● The Public Is Not Brainwashed.
Let’s start with something that should be obvious, but apparently isn’t. The media has NO power to brainwash the public. If the media had such power, the election results would have been a lot different. Of the 310,000,000 Americans, there are 208,000,000 eligible voters. Obama got only 60 million votes. That’s only 28% of all eligible voters (19% of all Americans). If the media really had power to brainwash people, WAY MORE than 28% of eligible voters would have turned out to support Obama.
Likewise, Obama lost 9 million votes between 2008 and 2012... 13% of his total. How can that be explained if the media has this magical power to make the public do as they wish?
Also, if the media had this power, why are people in certain states immune to their manipulation? And why does the media mysteriously lose this power on issues like guns? The “the media brainwashed people” argument has no merit and conservatives should stop hiding behind it.
The truth is, the public did not “buy” Obama, nor did people do what the media wanted. The public stayed home. The public stayed home because it saw no reason to vote for either side. In fact, the biggest winner on election night was None of the Above at 44%. Obama and Romney were a distant second and third at 28% and 27%. That’s on us. We need to focus on why we couldn’t get more than 27% of eligible voters to support us. We need to look at ourselves. Observe...
● Why Our Image Stinks: We Do It To Ourselves.
Ok, so if the media can’t brainwash the public, then why does the public believe that conservatives are extremists? The answer is simple: that’s what WE tell them. In the entire universe of political movements, conservatives are the only ones (except maybe anarchists) who disdain the moderate label. Everyone else, from the Nazis to the Commies to the Democrats, claims to be moderates who speak for the forgotten man in the middle. They do this because the goal of politics is to win a majority of the electorate, so it’s important to tell the public that you and they are the same.
Not conservatives. Conservatives have developed a bizarre mentality where they compete with each other to prove how extreme they are. Conservatives brag about being “genuine” conservatives, they use the word “moderate” as a slur, and they equate moderates with traitors. Because of this mentality, our candidates routinely proclaim their purity and try to attack their primary opponents as being secret moderates. This implies (and is sometimes explicitly stated) that being a moderate is something we disdain, which translates into a message of “we are extremists.”
Make no mistake, the media could not sell the public on the idea that conservatives are extremists if we weren’t busy selling the image ourselves.
● Why Don’t We Get Credit For Things We Do: Because We’re Nasty.
But wait, you say, even when conservatives act like moderates, we never get the credit! Isn’t that the media’s doing? Well, no. The problem is that while conservatives sometimes do “moderate/liberal” things, they do them kicking and screaming and lobbing insults. No one is going to give you credit in that type of circumstance.
Take the upcoming immigration reform effort. It will pass with Republican votes. As it does, talk radio, pundits, various grandstanding politicians, and bloggers will scream racist sentiments at the top of their lungs and whine about how these dirty Mexicans will forever destroy America and how any Republican who votes for it is a dangerous RINO who needs to be driven out of the party. These same conservatives will wonder a year later why conservatives got no credit from Hispanics for passing the bill.
Think about it this way. Suppose you want to post an article about your ugly, stupid kid at the blog. You nag the crap out of me to post it because you’re an a*hole who won’t shut the f*ck up and doesn’t realize nobody cares about your lame kid. I finally have enough of you and decide that I’ll let you talk about your dumba*s spawn. So I post the article with this disclaimer: “Here’s an article about some retarded kid you won’t care about, but ___ won’t leave me alone, so I’m only doing this to get them off my back.” How happy are you going to be with me? And are you going to give me any credit for posting your article?
It’s the same thing in politics. Conservatives don’t get credit for things they do because they do them kicking and screaming and making it clear in no uncertain terms how much they hate doing them and how, if it was up to them, they wouldn’t do them.
● Why Are Scandals Worse For Us: We Mishandle Them.
That brings us to the next issue. Conservatives claim bias in how scandals get portrayed. They claim that nothing the Democrats do sticks to them because the media covers for them, but everything sticks to us. Again, this isn’t accurate. Yes, the media covers for them, but the Democrats are better at separating themselves from their lunatics.
When the Democrats get a lunatic, they immediately dismiss them as not representative of the party. Essentially, they tell the public, “oh, that’s just crazy uncle Joe. He’s harmless.” This works because the Democrats claim the moderate label, and thus, they can put space between themselves and their fringe. Conservatives, on the other hand, do this backwards. First, we all claim to be at the fringe, so there’s no space to be had. Secondly, we attack our own right out of the gates and then try to circle the wagons after we’ve told the public this issue is an outrage. The Democrats don’t do that. They remain flexible until they see how the wind is blowing and then they act accordingly. And contrary to conservative belief, when the Democrats get someone they can’t explain away (e.g. Weiner), they disown them in a heartbeat and they don’t keep trying to prove that they were actually right. We do.
● Why Doesn’t Democratic Hypocrisy Stick: Because We Help Them.
Conservatives complain that Democratic supporters are blind to their hypocrisy. But the problem is actually that we help the Democrats sell their false image. Look at the issue of cronyism. Republicans are seen as cronies because. . . well, they are. So are the Democrats, but they aren’t seen as cronies. What accounts for the difference? For one thing, Republicans brag about helping Big Business, whereas the Democrats lie about hating Big Business. More importantly, however, we help them sell that lie.
Consider Obamacare. Obamacare is nothing more than a power grab on behalf of insurance companies. But no one is telling that to the public. The Democrats certainly won’t say it, and the Republicans won’t say it because they’re working for those same companies. Moreover, conservatives don’t say it because they’re busy mischaracterizing Obamacare as “government run, socialized medicine.” And in screaming that, they reinforce the false sales pitch the Democrats are trying to sell to their own people.
Any liberal who has doubt that the Democrats really are liberals gets constant reinforcement from conservatives that everything the Democrats are doing is “liberal/socialist.” Look at the gun control debate. Obama’s gun control plan is nothing more than a placebo, yet conservatives are screaming that it’s one step away from banning guns. Obama’s environmental agenda is a sop to unions and GE, yet conservatives scream about it being “anti-business” and “wacko environmentalism.” On issue after issue, WE are the Democrats’ best salesmen because WE are pushing the very false image the Democrats need their followers to believe.
Anyway, believe it or not, all of the above is good news. It really is.
The American people did not “buy” Obama. They are not brainwashed by some all-powerful svengali media. And our problems are of our own making: WE poisoned our own brand and WE protect the Democrats from their stupidity with our misdirected hyperbolic rhetoric. That means WE can fix these issues OURSELVES because we are victims of our own stupidity and not of some powerful external conspiracy.
I know it may not seem like it, but that really is a good thing. It means that we are not doomed. It means that we just need to make a few changes and we need to work on winning back those None of the Above voters. And our only enemy is ourselves.