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Maybe Conservatives Aren’t Ready for an Honest Communications SWOT

I really hoped that the traditional Americans among us were in the midst of reviewing, reflecting and regrouping after the ideological enemy managed to beat us for the only nationally elected office this republic sports.

After browsing the reader’s comments following American Thinker’s J.R. Dunn’s pretty dead-on, more or less conservative communications SWOT analysis this morning titled, “Conservatives Must Learn Dark Arts of Image Manipulation,” I guess I was wrong. A whole lot of people are still stuck on blame.

While it is most probable that there is a “virus” in the programming of the touch screen voting machines that seem to register all votes to a single candidate (bring back the Vote-O-Matic), and that the dead resurrected for a single day on November 6, and the campaign tactics of a decent man were not anywhere close to vicious enough which was perceived as lack of conviction, and that…[insert blame of the day here]…well, whatever the reason is that conservatives are clinging to today, real or not, the fact remains:

LEFTISTS ARE DIRTY AND MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS.

Yes, I did mean to shout that.

The HUGE reason the right lost: because we don’t know how to effectively communicate who and what we are or how to put the left in a light that will expose their darkness. What we really know how to do is look up facts, memorize and spout them, just like so many people I know do with disembodied Bible verses. That’s not good enough. All those facts have to be used in pieces and parts to defend a position and frame an argument in such a way that makes the opposition really look like idiots, and we can’t be nice about it. It might well be true that the left cheats, but unless we can pin specific tails on the donkey and make them stick, they’ll just ridicule and snark until the maxim that the more something is said, the more it is accepted as truth, i.e., conservative TEA partiers are fascist nazis, produces more destruction. It may bear no resemblance to reality, but the vast majority of people who consume the communications streams that spout that Alinkskyism are going to believe it merely because the left is good at communicating.

J.R. Dunn and I are not the only people with right-like leanings saying this. Anyone who follows The Ulsterman Report knows that both White House Insider and Republican Insider say EXACTLY the same thing, the former for over a year now. After Two and a Half Men child star Angus T. Jones threw his temper tantrum on Monday, I internet searched “what watching television does to the brain” and found the basics, including a soundbite history of communications strategies employed by the left SINCE THE 1920’s (1910’s if you count Ivy Lee having the Rockefellers give away dimes to improve their images) on a website titled Erupting Mind. The page The Effects of TV on the Brain is worth taking the time to read and watch the embedded videos. Not only are the scientific studies regarding slipping into beta brain waves when watching TV mentioned, but how the left, specifically, has taken advantage of how the brain works in communicating their agenda. A lot is made of subliminal messaging, but just as damaging is the messaging received passively about a whole lot of topics.

There is absolutely no reason why the right cannot counter the leftist communications machine with one of our own using the same tactics. J.R. Dunn and Republican Insider, among others, are pushing and advocating heavy use of the internet and social media. Great, but conservatives can utilize other media if minds are put to it. If one Poor Claire nun, Mother Angelica, can launch EWTN and get it on every major cable package in the country with no money against a cabal of really bad cardinals and bishops, there is no reason why a conservative entertainment group couldn’t do the same with sitcoms and drama considering the amount of wealth out there that could be invested. It would give companies like Chick-Fil-A a place to advertise. For those of us who are boycotting Hollywood, decent and well-written films would be a blessing. Adjusted for inflation, the highest grossing film of all time is Gone with the Wind, with Star Wars being number three. GWTW may be a soap opera, but it’s pretty clean and Star Wars is a classic good vs. evil story. This stuff still sells. The studios no longer own the release chain. Indy films are all the rage. Advantage can be taken.

When it comes to education, a lot of parents are homeschooling. Good for them. If only we could come up with alternate colleges. With libraries and the internet there is no reason why we who wish to know truth and bypass liberal crap can’t do it. All it takes is a little effort

But the trick is communicating what we learn and know. Dunn is absolutely right to spell out a sort of SWOT analysis. What are our strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats – and what do we do when the biggest threat is conservatism itself, including being modest and polite? It is exactly right to start at the beginning, communications speaking, to identify what is not working for us and what is working for the opposition. Forget the rest of it – how do we respond to being Alinksyed? Do we turn the other cheek or do we respond in kind? Do we shrug off the falsehoods spouted by blog trolls or do we correct them? Do we just complain about the poor entertainment fare or do we invest in creative conservative programming and boost its ratings? Do we despair over friends and acquaintances not having all the information, or do we post the real deal on facebook? It is up to us, because the establishment really isn’t interested unless it benefits them.

Face it, we lost. This entire election episode was probably dishonest on more levels than any of us will ever know, but the reality remains that since Ronald Reagan, as J.R. Dunn points out in his article named above, the only conservative to effectively defend himself from character assassination, and then only just, because he stood up for himself despite the GOP establishment who still doesn’t like him was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. No one came to his rescue, just as no one came to Sarah Palin’s or Allen West’s or even Dick Cheney’s when horrid things were said about them or they were driven from politics. (Yes, Rush and Ann Coulter may defend conservatives, but did either of them put up the cash to pay a good lawyer to help Sarah Palin when she was being sued into oblivion?) Unless we the conservatives in the trenches take the initiative nothing is going to change. And if we don’t do it, and work to discredit the RINOs and wolves among us, being continually Alinskyed is going to be our lot.

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Categories: 2008 Presidential Election, Conservatives, Culture

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6 replies

  1. Sharing and good read. As well put as I have seen since the election. Conservatives need to realize, as do Republicans that it is time to “belly up to the bar” so to speak and hit as good as we are getting. And we also have to realize that until we realize that the only way the enemy is beaten is by getting off your lazy “self righteous, phony moral” behinds and defeat the enemy first and then debate the issue of how we want our leader to lead this is going to be a never ending battle loss that is destroying the country we all profess to love. Of course this is all dependent on us surviving the next 4 years.

  2. I plan to read more your post and make an additional comment or two later, but for now, I gotta add this: The presidential election is NOT a national election; it is 50 separate presidential elections. And? The Democrats understand this better than do the Republicans – and they have since AT LEAST JFK’s “defeat” of Nixon in 1960. Doubt it? Look at the goings-on in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina this go-around. Do the math. Reality.

  3. Seems to me, communication is a tool and ideas are, too. The reality is money and power and nothing else. The Dems have ridden the social wave, regardless of ideas, logic, morals or any other GOP supporter shibboleths. Dems now stand for the opposite of their stated goals only a few generations ago, putting themselves on top of the current wave. The GOP lost the votes of a bunch of folks who stayed home rather than vote for a guy who didn’t stand for the older GOP values, now socially obsolete. A conservative party today is out of whack with the times…

    As the economy collapses, the trauma may well reverse this, putting the conservative shtick on top for a while, seeking safety. The change-seeking Dems will then seem risky. But they’ll turn on a dime and out-conserve the GOP, betcha!

    “Consistency is a hobgoblin of small minds” comes into memory…

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