“How Republicans can win”
This David Horowitz essay was forwarded along to me by several readers, presumably because in it, Horowitz deals quite a bit with adjusting the messaging that goes along with conservative policy to match and or/ counter the left’s decided rhetorical advantages — namely, the belief, expressed overwhelmingly in exit polls, that the Democrats care about people, while the Republicans, whatever their other virtues (such as they are) do not. Horowitz counsels that we stop whining, that we try to avoid abstractions, that we concretize our language — all of which is fine, and good advice, to boot, provided you have those in office capable of doing it. And I’m not sure that we do.
Barack Obama, to many of us who’ve been following his political career closely — at least since he decided to run for President, — is a veritable treasure trove of opportunity for principled conservative opposition. He’s a thin-skinned narcissist, a radical Marxist, and his rhetoric is so transparent and tissue-thin that it takes nothing more really than effort (and barely much) and desire to expose it for the collection of strung-together platitudes and populist bromides that it is, all of which are used as cover to advance the collectivist, Marxist principles underneath.
Obama is a cult figure. He needs to feel worshipped. He relies on those around him to reinforce for him his “historical” importance, his native genius, and his transcendent vision — none of which is real, and none of which can’t be exposed by doing one single thing:
Telling the truth.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
— Which isn’t to say you can’t perfect the way in which you deliver the truth — this is where rhetorical skill comes in to play, and where it is always aided by the passion that comes from believing in what you’re saying. But it requires telling the truth, first and foremost: that there have been no government cuts, that spending is so high and the debt and unfunded liabilities so large that most people can’t conceive of the enormity, that we are literally printing money in order to spend it, and that those bills must and will always come due — after Obama leaves office and retires with millions to Hawaii, after all his cronies get rich off of money taken from each of us an sent along to his pals. Obama claims we can’t cut energy or national security — and yet he’s stopped a pipeline, scuttled drilling, is attacking fracturing technologies, is putting coal mines out of business, has declared the necessity of raising electricity and gas prices (which in turn leads to loss of jobs, and makes us more dependent on foreign markets), and has used his EPA to molest the entirety of the energy sector not connected to his phony green energy sham, a demonstrable expensive failure; regulatory costs have produced a de facto tax on nearly every commodity and service; and he’s cutting the military while having forced through back-door amnesty — while working now to promote an official amnesty through “comprehensive immigration reform,” just as he’s simultaneously looking to disarm and criminalize American citizens for their firearm ownership.
He’s a radical Marxist who, when he speaks of fundamental transformation, is — as Mark Levin has taken to pointing out — talking about transforming you: the fundamental transformation of Americans through social engineering projects, legislative and bureaucratic “nudges,” and the indoctrination that occurs in schools, through the entertainment industry, academia, and the mainstream press, with the end goal being the dissolution of individual sovereignty and the rise of a dependence culture that needs a permanent “benevolent” ruling class to provide for safety, security, and material want.
And yet what is it that the GOP takes away from all this? Astonishingly, that they, too, have to try to join Obama in “showing they care”– not by being honest with the American people, but rather by adopting the premises the left sets out, then seeking to align themselves with those premises.
Which is why you have Eric Cantor speaking of “the children” when he talks of the necessity of “comprehensive immigration reform,” using a saccharine and forced delivery to try to mimic the left rather than to point out the pernicious nature of the left’s illegal immigration lies. It’s surrender dressed up as compassion, and it is not only destructive of principle, but it won’t matter a whit.
Or, to put it another way, it’s like Cantor read Horowitz, and took away the counsel on “method” without understanding first that for that to work as an antidote to leftist lies, the GOP has first to re-identify and re-assert its very principles.
Showing you care in order simply to show you care won’t work: people can smell pandering bullshit a mile away. It only works for Democrats because the Democrats are big government, and can convince people that they will rob from others to give to their constituency groups. They aren’t pandering so much as, with a wink and a nod, purchasing votes.
Whereas the Republicans are tied to corporate welfare — and the Democrats will always label them the party of the rich, largely because the GOP has no answers to the charge. And this is because they’ve spend so much time listening to consultants and focus groups and trying to count demographics — that is, trying to get elected — that they’ve lost sight of the reason for being elected in the first place.
And what’s ironic is, the truth sells. Conviction sells — even if it’s the practiced phony conviction of Democrats (think Clinton’s “I feel your pain”). But the GOP can’t even fake conviction. And that’s precisely because they stand for nothing.
The progressives have an ideological agenda and their entire Alinskyite strategy is geared toward promoting that agenda. The Republicans? They just want to have a turn managing the Leviathan, and everything they try is geared around trying to find a way back to power.
Without using the one tool that is most likely to bring that about: telling the truth. But after all the years of pandering, focus groups, modulating their message to appeal to moderates, accepting the left’s premises and acting from a defensive posture, I fear they no longer have it in them. Which is why professional politicians need to go.
(h/t Dennis D and sdferr and geoff B)