount expended on administration of this bounty. Many of us, working in various areas of social service, saw well enough the destruction of individuals and families produced by this cultivated dependence on government handouts. We slowly awoke to the fact that Democrats, and sometimes Republicans, alternately buy votes  and scare off opposition by insisting the mean old Republicans are cutting children’s lunches, and Granny’s pills, and every other good and decent thing our ruling class tries to do for us, with our money.
     
    Many of us remember real racists. We remember looking down on such people, until we began to understand the social roots of these feelings, in fear of competition for scarce resources and jobs. For those of us who have seen the real thing, kids jumping up and down screaming “racist” at people who have no earthly reason to be actual racists are pretty funny, at first, although, if they persist, we do find them annoying.
     
    I remember other things, too, such as being a fourteen-year-old Young Republican, an age when ones father does not easily impress, hearing my father explain how George Wallace had helped elect Richard Nixon, by dividing the Democrat vote in several key states. Yep, I was impressed that day.
     
    Now, most gatherings of Republicans, especially in Southern and Border states, include some discussion of a possible Herman Cain candidacy. Everyone acknowledges that he’d make a great President. but many of us wonder whether he can get elected. His experience is all in business, not in government, which sounds good to us, but we wonder how well it will fly with the rest of the country.
     
    Altogether, I have about two thirds of a lifetime of memory, that you, A, can only have read in history books and propaganda screeds.  It’s all very clear in our minds, for those of us who were there. That’s why the whole idea of a Southern Strategy, especially a Southern Racist Strategy, just sounds ridiculous  us.  We do try not to laugh at young people, who are just feeling their way.  We also remember what it felt like when WE knew everything.
     
    A, everybody has to go over Fool’s Hill.  The important thing is not to get stuck at the top.
     

  8. Mike Devx says

    abc: Speaking of which, “you people…”  is also a phrase and strategy that Republicans often use when referring to minorities in their cynical attempt to race-bait in order to win elections.

    Unbelievable!  And what’s this “often” bullcrap, as in “a phrase and strategy that Republicans often use when referring…”   That pig just ain’t gonna fly, my man.  

    “Racist! Racist!  You’re all racists, all of the time, but only *often* do you slip up and utter the phrase ‘you people’.”   That’s the internal monologue echoing about within abc’s cavernous head.  

    It’s amazing that I can type, what with my knuckles all abraded from draggin on the ground; it’s amazing I can see the ol’ keyboard, what with my protruding brow cutting off the light.

    And how about this howler: “in their cynical attempt to race-bait in order to win elections” ???
    That’s not just the pot calling the kettle black.  That’s a tornado accusing a gentle breeze of kicking up a ruckus!  That’s Rap cranked to 11 on the volume-o-meter accusing “Moonlight Serenade” of disturbing the peace.  That’s Janeane Garofolo accusing Angeline Jolie of being ugly!

    Ninety-nine point nine nine percent of race baiting, as we’ve seen over the last six years, is from the left, and the American People have already woken up to that fact.  (Provide your own fricking links.)  Now the cries of “Racist! Racist!” from the left just isn’t working any more.  Picture that poor pig, its tiny wings fluttering madly, trying to take to the air above the barnyard!  Ain’t happening – not any more.

    So instead we are now goingto get these claims that *they* on the left aren’t the race-baiters… WE are!  O’ Hallelujah have I seen the light!  Nice little trick.

  9. Mike Devx says

    abc 6: I am just asking questions

    No you’re not.  

    You’re not “just” asking questions.  Though they’re in there too, mixed in with all the broad unsupportable accusations and generalizations.

  10. Mike Devx says

    Sorry guys, I don’t mean to pollute, but there’s another one I can’t let slide.

    Let us deconstruct abc one more time, with the key phrases in bold:

    abc:  The broad brush with which conservatives dismiss legitimate criticism of the Tea Party movement is nearly as bad as the liberal broad-brush claims of racism that some on the left have made in unthinking knee-jerk reaction to the movement.

    1. “conservatives”  as compared to  “some on the left”
    Notice he didn’t say, “some on the right” and then “some on the left”; he said “conservatives”.
    The first phrase, “conservatives”, is by implication all-inclusive – all conservatives.  The second, “some on the left” is reductionary, as in “those regrettable few weirdos”

    2. “legitimate criticism”  as opposed to  “unthinking knee-jerk reaction”
    How about “nit-picking criticism” instead of “legitimate criticism”?  

    So you have Mr. Obejctivity, who thinks the MSM are “legitimate” and “objective” too, claiming in essence that all conservatives are wrong-headed bastards, while on the left, you have a few weirdos (off in the corner) doing some unpleasant regrettable things.  I don’t know if abc subconsciously generates these distorted comparisons; or if they’re carefully constructed.  

    But I take my hat off to abc.  If I hadn’t spent all of 2008 and 2009 carefully deconstructing Obama’s brilliant mind-f*#*%!ck phrasings, to keep his extraordinarily slick propaganda phrasings out of my virginal cortex where he wanted those slimy nasty worms curling and squirming their way inward, I wouldn’t easily be able to see it.  Also, Obama does it on TV, where you don’t have the *time* to study the words and deconstruct what they’re doing to you; with the written word it is, too, easier to avoid letting your head get totally screwed.

    By the way, the answers to your three questions aren’t difficult: 1. Outrage takes time to coalesce.  2. Things are worse than were thought.  3. All of the worst economic intrusions are from the left.  There. Done. Puts down shovel, stretches, dusts off hands.  Job well done, and quickly. too.  And I’m not even a Tea Partier.

  11. Charles Martel says

    Mike, abc has a Harvard education, knows swell people by their first names, speaks Mandarin, and sends his children to an exclusive academy that is as far away from black- and Mexican-infested public schools as money can buy.

    With those qualifications in mind, I just cant understand why you don’t trust him when he offers his take on things.

  12. Mike Devx says

    Charles M, I actually find abc to be intelligent in expressing his worldview, and he’s confient of it.  That confidence is fine.  But (if I may be so bold as to analyze) he seems to think he’s arrived at all of his positions with rationality and objectivity; and that everyone else’s opinions are irrational and non-objective whenever they’re not in alignment with his.  It’s that certainty of self-objectivity, and the correlating certainty that others are non-objective, that is as off-putting as, say, the MSM.

    He seems leftist, but doesn’t seem to be reflexively far-left.  (Eg, he’s call Fox News a brilliant propaganda machine, but won’t level the same accusation at the other networks, or if he will, he’ll use phrasing that is consistently less damning and more forgiving.  Pretty consistent that way.  But I *think* he would avoid obvious idiocies like parroting “Faux News”.)  It would be illuminating to see him hold his positions against a far-leftie.  How would the style and content of the argumentation be the same or different compared to how he approaches it here against much more conservative thought?

  13. abc says

    Michael Adams, you assume my age without information, and you assume that your memory is better than reading the history–the memories of many others.  Curious.  You also selectively call out Dems for scaring people into voting lest they lose programs, but fail to recognize how the right has played that same game.  You also limit the effective strategy of playing on racial fears in the south, which went on for some time, first by Dems but later by the GOP.  That the GOP now is “seriously” considering Herman Cain–and we have to see what happens–doesn’t erase history.  It just turns the page on it.

    Mike, I said some on the left and then conservatives, since conservatives are the same as some on the right.  But you are right to note that the inference to draw is that ALL conservatives engage in race-baiting.  This is wrong, and I shouldn’t have said it.  Racism is very hard to detect.  They have done studies to show that African Americans in controlled studies will show the same racism as whites toward other African Americans, although no one would have guessed such behavior was happening.  Given that complexity, I don’t wish to make generalizations, and will hasten to add “some” before “conservatives.”

    Having said that, it seems clear to me anyway that certain famous conservatives do engage in race baiting.  Take Sean Hannity as an example.  As an up-and-coming radio pundit, he regularly took calls for a certain avowed racist and exploited the comments to build his ratings.  And the double standard with which he and others at Fox treated the Common invitation to the WH, versus the treatment of Cash, Nugent or Bono does make me wonder, although I cannot prove much fo anything.  But the clearest evidence that the GOP has used the race-baiting tactic in the past were the robo-calls that the George W. Bush campaign used against McCain in SC in 2000 when they spread the unfounded rumor that McCain had fathered a “brown-skinned” child (McCain adopted a South Asian baby). 

    As for the media, there are very real differences between Fox News and CNN.  First, CNN has bureaus around the world and invests in news gathering to a larger extent than Fox.  Second, CNN has news during much of the primetime, while Fox is running opinion shows during those slots, as they have even admitted.  Third, the balance on CNN is greater than on Fox, as a Hoover Institute study done about 7 years ago found–it essentially mapped think tank citation counts to legislation in Congress and to reports on the networks to map the networks to left, right or center, which is a brilliant methodology that also determined Fox was far more to the right than CNN was to the left (which was only a little).  Watching both CNN and Fox, I think these differences are quite obvious, but maybe I have a “distorted” subconcious mind, as you claim…

    On Obama, I don’t think I have to defend him, since I am not a supporter.  He put out propaganda, just like Bush, Clinton, Reagan, etc.  The American people like to be promised unrealistic things, since the guy that says that we are not running out of money or that we don’t need to cut spending or raise taxes is preferable to the guy who tells you the unpleasant truth.  Human nature.  You cannot fight it and become President.  And, anyway, I’d be a hypocrite to say that only people on the right are flawed when it is so obvious that there are lots of liars and problematic people on all sides of the ideological spectrum.  To claim otherwise, is to be ignoring much reality.

    Speaking of which, I loved your closing: 

    “By the way, the answers to your three questions aren’t difficult: 1. Outrage takes time to coalesce.  2. Things are worse than were thought.  3. All of the worst economic intrusions are from the left.  There. Done. Puts down shovel, stretches, dusts off hands.  Job well done, and quickly. too.  And I’m not even a Tea Partier.”

    1) Outrage doesn’t take eight years to coalesce.  We completed all of WWII in that time frame.  So please save the fantasy excuses for dimmer lights.  2) Things are not worse than were thought.  The budget data and projections have been inflated for years, since those assumptions justify the low taxes and high spending that both sides want to keep in place.  The US economy today is back to pre-crisis levels in terms of GDP.  3) Not ALL of the worst economic intrusions are from the left, and not all the economic problems stem from intrusions.  Example:  we just learned that the GOP scuttled market-distorting tax subsidies to the oil industry, which were put in place by other members of the GOP; thus, your claim is refuted.  ANd the tax rate reductions and loopholes promoted by the right have done much to blow up the deficit–you do remember that we had surpluses under Clinton and would have continued to have them if Greenspan and Bush hadn’t started to argue that such surpluses were a bad thing that required a tax cut, dont’ you?  The source of the problem is on both sides, and if you cannot see this, then you dont’ live in the real world.

  14. Charles Martel says

    Michael Adams, now that the Mikes on this blog are abc’s new betes noires (=SOB= he’s abandoned me!) and he has just declared that if you disagree with him you don’t live in the real world, I’d like to invite you and Mike Devx to my new Chuck Martel’s Fantasyland concession at the Ronald Reagan Ranch in California. I have set it up so that we can all live there free from mean leftist harpies telling us that since we don’t understand incredibly nuanced narratives, we do not belong =SNIFF= with the regular folks.

    Let me know if this works for you. You can contact Book for the secret number and handshake.  

  15. Mike Devx says

    abc 15: But you are right to note that the inference to draw is that ALL conservatives engage in race-baiting.  This is wrong, and I shouldn’t have said it.

    I wouldn’t beat yourself up at all.  I (and perhaps sometimes others) focus on one side of the argument and cast aspersions on it here a lot, without making a note each time of similar fallacies on the conservative side.  It’s not a crime.

    I was just pointing out one example of (where I think you rather consistently) use subtle phrasings to play up one side and downplay the other.  Again, not a crime at all!  I’ll also add you’re fairer than I am!  Maybe I just wanted to head into a riff on Obama, who is *really* impressive and smooth at delivering those, and at delivering straw man arguments that slide right on into the cortex if you’re not careful.  Man, is he good at it!  

    Obama’s also quite good at *appearing* to say one thing while not saying it at all – valuable for all politicians! – and he does this in a way so often  that is so self-contradictory over time…  If you tried to hold all those contradictory positions in your brain simultaneously, your head would have to explode from the sheer matter/anti-matter effect.  But he spreads them out over time, so they’re never all in there at the same time.

    Sometimes I have to wonder if it’s all deliberate: That he’s deliberately inducing cognitive dissonance at such an intensity and a level, over time, so that when the general election begins in earnest, he’ll be able to say *anything*, anything at all, and get scot-free away with it, because we’ve been programmed so effectively to ignore the contradictions.

  16. rochmoninoff says

    I think you guys are spending too much time arguing with ABC and not enough time discussing the OP. I want to focus on Bookworm’s/Breitbart’s question: how do we get more young people engaged? My sole “tea party” experience has been Glenn Beck’s 8/28/10 event. (Not really a tea party event but it had a tea party crowd). Anyway, my point is: I saw a big crowd of tea party type and they WERE older.  There were young people there but it was obvious that the average age was up mid-40s-ish. Why? – older people have families, careers, homes, children.  Socialism threatens all of that.  They’re scared enough to engage, even through it runs counter their natural insticts. – young people have nobody to worry about other than themselves.  They don’t bother staying up with current events.  And they’ve spent their lives being provided for by a higher authority (parents). So how do you overcome those barriers and get them to engage? The cleavage-trick has already been tried: femminists call them “Slut Walks”.  PETA has a whole ‘naked’ project running.  It’s stupid.  We don’t want youth that think with their genitals.  We want youth that think with their brains. Better approaches: 1.  Grab them with their wallets – make sure they understand that when they finally ‘make it’ that governent gets 1/2. 2.  Go after them via media (like battlefield315.com but needs more pizzaz) 3.  Go after them with games.  My son lovers “shooters” (Halo, Modern Combat), my daughter loves Dance Revolution.  Games reinforce bahaviors (it’s called winning).  If winning correlates with conservative ideals and losing with socialism we’re getting out point across.

  17. Charles Martel says

    roch, thanks for the call back to sanity. I think your game approach is one worth trying.

    Just to give you a little hope: My son was over for dinner Monday night and the discussion turned in a direction I’d been hoping it would for some time. Sam, 26, voted for Obama and, like most of his generation, has taken a conventionally liberal view on things. But lately, I’ve seen him starting to question some assumptions. He loves to order documentaries from NetFlix, and he related watching one on the struggle of some poor parents in an eastern state to win charter school slots for their kids. The gist of the film was that for many of those parents, getting their kids into non-union-dominated schools was their last best chance of helping their children receive a decent education.

    Sam said one segment, where the filmmakers asked teacher union reps why it’s impossible to fire piss-poor teachers, was telling. “It was obvious from the union bosses’ replies,” he said, “that they couldn’t possibly care any less. The whole point was get tenure and then pile on the raises and benefits. Kids were never mentioned.”

    We discussed the propagandistic nature of any documentary, but it was clear to me that he saw the implicit cronyism and racism (most of the parents seeking charter school slots were black) in the rear-guard action that the public school monopoly was taking against the charter concept. 

    Add to that Sam’s fierce desire to be self-supporting (he’s worked for 6 years at this area’s best music store, rising through the ranks), his recent establishment of his own music tutoring business, and his increasing dismay at how much of his paycheck gets thrown down the entitlement rathole—entitlements he will never enjoy. Put them together and he’s slowly constructing a robust worldview that’s too adult for liberal pieties.

    My hope is that we’ll have multiplied him by a few million come 2012.

  18. abc says

    If you can’t beat ‘em, ignore ‘em…
     
    I don’t think that will inspire many followers.  Young people are attracted to Rand Paul because he has compelling arguments, and the same is true for Jon Stewart.  But good luck with your debate-only-strawmen strategy.  It ought to be quite fun to watch.

  19. says

    If you trust in ABc’s judgment of race politics, believe what A says about K to 12 race integration projects. If you trust Z’s judgment of economics, believe in his centralized planning policies.

    As always, who is doing the deciding matters a lot more than what is decided.

  20. Michael Adams says

    Oh, dear me, abc.  Yes, I do very much assume that my memory is more accurate than a history book’s.  I was there and the writer may or may not have been, but, when one has read as much history as I have, one comes to understand that point of view has a huge impact upon how one writes history.
     
    I have also argued with dictionaries, and dug up numerous other sources to show that my view was the correct one. The most recent one was about the word “parable”, which appears in the Gospels.  I explained that a parable is a curve, He threw them a curve ball. The other person in the conversation went home and looked it up and told me I was wrong. So, I dug out the other books, explaining that parable comes from the Latin, in which a parabola is, indeed, a curve. My companion in this conversation was  no idiot, but his PhD from Harvard was in physics, not philology.
     
    As for any assumption about your youth, that is a charitable assumption.

  21. says

    Michael Adams: Everett Dirksen had rallied the other Conservative Republicans to break the filibuster by Liberal Southern Democrats, and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    There were precious few liberal Southern Democrats in 1964. Nearly all Southern Democrats of the time were conservatives, as they sought to protect the peculiar institutions of the South. 

  22. abc says

    Mr. Adams, Einstein used to forget his own phone number and address, so I guess E=mc^2 is wrong…  Or maybe, your cute story about that Harvard PhD is irrelevant. 

    As for your memory versus history books, the point I am making is that you don’t have a monopoly on truth, and there are many people who disagree with your historical account, including, apparently Zachriel.  Others who would disagree with you include historians who have won Pulitzer Prizes, but I guess they are like the Harvard PhD in your story…or Albert Einstein…

  23. Mike Devx says

    rochmoninoff 18: I think you guys are spending too much time arguing with ABC and not enough time discussing the OP.

    You’re absolutely right!

    I finished the Breitbart book.  His strength, and the book’s, is excitement and energy.  It’s a fast, fun read and will get you going.  On the New Media front, I think blogs will have their steady, slow positive influence via the written word.  Photos are effective.   But Breitbart is right: video is where the game is at. If a picture was worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.  The ACORN video rollout story in Breitbart’s book is very illuminating.

    Breitbart wants us to get out there with videocameras and get involved.  Yeah, you’ll shoot a lot of garbage and a lot of irrelevant footage.  19 times out of 20.  Delete. Move on.  Because it’s #20 where you catch lightning in a bottle.  Then a week later, someone else hits their golden shoot, their #20.  One of us catches the MSM with their pants on fire (liar, liar…).   Another one in another state catches the school board President, right after the school board adjourns a meeting, saying something exposing the true agenda – she accidentally left her microphone on.  But this time, it’s on tape.  You’ve already seen the general *effect* of this in all the stories surrounding people shooting video of arrests by policeman. 

    Add to that more focussed efforts: Where you smell smoke, go in with the videocam and LOOK for the fire.  This is the James O Keefe approach – the fellow who set up ACORN and along with Breitbart and Hannah Miles took ACORN down.  Those won’t be as ubiquitous as citizens simply being at the right place at the right time to capture media and government madness, but each that succeeds will have an outsize effect.

    Video is the future.  The Internet – Breitbart is the trailblazer, he’s showing the way and therefore is only the *first* –  has the infrastructure ready to go, for bypassing the stranglehold of the MSM and getting the stories out there.  

    I’m going to be buying a camcorder finally and learning to use it well.  (Time for this old-school fogie to get with the times.  Purchase that videocam and take it everywhere.  Be ready.  I might not be a lucky one who gets the golden footage, but I might, too. )

    CharlesM 19: Add to that Sam’s fierce desire to be self-supporting (he’s worked for 6 years at this area’s best music store, rising through the ranks), his recent establishment of his own music tutoring business, and his increasing dismay at how much of his paycheck gets thrown down the entitlement rathole—entitlements he will never enjoy. Put them together and he’s slowly constructing a robust worldview that’s too adult for liberal pieties.

    Maybe you could ask him, Charles.

    Ask him about his friends, acquantainces, his generation: What does Sam think it would take to wake his generation up?  What would grab their attention?   Will it be as simple as providing them video after video of MSM and government nefariousness? 

    The odds are most likely that… something will just happen.  Rick Santelli goes off on his rant on CNBC in Feb 2009… and it’s the catalyst for millions of disconnected people to – seemingly out of nowhere – suddenly coalesce into the entire Tea Party Movement.  No one saw that coming.  You can’t plan it.  But in a rich stew of an environment where things are set up, ready to happen, something just like that will happen, and suddenly Sam’s generation will seize on an unexpected event, make it their own; it will take on a life of its own, and it will belong to them.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] My friend Bookworm has a nice write-up of a recent Andrew Breitbart speech she attended: Last night, after Andrew Breitbart had already left to catch his plane, a few of us hung around to chat and to try to answer one question:  what was the takeaway from Breitbart’s talk?  Eat their eyeballs?  Women’s dominance in the Tea Party means that men are eunuchs?  The fact that the Tea Party needs to sex up a bit (Breitbart suggested cleavage) to attract younger people?  Our responsibility to buy tickets to conservative movies even if we don’t attend, because brave Hollywood conservatives need box office support?  Nope. [...]

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