Lucas argues for the high road...
jbone at place.org
jbone at place.org
Fri Oct 24 10:33:21 PDT 2003
> 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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