Emotional Politics

Recently by Brian Wilson: It Made My Teeth Hurt

A close friend who has the distinct pleasure [sic] of working deep in the bowls of the Logic Free Zone (Washington, DC for the First Time Reader), wrote to me with the following experience and extrapolation. I believe his insight and observations would be of interest to astute LRC readers.

"You cannot dissuade a person from a position with reason and facts if reason and facts did not determine the position in the first place."

The eternal hurdle of conservatism in the minds of a large component of the electorate – perhaps even a majority, we will learn in November – is that "it sounds mean." I am constantly told that Leftists in general and Obama in particular have the upper hand "because they sound nice, like they care." I am now persuaded, after decades of ardent resistance to the idea, that this analysis is both perceptive and correct.

I am by no means a Romney fan, he ranked eleventh among the ten GOP candidates for me, but I believe that another term of this current communist cabal will bring an end to the United States of America. I have made no secret of my conclusion that this outcome is nearly inevitable, but I keep hoping and praying that the nation will come to its senses, but I do not see evidence of that hope coming to fruition. Sometimes a brief experiential vignette brings further clarity to my thought.

Last Monday I was in the waiting room of the car dealer service center biding my time until the shuttle took me to work while the car was being repaired. The television was on and it seemed like every advertisement was either by Romney or Obama. The response of the rest of the patrons was startling in its vehemence. When Romney was on the screen the virulent hostility of every single person (except me) was palpable. I was taken aback by the venomous hatred, and several of the observers expressed out loud a desire to literally kill Romney themselves. Why? Because, "He is going to take away our stuff!" An Obama appearance was greeted with enthusiasm equal to the previous hatred as these folks expressed an exhortation to "Protect our boy so he can keep giving us our stuff."

When I mentioned this to my wife and my adult daughters, sensible conservative pro-life Godly women all, they concurred with the general thesis of this essay. Conservatives "sound mean" and are falling farther and farther behind when they try to make reasoned, factual arguments. The vast majority of the electorate is immune to factual arguments, they aver, because the world is now governed by rampant emotionalism, and the Leftists are simply far more skilled at using irrational, emotional manipulation.(Emphasis added) In my ladies' assessments, the GOP has to make emotional arguments to counter the Left and connect with the electorate, and they (conservatives/GOP) are simply incapable to doing so effectively.

Indeed, conservatism, with its message of self responsibility, probity, temperance, hard work, and virtue is a tough sell when the opposition is simply making promises to give away more stuff to freeloaders, moochers, and looters. Remember the apocryphal story, probably fictional but nevertheless imbued with truth, of the election for third grade class president when one candidate outlined and agenda while his opponent merely promised free ice cream and more play time, thus winning in a landslide? That is the electorate today. Future be damned, give me my ice cream!

While my ladies agreed with the facts and rationality of Romney's "47%" comments, they were unanimous in thinking it lost the election for the Republicans because the news media has been able to frame the issue so that it "sounds" like Romney does not care. On the other hand Obama "sounds" like he cares even though he is spewing provable lies. Much of the electorate simply does not care about facts or reason. When I see an unrepentant collectivist miscreant essentially tied for the electorate's affection, I have to agree. In a factual, rational world he would have about 2% of the electorate in his corner. Five generations after Antonio Gramsci formulated the "march through the institutions" for the radical Left, who can dispute the observation that the collectivists control every meaningful institution critical to forming the thoughts, perceptions, and attitudes of Western Civilization – schools, courts, churches, media, popular culture? As I have said before, the upcoming election is a not so much a judgment on Romney or Obama, it is a revelation of us as a nation.

The Romney campaign reassures us with the notion that its non-stop carpet bombing of campaign commercials in October will change the outcome. I wish they were right, but fear they are not. By that point the "imprinting" will have already been complete, and the effect of the Left getting into the public's mind first with brilliantly propagandistic emotionally charged advertisements, and the "persuasion" will be complete. Combined with a 100:1 advantage in "news" media presentations on behalf of DaWon, I wonder if the outcome is already predetermined.

Tea Party activists argue that it's all about "getting out the vote" and that is in great part true. However, we forget the other side has a streak of desperate passion working in its favor. All of those people in the waiting room of the car dealer are desperate to "keep their stuff" and they will crawl across glass to vote for "their boy." We would like to think that people who work for a living are highly motivated to toss out this malignant poseur, but we forget that people who vote for a living are even more motivated to keep their goodies coming.

If I am correct, it may be that Matt Bracken and James Wesley, Rawles are optimists.

Prepare people, prepare. The future is a chaotic place.