The New Ten Commandments for Talking about Politics
Modern conservatives need a new Political Ten Commandments. At the top of this list needs to be "having fun is more important than making a point," thus saith Rob Long. I know, I know, it sounds like a complete contradiction. We are the party of sound logical reasoning, of fiscal rationality and of objective morality. Yet, I am constantly left asking myself, and others, "how are those arguments working out for you?"
The answer most of the time, is "not so well." I'm in my mid-twenties, and stuck in liberal hell, i.e. an urban university. I'm a socially-conservative reformed Christian with small town values, but I've never changed anyone's mind about politics with a Norman Rockwell print and a John Calvin Bible study. You know what makes kids my age stop slack-jawed, dead in their tracks.....an episode of SouthPark portraying Al Gore as a lonely ex-politico, who is slightly touched in the head, desperately trying to get people to pay attention to him by selling them a crisis.
In my opinion, conservatives need to face facts, we'll never change the deep convictions of those we disagree with unless we win over their common sense first. Am I wrong? Who here was won over to conservatism on the basis of first principles? Alternatively, how many simply noticed that the views held by conservatives just pegged life correctly?
Currently liberal social mores dominate entertainment and for the moment, we're stuck on that front. Does that mean we should beat them at their own game? I say no, because I don't think they're playing a primarily political game, just trying to be funny. This is a talent they excel at because they're not hung up on what message they're sending. If there is a plea I can make to conservatives, it's simply this, express yourself well in whatever field you are in, and the message will get through.
The gist is this: Do we as conservatives, get so caught up in making a point that we start to suck at effectively communicating with people? You may not like all the toilet humor in SouthPark, but shouldn't we at least recognize that this silly little show preps more young minds for the truths of conservatism than 90% of their college education? Are we just taking ourselves too seriously?
I know I said a new Ten Commandments and only delivered one. That means I'm headed back up the mountain. You can submit your own suggestions for the other nine commandments by handwriting them on tiny pieces of paper and slipped into the wailing wall, inaudibly uttering them in prayer and/or meditation, pronouncing them verbally to your local oracle or just posting them directly in the comments section below.
For those of you who haven't found your way over to member R.J. Moeller's Podcast, you ought to give it a listen. It's inspiring.