To sell their ideas, conservatives must first re-train Americans to recognize their humanity

Devil votes Republican

One of the striking paradoxes in Marin is that the same people who reliably vote for Democrat candidates actually have quite conservative values.  In my Marin world, people are educated, ambitious, hard-working, married, and family-oriented, and they happily live in almost entirely white communities.  As to that last, it’s not that they would object if a black family moved it.  It would simply have to be a black family that was “one of us,” meaning educated, ambitious, etc.  Despite their essentially conservative values, these hard-working people support endless welfare; these family-oriented, helicopter parents happily consign poor children to the tender mercies of the state; and these married parents, who have the luxury of a stay-at-home mom, support any policy that advances single motherhood.  The Marin dwellers I know are the living embodiment of Charles Murray’s wonderful observation that elite Democrats don’t preach what they practice.

Tiburon and Belvedere, in Marin County, California

Tiburon and Belvedere, in Marin County, California

On the rare occasions when I’m able to speak with my friends without using political labels, they invariably agree with me about the benefits of hard work and marriage, about the social and economic virtues of two-parent families, about the problem with the hypersexualization of young children, and about the fact that the best defense against bullies is projecting a strong attitude of self-defense.  Point out, though, that these values align them with Ted Cruz or Mitt Romney, who support profiting from ones own labor, being married as a predicate to children, encouraging (although not legislating) a more wholesome popular culture, and projecting American strength abroad, and they’ll back away from you as if you’ve suddenly sprouted horns.

How Democrats are trained to view conservatives and Republicans

How Democrats are trained to view conservatives/Republicans

It’s that last phrase that explains why these Democrats, even if their values are completely at odds with their own party, would never, never vote Republican.  In their minds, it’s not that Democrats Republicans have bad ideas; it’s that they’re eeeevvviiiilll.  Not just “evil,” but eeeevvviiiilll.  To them, Republicans haven’t merely sold their souls to the Devil, which implies that it’s possible to regain those lost souls.  Instead, it’s that Republicans have no souls.  To the Marin liberal, politics are controlled by a simple syllogism:

Republicans/conservatives are evil.
I am not evil.
Therefore I can never be a Republican/conservative.

But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, right?  For years, conservatives have wryly observed that, while conservative think liberals are misguided, liberals think conservatives are evil.  So why am I dragging this old issue to the table?  Because now is the time to change this paradigm.

We know from a Harvard study that the young generation is turning against Obama because he betrayed them.  Unfortunately, though, despite their disenchantment with Obama, these youngsters aren’t turning to Republicans.  Given the fact that Democrats lied and Republicans spoke the truth, these youth voters aren’t making a U-turn and heading for the Republican party.  Instead, they’ve opted for a “plague on both your houses” approach to politics.

Their refusal even to contemplate conservativism stems from their constant indoctrination:  Republicans are eeeevvviiiilll.  In any Hollywood film that touches upon politics (and even in those that don’t), Republicans are evil.  In any MSM news story, Republicans are evil.  In songs, at award shows, on Twitter, and Facebook, the cascade of obscene, profane, and scatalogical remarks from those on the Left are uniform:  Republicans are eeeevvviiiilll.

obama-pinocchioWith Obamacare cratering and Obama being revealed as both incompetent and dishonest, Republicans are trying to figure out how to position themselves as the obvious political alternative.  Sadly, the state of American political debate and thinking is not such that conservatives can gain voters by explaining that conservative ideas are better.  We take the world as we’re given, though, and that world demands that we suit our argument to our audience.  Before they listen to us, they need to like us — or at least they need to stop fearing us.  The answer is to run a personality campaign.

When I speak of a “personality campaign,” I refer to gauzy photographs of Republican politicians with their spouses and children.  Although that seems to play well to the base, it does nothing to convert the people who think we’re eeeevvviiiilll.  Democrats have been trained to view those photographs — when they come from conservatives — as the equivalent of photographs showing Nazi camp guards having tea parties in their homes.

What the RNC and other conservative groups should be producing, instead, are gazillions of one-minute-long commercials and YouTube videos, as well as easy-to-share posters for Facebook and Twitter, all of which focus on ordinary whites, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics engaging in good acts of the type that thoughtless, but disenchanted, Democrats can understand.  Each video or poster should end with the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.”

For example, you might have a video showing an Asian woman working at a homeless shelter, and have it end with her saying “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.”  Or you have a poster of a black volunteer hard at work for Habitat for Humanity, over the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.”  Another video might show someone getting out of a Prius and into a wheelchair, again with the tag line “I’m [fill in the name] and I’m a Republican.

Conservatives are ordinary people -- and that's a good thing

Conservatives are ordinary people — and that’s a good thing

The possibilities are endless, because Republicans are good people, and they actually do many things that make Democrats happy.  Posters and videos of beach clean-ups, animal shelter work, homeless shelter work, Big Brother/Big Sister work, tutoring kids at inner city schools, and raising money for African orphanages, would humanize a group of people who have been demonized simply because they believe in the worth of the individual and in maximum individual freedom.  When it comes to speaking out to Americans, we need to stop focusing on the politicians, whom the media finds it easy to ridicule and denigrate, and start looking into the Republican community, which is brimful of wonderful, caring, people, for whom being wonderful and ordinary is just a part of their lives.

We cannot convert people to our ideas unless we can convince them that their “conservatives are evil” syllogism is utterly false. The new syllogism should go like this:

Republicans/conservatives are good people.
I share most of their values.
Since the Democrat party has lied and broken its promises, and its ideas have failed, I should vote Republican.

[For those of you who find the ideas in here vaguely familiar, my dear friend Don Quixote made precisely this point many years ago. He was, as is often the case, a clear-sighted visionary.]

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Comments

  1. says

    I hate to disagree with you but it is very hard to compete when one side is happy to give away free things on someone else’s money. People have short memories when given shiny, pretty, baubles…ooh Obamaphone…shiny….pretty.
    On the other hand people like to nurse their grudges and that is the opening for conservatives. Conservatives have never attacked the Democratic machines at the low level to destroy it at is roots. We should be showing how that sleazy slimeball at the lowest level benefits from O-care and they supposedly represent people get screwed. We should be showing how front organizations are there for corruption and not ideals and we should be showing how the youngest generations are left to pay. Very hard to fight the Dems at the top they can find the smoothest, smarmiest most popular politician like Obama for a front. Get down low though and you are among the roaches. It is not enough to show how nice we are. We have to show just how disgusting they are.

  2. says

    “For years, conservatives have wryly observed that, while conservative think liberals are misguided”
     
    They obviously weren’t talking about me, now were they Book. But if you look at how Republicans on the DC Capital of Death are negotiating with their Democrat colleagues, that is perhaps why.
     
    “Sadly, the state of American political debate and thinking is not such that conservatives can gain voters by explaining that conservative ideas are better. ”
     
    Of course, that should be obvious by now. But to a very broad section of Republican economic travelers and political bureaucrats, that isn’t so. They don’t get it. They don’t want to get it either. So long as DC wealth goes on, they don’t really care what happens to the rest of America under the Left’s totalitarian boot heel.
     
    Before the Democrats can ever be convinced that anybody else is human, first they need to recognize their own evil. Until then, they can always go back to their totalitarian authorities and ask, “is this true, is it okay to see enemies of the state, enemies of Democrat Utopia, as human? The authorities will keep saying, “no, don’t believe in the unbelievers, put the rod to them, keep doing it and you will be purged of sin, war, poverty, and inequality”.
     
    Destroy the authorities in spirit or physicality, and the rest will go smoothly. Do not destroy the authorities, and people will struggle to no particular strategic value.

  3. says

    What would we have called the Jews in the Warsaw un Uprising, if they had instead devoted their time and blood to putting up propaganda campaigns to convince the Good Germans and Good Nazis, that the Polish and the Jewish were human, Book?
     
    What would we have called the israelis of this century if they had spent their national budget on making Palis believe Israelis are human and deserving of heaven or peace under Islam, instead of funding bombs and armies?
     
    People who are living in peace and prosperity due in no part to their lack of resolve, do not have the proper perspective to view relative strategic worths until history blows past them. So if you think the Left isn’t at war with you, you can go on a good will propaganda mission and lose not much. But if the Left is at war with you and you devote funding and time to such things… guess what happens.

  4. Duchess of Austin says

    Its time for a rebranding.  If we were to dump the words “republican” and “conservative” in favor of something like….how about “American?”  The American Party.  My, that’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  Why not take it back to Ronald Reagan?  He did it right.  What can we learn from what he did to trounce Carter?  He was enthusiastically pro-america.  He reminded Americans that we DO have the greatest country in the whole damn world and he wasn’t the least bit shy about it.
     
    What about taking back the red, white and blue?

  5. Navy Bob says

    We had a neighbor whose husband was a professor at the local college (want to take a guess on their party affiliation?).  He had to leave town for a few days and she had a severe medical emergency during his absence.  We took her to the Doctor who said take her to the hospital immediately.  The Mrs and I took care of her two toddlers for several days as her husband tried to get back in town.  When he returned he obviously spent a lot of time at the hospital and we took care of the kids until her mother could get here.  No sign of other faculty wives.   She got better and when it was all over she came over to thank us.  I will never forget her saying “You guys are so nice, I just don’t understand it because you are Republicans.”  Go figure.

  6. nuqlv9ol7u says

    … they happily live in almost entirely white communities.  As to that last, it’s not that they would object if a black family moved it.  It would simply have to be a black family that was “one of us,” meaning educated, ambitious, etc. …
     
    Bullsh*t.
    They did not wake up one morning in an all white community, and they will never live in a minority community. As soon as the third black family moves in, they will move out. They will have numerous reasons for moving, but the real reason is that they do not want to live with blacks. They will call everybody racist while living the lifestyle of the racist.
     
    For those using their “black friend” as a shield, ask them: how many children does your “black friend” have, or what was the last gift you gave for a birthday.

  7. Danny Lemieux says

    Polling my 20-something children (both Republicans…we did that right), my sense is that their generation is gravitating toward a form of libertarianism (small L), which I believe will be good for the country if it comes to pass. The flip side is that they also dismiss their own generation as far too willing to be spoon fed their values and ideas by the older generations. Certainly, however, the Obamacare fiasco has been a rude awakening for them and Obama is definitely “out” on college campuses. Ayn Rand is very much “in” with them. 
     
    We conservatives have to be more blunt about why we are not Progressives and call them out for what they are. At their core, they need to feel that they are kind people and morally superior to others. When given the opportunity, I tell them straight out, “the reason I am not a Liberal Progressive is that you Lib/Progs HURT people!”. Today’s Obamacare fiasco provides case-closed evidence for the prosecution. 

  8. Falling Up says

    The idea that conservatives can make hay out of the collapse of leftist credibility is a lovely sentiment but without any basis in reality.  The right needs to make its own “long march through the institutions” (regardless of who you attribute that quote to).  Because the left controls the culture from top to bottom, we went from “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” to ‘criticism of Obama is racist sedition’ literally overnight.  We could only have hoped to win the shooting war, but they are now working their way through the military.  It was a nice country while it lasted.

  9. CatoRenasci says

    I can sympathize with the sentiment in your post – if Democrats/progressives see Republicans/conservatives as evil, humanize conservatives by showing they are otherwise “just like us”.  The problem is that doesn’t work.
    Seeing Republicans/conservatives as “evil” is an integral part of the ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ mindset: there must be an enemy and that enemy must embody evil.  Just look at the left’s refusal to really accept the meaning of the collapse of all but the most repressive communist regimes some 25 years ago.  
    James Burnham – himself a former leftist – wrote of the mentality in <i>The Suicide of the West</i> in 1964 and nothing much has changed since.

  10. Mike Devx says

    I am deeply pessimistic these days.  As I’ve said, when the house is burning down, the Republicans are opening windows (fueling the flames) while the Democrats are gleefully throwing gas on the fire.
     
    The “house on fire” is our impossible fiscal situation.  It is flatly impossible to continue on as we have been going.  The Democrats are the party of “Santa Claus all day, every day”.  Politically, the Republicans have not found any way to counter this.
     
    And right now I don’t even blame the Republicans.  I blame the People.  We are not the People we used to be.  And we headed for ruin.
     
    I see no way out.  Economic death is a long, slow, painful process, filled with slowly deepening agony as it progresses.  But the America that I love and believe in is terminal.  There is no way out.
     

  11. says

    Remember Iraq everyone. How much did giving candies and food to Iraqi poor help the counter insurgency? Vs showing that the insurgency, AQ, were evil and needed to be burned and run out of Iraq for being murderous rapist thugs?
     
    You give out candies to girls and boys, AQ blows those girls and boys up. What Did You Accomplish by giving food to them then?
     
    See evil, kill evil first. Then give candies. Not the other way around.

  12. wGraves says

    So, eeevvvviiillll?
    “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
    — Todd Akin
    Now there’s a Republican candidate saying something which in my opinion is truly eeevvvviiillll.  If you want people to believe that the party isn’t hopelessly bad, you will have to stop fielding candidates who are?

  13. Falling Up says

    “Now there’s a Republican candidate saying something which in my opinion is truly eeevvvviiillll.”
     
    I’d call that monumental stupidity, on par with worrying about Guam capsizing.  You say tomato……..

  14. says

    The idea that politicians can stop a rape is pretty stupid. It doesn’t matter what they say. I can teach a woman how to kill rapist or rapists, singular or plural, in about 6 months. Other people can do it in 2-3 days. Where there is a will, there is a way.
     
    Government assembly not included.

  15. says

    The idea that when you say something they don’t like, and that makes you evil… people might want to think about the implications of that for more than say… half a second they use to choose between vanilla and chocolate.
     
    You hear that, Obamacans? Chocolate.

  16. Mike Devx says

    Despite my pessimism, I agree with Danny L where he says:
     
    When given the opportunity, I tell them straight out, “the reason I am not a Liberal Progressive is that you Lib/Progs HURT people!”. Today’s Obamacare fiasco provides case-closed evidence for the prosecution.
     
    I may be pessimistic about America’s future, but I’m ever more convinced that what we call conservatism today is correct.  I’m proud of conservatives and what they stand for.  Let’s stand up and speak the truth.  Let’s stand up proud and speak out.  
     

  17. says

    Just don’t stand out too much. The SWAT teams, IRS goon squads, ATF false flag operations, and military drone strikes are always there. Don’t let hot headed idealism blind folks to the military realities of power.

  18. IrwinChusid says

    I was perplexed by this passage: “One of the striking paradoxes in Marin is that the same people who reliably vote for Democrat candidates actually have quite conservative values.  In my Marin world, people are educated, ambitious, hard-working, married, and family-oriented, and they happily live in almost entirely white communities.”
    Is it a “conservative value” to “live in [an] almost entirely white community”? Whose assumption is this? I’d say someone ignorant about or seeking to misrepresent conservative values. Conservative ideas are not race-based. They are ideological and can be embraced regardless of skin color. 

    • says

      It’s a matter of free will why self segregation occurs. High school cafeteria tables, when not set seating orders, are composed of The Asian Group, the Black Group, the White Group, and so on after that according to niche friendships and club relations.
       
      Marin just happens to self segregate based upon their own values and concepts. It would not occur (be allowed) in the Leftist totalitarian universe they impose on the rest of us.
       
       

  19. nuqlv9ol7u says

    @IrwinChusid
    Speak for yourself.
     
    I am white, but I am not rich. I am not liberal, and I do not call people who disagree with me a racist.
     
    I have lived in several places with mostly black neighbors. I have been in the homes of the black folks I have known. I have met their children, and one girl decided that I was her playmate. I have been exposed to racism when I dated a black woman.
     
    Most conservatives are not racists, and they do not deserve to be labeled as racists by people who live the rich white racist lifestyle.

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