Skip to main content

View Diary: Make 2014 a referendum on Republican radicalism (230 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  This is what I'm afraid of . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Charles Hall

    that progressives will overplay their hand.  If you fault the Tea Party in too shrill a voice, it will cause their voters to feel like they need to get out and protect their "way of life" from the "damned socialist elites."  Progressives need to stay focussed and on message: Focussed on helping the people of the country through the inevitable pain that will result from the last few years of the Republican refusal to live up to their fiduciary duty to the public; and on message, saying that we want America to work for ALL Americans, not just for the rich and powerful, but also not just for the constituencies more likely to vote with us.  We know that we can't change things and leave everybody exactly in the position they are now, but we don't have to gloat over the fact that some will be less well off than they are now.  We don't explicitly want that. It is an unfortunate consequence of reducing the evil in the system.

    Convincing people that they should be ashamed of what they've done won't make them want to join us.  It will have them hoping that we are wrong and working to prove it.  Discussing "fairness" is a minefield, because they will focus on what they fear could be taken from then, rather than what has already been deinied to others.  If we go too fast and they become aware of the choice of virtues we are leading them to recognize (self-sufficiency v. charity), they are more likely to try to protect their egos by justifying their past decisions.  

    We need to lead by example.  We need to project a respect for the Constitution by being able to quote chapter and verse from it when we make our arguments.  The fundamenalist background of the evangelicals gives them an advantage here.  They've spent their lives memorizing and regurgitating scripture. But progressives need to catch up, because no amount of logic is going to persuade them to do the right thing.  I have seen, though, that they can be thrown off their game if they come up against someone who uses their same strategy.  They have to either respect an opinion framed that way or disavow the foundation that they have claimed is sacred to them.  You don't need to defeat a conservative's world view all at once, and you don't need them to capitulate to you in an argument.  You just need to sow a seed of doubt about their own infalibility.

    It will be difficult, and conservatives won't let up on thier rhetoric, but that's okay.  It's been hard for me to maintain my composure on more than a few occassions in the discussions that happen living in the South and Midwest.  

    The most important thing for us to do is to make sure that the people in the middle see us as reasonable.  We've been suffering from false equivalencies between our positions and theirs' in the nightly news, even on NPR.  It boosts ratings because people like to watch the carnage that comes when foes are well-balanced against each other.  The Republicans will try to dehumanize us to their followers and ginny up support by convincing them that we are monomaniacal agents of an anti-American agenda.  If voters see pinched progressive faces screaming into cameras, they'll believe it.  If we can remain calm but resolute, we can make inroads with those Republicans who, even now, are trying to keep the Tea Party-types at arms length.

    No amount of momentary vengeance in the form of a snide quip will provide comfort if the cumulative effect of such responses keeps us from getting the support we need to return the country to a stable path.  The golden rule is a part of most religions.  

    Be forgiving of conservatives for holding their views.  They are doing the best they can with the way the world was explained to them.  They aren't trying to be evil.  They've grown up being told that everybody not like them was attacking them, and that the highest virtue was protecting their children from those attacks.

    If we can remain reasonable, we will either soften their rhetoric, or  will make the contrast between the sides more obvious to those who are wavering in the middle.

    •  Not necessarily (0+ / 0-)
      If you fault the Tea Party in too shrill a voice, it will cause their voters to feel like they need to get out and protect their "way of life" from the "damned socialist elites."
      Once it becomes personal (again I point to the cattle ranchers in SD) they're looking for someone to blame -- and it's useful to point out that their lives and their livelihoods are being damaged or even destroyed by irresponsible actions of people that told them they were their champions.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Tue Oct 15, 2013 at 08:40:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site