Lucas argues for the high road...

jbone at jbone at
Fri Oct 24 10:33:21 PDT 2003

Lucas says:

> On top of the dumb conspiratorial aspect of Kelly's death, it's yet
> another political conversation argued via a scandal, like Monica
> Lewinsky.  Let's have the argument about the thing we're arguing about,
> ok?  If the brits want to attack Blair for his Iraq policies, they
> should just do it.

How I desperately wish we lived in a world where this made sense.

Unf. Lucas et. al., I don't think we do, nor do I think we have for a 
long while.  Without getting into an infinite regression on "who 
started it," let's note that (a)  the tenor and directness of political 
discourse in America has been on a very steep decline over particularly 
the last decade, and (b)  it's unlikely to change *because it works.*  
The man on the street has had the wool well and  thoroughly pulled over 
his eyes.  Between subversion of the mainstream media, mastery of the 
Big Lie technique, and massive / coordinated propaganda, the tiny 
extremist kernel of the "conservative" movement has managed to fool and 
co-opt the maintream masses.

Here's the problem.  Liberals, moderates, and reasonable people of all 
stripes often make the plea for reasoned, civil, direct debate on the 
issues in American politics.  And --- news flash --- we're losing the 
PR battle.  As long as we continue to be reasonable while the extreme 
right has their whole bag of dirty tricks, we're not going to win.  
While engaging the enemy on their terms is always a scary proposition, 
fighting a guerilla war (against a distributed but coordinated enemy w/ 
high tech weapons) with regiments and muskets is a losing proposition 
from the outset.

The "non-Right" (to lump all liberals, fiscal-only conservatives, 
moderates, etc. into one big bucket) HAS to engage.  It leaves a bad 
taste in my mouth to say it, but we're *losing* the longer-term 
"culture war" that the Right invented from whole cloth and sold.  (Ex:  
in one poll I saw recently entering college Freshmen this year for the 
first time ever had a majority belief that Roe v. Wade should be 
overturned and abortion made illegal in most circumstances.)  We HAVE 
to take the battle to the enemy.  We HAVE to acquire the kind of PR / 
propaganda / spin capability currently enjoyed by the right.  We HAVE 
to fight dirty.  We need our equivalent to Rush, O'Reilly, and the 
rest.  Otherwise we will continue to see the sound-bite masses duped 
into thinking that they are actually on the side of the "Right" rather 
than merely being lied to, manipulated, and used by a small but 
powerful and vocal minority.

And then the Bad Guys win.



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