You Say You Want a Revolution: What It Could Actually Take, a Series

 

A waiter comes over to a table of Jewish women. He asks, “Is anything all right?”

It’s okay; I can tell that joke! My wife is Jewish, and she thinks it’s funny. Remember when we could tell harmless jokes to each other? How about you, Ricochet reader? When you look at today’s culture, today’s mass media, see the movies, the TV shows, look at major media in general, ‘Is anything all right?’ This is aimed, but not exclusively, at social conservatives. I often spar with you but you deserve the cultural tools to defend yourselves. When it comes to subject matter, we’ll keep slugging that out the Ricochet way, on the Member Feed. This is about dealing with the media world outside Ricochet.

GMcV alleged “expert advice” has to be taken with this caveat: I made my living in the ways it’s been done before. I don’t, and can’t, know for sure what’s going to work in the future. I’m usually pretty good about why something hasn’t worked in the past. Previous posts on Hollywood Communists and Hollywood Conservatives can always be elaborated on later, but they basically bring the story up to the present. I’ve participated in how long-term change is done in the media and the details of what it costs to actually do it. My one rule: Human nature hasn’t changed over the years. My hunches, and I strongly suspect yours, are largely based on it.

Yes, of course, there are multiple ways that the culture of 60 years from now could be as unimaginably different from today’s as that of 60 years ago. A change of that magnitude takes the moral authority of the decades-long struggle to untangle the effects of legal racial segregation, the institutional tactical cleverness that it once took to divide the cultural “turf” and smartly hand off its sections, 1968-2018 to the very segments of the Left most motivated to explore its boundaries. Doing its equivalent in cultural heft and lasting deep influence would be a big deal that would have to last a long time, decades. It didn’t happen spontaneously for the Left, and it wouldn’t for the Right. Still, there comes a tipping point where that kind of change is so popular it more than pays for itself, more than pays for everything that went into creating it, plus interest, plus opportunity costs, plus the hard to price but genuine satisfaction of making things popular that ought to be popular.

Step back. Much of the daily social change thought of as “liberal” has happened since WWII, and is widely accepted, sometimes led by today’s conservatives. Let’s get this out of the way fast. There are no 1940s-style racists among us; at Ricochet, anyway. Anti-Semitism on the right isn’t a fiftieth of what it was as late as the ’50s, when I was a kid. Even the least feminist of our readers—which is really saying something—doesn’t yearn for a “Handmaid’s Tale” world. This post is largely neutral about the issues. It’s about tactics of expression that some of you might find useful when thinking about remolding public opinion. The point is for the overall, all-enveloping culture outside our website, there is no permissible debate anymore. Apparently too many outsiders react to all of us like they were the line of vengeful, torch-bearing villagers coming up the hill in a Frankenstein movie.

Despite the caricatures of pop culture, most of us—not all of us, of course—made our peace quite some time ago with truck stops stocking copies of Playboy magazine, Raquel Welch going topless for the big kiss scene, and the chances that people may arrive at the altar with at least some sexual experience. By the ’70s, those were no longer the hottest of cultural arguments, not because San Francisco and Greenwich Villlage said so, but because Nashville and Jacksonville came to agree. If an unmarried couple wanted to live together, that was between them and a consenting landlord. That compromise held up pretty well in the Reagan ’80s: if you’re an adult, read what you want, buy any videotape you want. Almost no limits. But keep it out of the broad public arena.

That truce had its friction for both sides in the ’90s. Gays didn’t get anything better than “Don’t ask, don’t tell”.”Forget about marriage; back then, nobody would even give them civil unions. Radical Blacks got Bill Clinton’s Sister Souljah moment and the back of his hand once in office. Feminists were angry and unhappy with the man-obsessed, “do-me” feminism of HBO’s “Sex in the City.” On the other hand, SoCons never got ABC to drop “Ellen” or the occasional bare backside on “NYPD Blue.” SoCons never got Disney to condemn the informal “gay days” at the theme parks, or to sell Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax. Believe it or not, nobody got everything they wanted.

When in the 21st century and how did this unofficial, un-agreed-to national cultural truce unravel? It wasn’t an equal fight; the Left invaded. Taking over the staff of, say, New York’s Whitney Museum was one thing; muscling the NCAA, the NFL, and NASCAR into compliance was another. The right lost specific fights because they’d basically already lost the war a long time ago. Sure, government put a heavy thumb on the scale, but public opinion on a lot of social matters really has shifted, though not nearly as much as pollsters and Hollywood suggest.

There are always valid reasons to be doubtful about the prospects for long-term change and outright cynical about the short term. Let’s not kid ourselves. You and I and other Ricochet readers are a varied bunch who won’t agree on everything. We are cultural allies only up to a point. That expression of the old Left’s, “Fellow Traveler,” says it well. Be realistic. Conservatives ought to know that some policies are not going to be popular without a profound public shift that would have to take decades. In 2019’s world, LGBT-themed marketing by Disney is not going to discourage many grandmas from buying merchandise, from “Frozen” or Kylo Ren masks. To me, that’s okay. I like it. If you don’t agree, you should think about your options. They include transformation.

OK, an analogy. Please bear with me if you will. In 1939, all of the biggest world powers knew that atomic fission could be weaponized. Germany, the UK, Japan, the US and the USSR all had research programs that suggested that an atomic bomb was possible, but the scale of industrial production it would need was so gigantic, so expensive, that not only couldn’t they do it, but each grimly reassured themselves that nobody else was going to be able to either. Scientists and chemical engineers estimated that America would have to spend a breathtaking fortune to isolate even a few grams of fissionable Uranium 235, and at that stage, nobody knew what a bomb’s critical mass was—a kilogram? Ten? A hundred thousand grams? The cost of an entire war to produce just one single bomb? By 1940, that seemed to settle the question for FDR’s advisers.

Then in 1941, the British changed everything. They’d been in the war for a year and a half. America was still standing on the sidelines when UK scientists and military men sent a report to their counterparts in the US. It said, fairly bluntly, that a practical bomb was possible after all, and we’d better start working on it fast, because if we know it, the Nazis know it too. The report said how it could be done, technically and organizationally, with practical, if ultimately optimistic estimates of time and cost. They estimated $100 million but said frankly that it could be ten times that cost.

In the end, it was closer to 20 times that, but the bomb ended the Pacific War and transformed America’s role in the world. The 1941 UK report was what engineers and marketers might call a detailed product definition and packaging specification. It couldn’t anticipate every detail and breakthrough. It was a crucial preliminary blueprint for action. That’s what we’re suggesting that we all take a shot at here; designing a future cultural architecture and guessing at the outside dimensions of a large, generations-long movement with the focus of a Manhattan Project or a Moonshot that could actually make a difference. I’ll suggest ways it could be done. In the comments, you’ll most likely suggest many other ones, almost certainly better ones. After all, if nobody can even so much as imagine it could happen, let alone playing a part in making it happen, then we can all confidently guarantee it won’t.

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There are 126 comments.

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  1. Jon1979 Lincoln

    I think at the moment we’re in a interregnum where those seeking equality have gotten virtually everything they wanted, but because their entire raison d’etre is to complain about oppression and demand more stuff, they can’t stop making demands. And we’re at the point where the demands of the angriest of the protestors is for society to silence their enemies.

    Basically, it’s payback time, where even a corporation as progressive as Google has to have any resistance to The Cause ground into dust, to where every demand met is never good enough for the various Committees on Public Safety. And you are starting to see push-back, in things like the recent jury verdict against Oberlin, or the poll that showed young people’s support for LGBTQ issues is on the downswing, likely due to reports of things like the ongoing legal harassment of Masterpiece Cakeshop, where the activists refuse to take the Supreme Court’s ‘no’ for an answer and, as with the Gibson’s Bakery incident, want to bankrupt/destroy those who won’t conform to group-think.

    Once you go from a social movement that pushes its cause as liberating to one where the main goals are repressive, you create a fertile grounds for counter-action, and even young people know they’re being squeezed on the parameters of what they can and can’t say in 2019 and don’t appreciate it (showing a Gen Zer “Blazing Saddles” and what you could do with comedy 45 years ago must be an amazing thing). So while you can’t turn the clock back to the 1950s, rewinding it at least to the 1980s or 90s should be possible.

     
    • #1
    • June 27, 2019, at 5:18 AM PDT
    • 19 likes
  2. Stad Thatcher

    Gary McVey: Remember when we could tell harmless jokes to each other?

    It used to be when someone didn’t find a joke funny, someone else would tell the person, “Get a life!”

    Now they say, “Get a lawyer.”

    • #2
    • June 27, 2019, at 5:18 AM PDT
    • 19 likes
  3. I Walton Member

    It was the move of so much power to Washington. Washington is an abstraction, it drifts meaninglessly, but grows, but it’s not just meaningless growth. We saw how it could be mobilized under Obama. We can get along with progressives locally, and actually enjoy some some of the kooky local stuff, but the progressive movement is centralization, anti constitutional, anti free market. Their words for about a century, not mine. Which civilization was it that didn’t end because its center built up beyond fixing? Ok, those that were conquered by outsiders before declining. Back to the present, we let them take over the schools and the media, the instrument was primarily the income tax. Can it be reversed? Not a clue, but we’ve all human history, including our own, to show us how it ends. 

    • #3
    • June 27, 2019, at 5:56 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    even young people know they’re being squeezed on the parameters of what they can and can’t say in 2019 and don’t appreciate it

    And this may be where our hope lies: good ol’ fashioned teenage rebellion.

    Telling people what they can’t do or say only makes them want to do or say those things all the more. Right now I think it’s important that the right learn from the left how to organize for action (to borrow the name of Obama’s famous agitators.)

    Here is a good overview and starting place. (I’ve linked to this essay before, and I recommend the whole thing. Here is an excerpt:)

    The only area where grassroots Righties have had actual measurable success in the last couple of decades is gun rights. And there’s a reason for that: literally everything about guns mandates local activism and involvement. State and local firearm laws vary, so you have to know what’s lawful where you live. And unless you have a lot of acreage and are willing to put in the necessary work to build your own range, you need to go someplace to do your shooting, which means a gun club or a range. Which means you’ll be encountering, on a regular basis, people like you who share your self-interest when it comes to your ownership of firearms. You can’t buy guns on Amazon dot com, meaning that you have to go to a gun store or a gun show, which offers chances to meet people. And at a gun show somebody’s probably tabling for something political, or selling books you won’t find in your local Barnes & Noble, or… you know the drill. Guns are onramps to activism. That’s why gun nuts do so well.

    Righties need more onramps.

     

    • #4
    • June 27, 2019, at 6:14 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    Another good excerpt:

    The first thing I’m going to recommend is a decentralized approach I’ve been talking about occasionally for a while. It’s called Five Righties, based on the affinity group structure. Basically, put yourself together with a group of (ideally, but not necessarily) four other Righties you know well who share your politics. Give your group a goofy name. Boom: Five Righties. We’re not doing anything fancy here; these are the principles (cheerfully ripped off in part from Food Not Bombs):

    1. Five Righties is about people, not money; about making positive rightward change, not making a buck.
    2. Five Righties has no formal leaders or headquarters. It’s a tactic, not a movement. Every group is autonomous and makes its own decisions.
    3. Five Righties is dedicated to nonviolent direct action and works for nonviolent social change. It is not a home for garbage people. If that doesn’t work for you, go somewhere else.

    Again, it’s okay if you’re not actually five righties — maybe you start off with two or three or four people. Getting together is the important thing. Once you’ve got your group together, go do stuff. Simple stuff, to start. Leaflets and fliers promoting a simple, broadly appealing Righty message. I’m tired of going to coffeeshops and Ys and bakeries and looking at a bulletin board and seeing a bunch of fliers about Lefty things and no Righty ones. If you want to do more for visibility, pull some fun, silly stunts that don’t do any harm but draw attention to your message.

    Do research on your town — since there are a bunch of you, divide up the work. Remember when you were a kid and wrote out your whole address: The Universe, The Solar System, Earth, America, State, and like that? Do that, but for the politicians who rule you. And their donors. And their allies. And their enemies. Learn who the movers and shakers are in your town. Same thing with your local press: who are the owners, publishers, editors, reporters? What are their interests, beats, vulnerabilities? Get contact information for all of them.

    The most basic pressure tactic is just being a force multiplier: when you call your politicians, there’s five of you, so now instead of one call you’re making five. As you get more practice, and make more friends, you can build up lots of people to call your politicians.

    Learn what other groups exist in your town: churches, clubs, business associations, that kind of thing. Go make friends. Get these friends doing stuff too, making their own groups. That’s how Lefties get numbers: they don’t have one group that tries to turn people out; they get a whole bunch of groups turning people out. The more groups you get, and the more people those groups have, the more visible your numbers are when it comes time for protests and actions.

    • #5
    • June 27, 2019, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  6. Front Seat Cat Member

    How can you start off with a funny joke and end up with talking about the atomic bomb? Bring back Archie Bunker and the Jeffersons and let all the no-no’s rip loose. Remember Joan Rivers, Mel Brooks? Nothing was off the table – and that’s what made it harmless. People are knee-jerk depressing nowadays – triggered by this and that, and you are seeing society socially falling apart. The relief valves were sit-coms, neighbors, faith in God and country, to the point where we helped save a continent, patriotism – now those are bad words. Are we evolving or de-volving? You are right – human nature doesn’t change.

    • #6
    • June 27, 2019, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. ctlaw Coolidge

    Gary McVey: My wife is Jewish

    I imagine your mother-in-law was very disappointed.

    • #7
    • June 27, 2019, at 6:53 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  8. Boss Mongo Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    How can you start off with a funny joke and end up with talking about the atomic bomb? Bring back Archie Bunker and the Jeffersons and let all the no-no’s rip loose. Remember Joan Rivers, Mel Brooks? Nothing was off the table – and that’s what made it harmless.

    Conservatives should push for a national re-screening of Blazing Saddles in theaters. It would help inoculate youths and help them understand what we’re talking about. The over-under betting would be awesome on whether more popcorn was consumed inside the cinema, or outside watching the protests.

    • #8
    • June 27, 2019, at 7:07 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  9. Percival Thatcher

    Stad (View Comment):

    Gary McVey: Remember when we could tell harmless jokes to each other?

    It used to be when someone didn’t find a joke funny, someone else would tell the person, “Get a life!”

    Now they say, “Get a lawyer.”

    It’s worse than that. They don’t say “get a lawyer.” They say “I’m a lawyer.”

    • #9
    • June 27, 2019, at 7:21 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher

    I no longer care what Disney does. They can hold “Pedophile Days” for all I care. They have been scrubbed clean of the last scintilla of nostalgia that I held for them. Muerte al Ratón.

    • #10
    • June 27, 2019, at 7:25 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    When I was younger, the “puritan” impulse seemed to be firmly on the right. Conservatives were the joyless scolds; the left was about freedom of expression no matter how coarse.

    Over the years I’ve slowly watched the two change places. The joyless scolds today are almost exclusively on the left. The people having the most fun are on the right. (And to be fair, “owning the libs” is part of the fun, and it so easy to do.)

    Nobody likes joyless scolds. Nobody likes the left. They are a much smaller group than people realize. It’s just that the left’s influence is maximized by their control of the media. But they are small. Even those who might tend to agree generally with their politics are being shoved rightward by the authoritarian impulses behind all their politics.

    This can work in our favor. Make fun of them. Call out their ridiculousness. “The devil cannot endure to be mocked.”

    • #11
    • June 27, 2019, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  12. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):
    And this may be where our hope lies: good ol’ fashioned teenage rebellion.

    Possibly.

    • #12
    • June 27, 2019, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Mark Camp Member

    Friends:

    I appreciate Drew’s response. The questions raised by the article are very interesting to me, and Drew has responded to them in a thoughtful way.

    Now. I very much enjoy reading, and adding to, the usual stream-of-consciousness Ricochet Conversations.

    But in this case, I (and I’m only one man, as Regis would say) would be even more interested in replies of the kind that Drew gave. 

    So, think it over. If you don’t care, then please ignore this comment. We shall remain comrades and friends.

    Details

    Gary has invited proposals for two specific things

    1. A design for a future cultural architecture
    2. A guess at the outside dimensions of a large, generations-long, focused movement (like the moon shot project) that could actually make a difference.

    I would be interested to hear serious answers to those questions.

    Naturally, all of us would welcome other conversations being started using something in the text as seedstock, so we could pick and choose some threads to follow, in case we are not interested in Gary’s topic right now.

    But what method would be appropriate to start and extend those other discussions: Comments here, following our time-honored custom?

    Or new Conversations?

    In my view, the two questions he asked are so complex, and of such profound importance to many Ricocheteers, that the most appropriate method of starting a digression in this case might be for you to create your own post, rather than employ the current thread.

    For example, perhaps you

    1. dispute Gary’s account of the means that were followed by the Left to achieve the ends so far: the unimaginable successes of the last 60 years. For example, maybe you’ve concluded that they used a single means, like control of the Federal government, rather than the broad-based strategy of cultural change that Gary claims to have observed through his career and studies.
    2. cannot, however, think of any answer to Gary’s questions, which are strictly about the future, not the present nor the past.

    Perhaps we’d both be better off if you developed your theory in a new article, rather than briefly touching on it here.

    1. You would have room to disprove Gary’s observations and clearly develop your counter-theory.
    2. Those of us who are willing to stipulate to his premises, and are interested in the present topic, could read what others thought (i.e., read their answers to his questions) without being distracted by your own (interesting) offshoot topic. We’d read yours later, when we opened your article.

    Or perhaps you wish to

    1. complain about present conditions, giving examples of the reprehensible behavior of the Left which we want to change, and
    2.  give your assessment, that it has left them vulnerable in some way to some design and some project which you are unable or unwilling to specify at the present time.

    Or you feel that ethnic humor, which Gary used only to illustrate his thesis, would be an interesting alternative topic. 

    Etc.

     

     

    • #13
    • June 27, 2019, at 7:43 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. EJHill Podcaster

    Roe was the biggest destructive force in the history of the country, not just because of what it produced in terms of life and death for 61 million unborn children, but because of what it did to the body politic. We no longer got to negotiate and compromise on the biggest changes to societal structure, we just had those changes thrust upon us by a party of five. 

    Other than Heller, almost all of these imposed decisions have gone to the leftists. When you couple this with a national GOP with no stomach for the cultural fights and no agenda beyond tax cuts, you get a situation where the section of the population with the most fervent love of American Constitutionalism begins to sour on the whole project. 

    Hence the rise of populism on the right. And here is where it gets really dangerous. Because instead of taking the moment to ask, “What part did we play in this?” national leaders and opinion makers on both sides have decided to double down on their strategy of alienating the sizable portion of the electorate that made a Trump presidency happen and that is the opposite of creating a Manhattan Project to save the Republic. 

    • #14
    • June 27, 2019, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
  15. GrannyDude Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    When I was younger, the “puritan” impulse seemed to be firmly on the right. Conservatives were the joyless scolds; the left was about freedom of expression no matter how coarse.

    Over the years I’ve slowly watched the two change places. The joyless scolds today are almost exclusively on the left. The people having the most fun are on the right. (And to be fair, “owning the libs” is part of the fun, and it so easy to do.)

    Nobody likes joyless scolds. Nobody likes the left. They are a much smaller group than people realize. It’s just that the left’s influence is maximized by their control of the media. But they are small. Even those who might tend to agree generally with their politics are being shoved rightward by the authoritarian impulses behind all their politics.

    This can work in our favor. Make fun of them. Call out their ridiculousness. “The devil cannot endure to be mocked.”

    You could cut-and-paste this comment directly to my new post, DrewInWisconsin! I like it. Can I quote you?

    • #15
    • June 27, 2019, at 8:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. GrannyDude Member

    Gary, I’m going to pm you—okay?

    • #16
    • June 27, 2019, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    When I was younger, the “puritan” impulse seemed to be firmly on the right. Conservatives were the joyless scolds; the left was about freedom of expression no matter how coarse.

    Over the years I’ve slowly watched the two change places. The joyless scolds today are almost exclusively on the left. The people having the most fun are on the right. (And to be fair, “owning the libs” is part of the fun, and it so easy to do.)

    Nobody likes joyless scolds. Nobody likes the left. They are a much smaller group than people realize. It’s just that the left’s influence is maximized by their control of the media. But they are small. Even those who might tend to agree generally with their politics are being shoved rightward by the authoritarian impulses behind all their politics.

    This can work in our favor. Make fun of them. Call out their ridiculousness. “The devil cannot endure to be mocked.”

    You could cut-and-paste this comment directly to my new post, DrewInWisconsin! I like it. Can I quote you?

    Sure! Quote away!

    • #17
    • June 27, 2019, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Barfly Member

    Gary, this series has promise. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what civilized adults would need to effect a real transformation of culture.

    I think there are enough of us to do that, and there will continue to be enough of us in America for another couple of generations at least, despite the left’s ownership of the educational complex. I’m less sanguine about the rest of the West, but hopeful that at least the remnants of the British empire will be saved too if America makes it.

    I think a twentieth of the adult population would be enough to save us, if they are well networked. They won’t have to be activists, in fact that’d lead to failure. We just need to be able to conduct our communal business openly and securely. A successful moral society in the midst of the morass could be an attractor; the rest would tend to organize itself around that in response.

    So I’m going to try to focus on that network. It also happens that I’m closing out an uncomfortable interlude of … well, I’m looking for good work. We responsible adults need a distributed social computing infrastructure of our own; I want to get to work on that.

    Waiting for your next installment.

    • #18
    • June 27, 2019, at 10:12 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Hank Rhody, on the blockchain Contributor

    (In the late nineties my brothers listened to quite a bit of punk rock. In one of life’s ironies I’ve been enjoying their songs about injustice and revolution more and more these days, while coming at it from an entirely different political direction.)

    • #19
    • June 27, 2019, at 10:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Front Seat Cat Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Friends:

    I appreciate Drew’s response. The questions raised by the article are very interesting to me, and Drew has responded to them in a thoughtful way.

    Now. I very much enjoy reading, and adding to, the usual stream-of-consciousness Ricochet Conversations.

    But in this case, I (and I’m only one man, as Regis would say) would be even more interested in replies of the kind that Drew gave.

    So, think it over. If you don’t care, then please ignore this comment. We shall remain comrades and friends.

    Details

    Gary has invited proposals for two specific things

    1. A design for a future cultural architecture
    2. A guess at the outside dimensions of a large, generations-long, focused movement (like the moon shot project) that could actually make a difference.

    I would be interested to hear serious answers to those questions.

    Naturally, all of us would welcome other conversations being started using something in the text as seedstock, so we could pick and choose some threads to follow, in case we are not interested in Gary’s topic right now.

    But what method would be appropriate to start and extend those other discussions: Comments here, following our time-honored custom?

     

     

     

     

    I don’t know why, but this is what comes to mind when I think about envisioning 1 and 2:

    1. The future cultural architecture if the trajectory stays on track would resemble the big structure that housed the Morlocks in HG Wells The Time Machine.
    2. A generations-long focused movement was formulated decades ago by the big think tanks and it’s just now getting underway – it’s called climate change or global warming. I read the following words on one of the websites around 1996 – it could have been Club of Rome – that said, “we need to “create” a crisis that the world can rally around, like climate change.” I saw it and remembered it because they used the words create and it struck me as odd.
    • #20
    • June 27, 2019, at 11:35 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Buckpasser Member

    Gary McVey: Raquel Welch going topless for the big kiss scene

    Ok, I have to say this. Why am I always the last one to hear about these things!?!?!?

    • #21
    • June 27, 2019, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  22. Sabrdance Member

    I have no idea what I just read, but as one of the SoCons, I gather it was aimed at me. I could speak generally, but if someone would like to break out and bullet point the questions, I’d be happy to take a stab at them.

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Here is a good overview and starting place. (I’ve linked to this essay before, and I recommend the whole thing. Here is an excerpt:)

     

    Righties need more onramps.

     

    I like David Hines, too. I tried implementing his 5 Righties idea with the College Republicans here. Something like 35 people expressed interest. The number who actually showed up was precisely 1. And then zero.

    As for On-Ramps, I agree -but what on-ramps do we have? Churches. Shooting Clubs. What else? The Churches and the Shooting Clubs are exactly what the Left is attacking. And half our own people are just standing there befuddled by the whole thing. Some of our activists try to get things going online -they get shut down. Most recently was the alternative to twitter that Apple killed. And again, half our own people are just standing their befuddled rambling on about free markets.

    Hines is more correct than he knows: conservatives don’t understand organization. The people who do understand organization and are vaguely right-leaning don’t want to help the rest of us. Those organizations -Churches, mainly -that do understand organization and are heavily right leaning, are under active attack. And our own people don’t want to defend them -let alone go on the attack ourselves.

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    When I was younger, the “puritan” impulse seemed to be firmly on the right. Conservatives were the joyless scolds; the left was about freedom of expression no matter how coarse.

    Over the years I’ve slowly watched the two change places. The joyless scolds today are almost exclusively on the left. The people having the most fun are on the right. (And to be fair, “owning the libs” is part of the fun, and it so easy to do.)

    Nobody likes joyless scolds. Nobody likes the left. They are a much smaller group than people realize. It’s just that the left’s influence is maximized by their control of the media. But they are small. 

    This can work in our favor. Make fun of them. Call out their ridiculousness. “The devil cannot endure to be mocked.”

    Those puritans were the ones holding the defensive lines. It is the loss of those lines that let the Left take over. I am beyond bitter at the griping of people who shot their defenders 40 years ago and are now complaining that their new overlords or worse. And I realize this may not apply to you, personally. Mostly I’m still pissed at Rob Long for railing against the SoCons for trying to impeach Clinton, and then turning around and railing against us for running for the small defense Trump offers.

    • #22
    • June 27, 2019, at 11:57 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  23. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    Sabrdance (View Comment):
    Those puritans were the ones holding the defensive lines. It is the loss of those lines that let the Left take over.

    Well, yes and no. I never thought that right-wing puritans were as awful (or as puritanical) that the left insisted we were. So much of the fears they whipped up felt invented and overblown. (The Handmaid’s Tale is a good example. Atwood’s fever dreams of right-wing oppression was just complete nonsense even back then. I am amazed the left thinks it’s happening today.)

    I am beyond bitter at the griping of people who shot their defenders 40 years ago and are now complaining that their new overlords or worse.

    I’m mainly bitter about the “libertarians” who look at the two sides and decide to vote for the Democrats because they don’t want to have anything to do with those icky conservatives. Libertarians who should be the natural enemies of Socialists embraced the socialist candidate in 2008 and 2012, and proclaimed their own righteousness for doing it.

    Done with those people. So done.

    Mostly I’m still pissed at Rob Long for railing against the SoCons for trying to impeach Clinton, and then turning around and railing against us for running for the small defense Trump offers.

    I still hear those echoes of Rob Long telling conservatives to stop complaining about media bias. To stop worrying about it. That it’s not a big deal.

    Has he finally figured it out?

    • #23
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:10 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Hang On Member

    This is fantastic. I get SO tired of complaining and then nothing, no idea for improvement or implementation. I wish there were more Winston Shelton’s on the right.

    • #24
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:18 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Mark Camp Member

    Hang On (View Comment):
    This is fantastic. I get SO tired of complaining and then nothing, no idea for improvement or implementation. I wish there were more Winston Shelton’s on the right.

    Hm. That’s actually what I was trying to say above, in my lengthy comment.

    But I used the max allowed number of words in a Comment to say it.

    The value of your version (measured in number of words written) is much, much lower.

    • #25
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    Sabrdance (View Comment):
    As for On-Ramps, I agree -but what on-ramps do we have? Churches. Shooting Clubs. What else?

    I think his point about local gun groups is that they pretty much require people to understand the laws and organize locally. So these people all know each other, see each other at events, and know exactly who to contact when necessary.

    Other issues don’t require that kind of local organization. But maybe should. And those are the on-ramps we need.

    Churches are a very different sort of animal. Even among Evangelical churches with largely homogeneous political beliefs, you’re going to have difficulty finding consensus on what should be important. You will also find a very strong impulse to remain as apolitical as possibly (at least, in my part of the country). Organizing for anything that could be considered outreach is like herding cats. If there’s even a hint of it being political you will spend a lot of energy trying to navigate the potential minefield.

    • #26
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Titus Techera Contributor

    The revolution will come when conservatives will force rich Republican, conservative, libertarian old people to pay vast amounts of money for the development of another system of political communications. Something that’s not simply a browser, nor simply a social network, but which can allow non-Progs to thrive in the digital world.

    This would mean a new public space. It would require untrammeled dedication to talent in technology, political philosophy, & the arts. It would involve vast resources from universities, indeed, taking over some universities, & it would involve more respect for places in America that aren’t metropolises. Perhaps also the conservative take over of a few metropolises that aren’t really Progressive.

    Stop me if you’ve had enough of insane things that aren’t throwing money at garbage provocateurs, garbage political consultants, & garbage intellectual proposals that don’t matter to any electorate.

    • #27
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:35 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    The revolution will come when conservatives will force rich Republican, conservative, libertarian old people to pay vast amounts of money for the development of another system of political communications. Something that’s not simply a browser, nor simply a social network, but which can allow non-Progs to thrive in the digital world.

    I’m not interested in conservatives creating their own digital public square, and having a “separate but equal” system. I’m interested in SMASHING THE CURRENT SYSTEM INTO TINY BITS!

    This would mean a new public space. It would require untrammeled dedication to talent in technology, political philosophy, & the arts. It would involve vast resources from universities, indeed, taking over some universities, & it would involve more respect for places in America that aren’t metropolises. Perhaps also the conservative take over of a few metropolises that aren’t really Progressive.

    So, basically, the long march through the institutions. Yes.

    • #28
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  29. Hang On Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    This is fantastic. I get SO tired of complaining and then nothing, no idea for improvement or implementation. I wish there were more Winston Shelton’s on the right.

    Hm. That’s actually what I was trying to say above, in my lengthy comment.

    But I used the max allowed number of words in a Comment to say it.

    The value of your version (measured in number of words written) is much, much lower.

    I think a huge problem on the right is the leaders are people with radio programs who write books and appear on television a lot. If they solved problems, they think their jobs would go away. In fact it would be the opposite and Winston Shelton’s example proves it. If you solve people’s problems, word of mouth alone will cause there to be a path beaten to your door.

     

    • #29
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Titus Techera Contributor

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    The revolution will come when conservatives will force rich Republican, conservative, libertarian old people to pay vast amounts of money for the development of another system of political communications. Something that’s not simply a browser, nor simply a social network, but which can allow non-Progs to thrive in the digital world.

    I’m not interested in conservatives creating their own digital public square, and having a “separate but equal” system. I’m interested in SMASHING THE CURRENT SYSTEM INTO TINY BITS!

    This would mean a new public space. It would require untrammeled dedication to talent in technology, political philosophy, & the arts. It would involve vast resources from universities, indeed, taking over some universities, & it would involve more respect for places in America that aren’t metropolises. Perhaps also the conservative take over of a few metropolises that aren’t really Progressive.

    So, basically, the long march through the institutions. Yes.

    I can clarify things a bit, since you get such wildly diverging answers to the different parts of the same plan. I am convinced that in five years, facebook & twitter will be irrelevant, like TV is today. It’s not about separate but equal or any of the previous ideas. It’s about creating a new public space that’s all-American. Hence, not dominated by Progs. Digital technology will transform American habits, as every other political communications technology did starting with print, moving on to telegraph, radio, & TV, which is now dying off. We’re either going to be ready for it, or keep obsessing over foolish details of a recent past whose arbitrariness & impermanence would in the process become fetishes & nostalgia-

    • #30
    • June 27, 2019, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
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