Our own Dave Carter recently sat down with our own Susan Quinn to discuss her recent Ricochet post, It’s Time To Fight Back, which evidently is a reversal of sorts for Susan. Dave writes, “whereas she previously took more of a live-and-let-live approach to attacks from the left, Susan has decided that if we on the right don’t fight back, and do so aggressively and relentlessly, we risk losing the debate and the country. She explained her position with candor and conviction during our conversation. Her’s is a compelling case worth hearing.” We think you’ll agree.

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  1. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Larry Koler (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I think a great many liberals really do think that conservatives are mean, dishonest, and stupid. I think a lot of conservatives assume that liberals are mean, dishonest, and evil.

    Don’t you have this backwards, Henry? ?

    Well, more incomplete than backwards: I think a lot of [conservatives, liberals] really do think that a lot of [liberals, conservatives] are mean, dishonest, stupid, and evil.

    At the extremes, we tend to hold each other in low regard.

    But I do believe — and this is something I’ll bore everyone with at some length soon — that the extremes matter much less than the vast middle, which is generally conservative and apolitical. There, in my opinion, is where the cultural war can best be fought — and where it must be fought.

    Then the ONLY way is to address the media as the chief obstacle to reaching the vast middle. This is the 800 lb. gorilla that most people on our side ignore or try desperately to minimize.

    Well, I’ve never ignored the role of our atrociously biased media in politics, but how we go about “addressing” it is up for grabs.

    I don’t believe that the media need be an obstacle. Talk radio and the internet have given us potent alternatives. But, more than that, I think just speaking up would be extraordinarily valuable: each of us can persuade people in a way MSNBC can not, through direct contact and thoughtful discussion.

    I don’t think most people are strongly interested in politics. But most people think much of the left’s agenda is wrong-minded, and would feel freer to express that opinion if they knew others agreed.

    I believe there is no practical way to change the media from the top down — short of having conservatives actually purchase the networks (something which I’d enjoy seeing happen). I think change has to be driven from the bottom, from the grass roots, by those of us who are political and who are passionate about this stuff.

    Liberalism comes from the top down, because people really don’t want it. It has to be beaten into them by an elite institutionalized pop-culture machine. Conservatism is what people think and say when they’re sitting around the kitchen table. It’s real life. I think we have to make it easier for people to say what they’re thinking out loud. And we do that by speaking up, so that so many of us are doing it that no one can point and say “there’s the bigot, get him!”

    • #31
  2. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Conservatism is what people think and say when they’re sitting around the kitchen table. It’s real life. I think we have to make it easier for people to say what they’re thinking out loud.

    Isn’t that what happened in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin?

    Further progress is going to be really difficult on an

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I believe there is no practical way to change the media from the top down — short of having conservatives actually purchase the networks (something which I’d enjoy seeing happen). I think change has to be driven from the bottom, from the grass roots, by those of us who are political and who are passionate about this stuff.

    Our passions are easy to hear on talk radio, but there is nobody from the other side listening in.

    No conservatives, even the very deep pockets guys, are going to pay current prices for Leftist media companies.  First we have to so thoroughly discredit them that they lose ratings, thus driving down their advertising revenues, thus reducing their value, until their price is low enough to attract a conservative buyer.

    Hence, take up the cry:

    “fake news!”
    everyday conversations basis.  A very large share of Democrat voters live in bubbles.  They don’t know anybody who voted for Trump.

    • #32
  3. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Dave, love your podcast.

    Your interview style is disarming and down home. A pleasure to listen to.

    Well thank you very much, Kevin!  It helps to have great guests, which I’ve been able to find in abundance, as my chat with Susan demonstrates.

    • #33
  4. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    MJBubba (View Comment):
    Hence, take up the cry:

    “fake news!”
    everyday conversations basis. A very large share of Democrat voters live in bubbles. They don’t know anybody who voted for Trump.

    That’s a good start. And I won’t pretend that there are any easy answers.

    The reality is that the major unidirectional institutions are leftist. I’m referring to those institutions that allow someone to speak without providing a practical opportunity for the opposition to express a differing viewpoint: television, universities, movies, schools, newspapers and print journalism, and non-talk radio. All of these lean left, and can safely express leftist views without the danger that someone with more common sense will call them on it.

    In contrast, those institutions that allow for and encourage feedback — talk radio, and much of the blogosphere — lean right. It’s hard to make preposterous arguments when people are able to logically refute them. Consider Air America as an example of what happens when you try.

    Unidirectional institutions are going to continue to lean left. They attract leftists, because they provide the only forum in which progressives can safely peddle their wild and untested (or, in the case of socialism, for example, thoroughly tested and demonstrated to be disastrous) ideas.

    But our circles of influence are larger than most of us think, even without the benefit of our own broadcast studios. Talk to the people around you. Be rational, reasonable, respectful, and honest. But don’t compromise when you can help it, and remember that, when you get into a mini-debate in public, it’s often the audience around you that is going to absorb your message, not the person with whom you’re disagreeing.

    • #34
  5. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Then the ONLY way is to address the media as the chief obstacle to reaching the vast middle. This is the 800 lb. gorilla that most people on our side ignore or try desperately to minimize.

    Well, I’ve never ignored the role of our atrociously biased media in politics, but how we go about “addressing” it is up for grabs.

    First, we have to decide that it is an essential part of the fight. Most conservatives can’t even do this part.

    I don’t believe that the media need be an obstacle. Talk radio and the internet have given us potent alternatives. But, more than that, I think just speaking up would be extraordinarily valuable: each of us can persuade people in a way MSNBC can not, through direct contact and thoughtful discussion.

    This puts you right in the mold of the standard Republican. “Do nothing because we don’t know how and there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

    How many percentage points does the media give the Dems in most contests? Some studies show it’s 10 to 20 percent! That’s worth fight over.

    I don’t think most people are strongly interested in politics. But most people think much of the left’s agenda is wrong-minded, and would feel freer to express that opinion if they knew others agreed.

    I believe there is no practical way to change the media from the top down — short of having conservatives actually purchase the networks (something which I’d enjoy seeing happen). I think change has to be driven from the bottom, from the grass roots, by those of us who are political and who are passionate about this stuff.

    Purchasing is a delaying pipe dream. And is not necessary if the media is de-legitimized like Trump is doing. Talking down a product is very successful. Republicans are scared of doing this.

    The high ground is the media and the left has wrested that from us — this was done long ago and the standard issue Republican does not know how to fight this. It’s essential that we learn from Trump on this.

    Liberalism comes from the top down, because people really don’t want it. It has to be beaten into them by an elite institutionalized pop-culture machine. Conservatism is what people think and say when they’re sitting around the kitchen table. It’s real life. I think we have to make it easier for people to say what they’re thinking out loud. And we do that by speaking up, so that so many of us are doing it that no one can point and say “there’s the bigot, get him!”

    Yah, that will work.

    • #35
  6. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Larry Koler (View Comment):
    This puts you right in the mold of the standard Republican. “Do nothing because we don’t know how and there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

     

    Seriously?

    This kind of thing brings me up short. I think it would be more productive if we didn’t say things like that. In fact, I’m not a “do nothing” conservative. I’m actually really active in spreading conservative ideas, and I think I’m even sometimes effective at it.

    When people turn a discussion of ideas into an exercise in labeling — and it’s happened to me several times now on Ricochet (and elsewhere, of course) — it puts people on the defensive and distracts from what’s really worthy of debate.

    I don’t think that it’s essential that we solve the problem of biased media in order to tilt the masses to the right and make a crucial difference. It would be great if we could, but I don’t think it’s essential. You and I might disagree about that. We should talk about what we disagree about, without slapping labels (RINO, neocon, do-nothing Republican, whatever) on each other based on what are often minor, subtle, or poorly understood differences.

    I’ll probably read the rest of your post later, and comment on it.

     

     

    • #36
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I don’t think that it’s essential that we solve the problem of biased media in order to tilt the masses to the right and make a crucial difference. It would be great if we could, but I don’t think it’s essential. You and I might disagree about that. We should talk about what we disagree about, without slapping labels (RINO, neocon, do-nothing Republican, whatever) on each other based on what are often minor, subtle, or poorly understood differences.

    I agree, Henry. When we use labels, the intention is usually to dismiss the other person as unworthy of our consideration; it’s often a lazy action. It also tries to force a person into a mold that exists in the person’s mind, and few of us fit into molds without our feet dangling out. You are supporting not only a different attitude, but you are also supporting action that is fearless and needed. Yippee!

    • #37
  8. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Great interview for both the interviewer and interviewee, and it’s cool that my thoughts (however indirectly) inspired it.  And yes, my name was pronounced correctly.

    My thoughts on the morality of what we should and shouldn’t do are somewhat more nuanced than Racette or Quinn’s.  It’s an important discussion, but I believe at this point one of secondary importance.  We need to get on the same page regarding the belief that we’ve got to fight before discussing in too much detail all the ways we shouldn’t fight.  Nevertheless, there are leftist tactics I find off-limits, although the time to discuss them isn’t necessarily when so many on our side are already using “morality” as an excuse to do nothing effective.  Virtually anything we might do will be decried by someone on the right as unseemly.  Thus, perhaps it’s a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but I’ve heard enough “we should never this”, “we should never that”, and “we’re better than that” to last me quite a while.  Yes, I know that one of these days the wolf comes, but he isn’t here yet.

    And no, I heard no such annoyances during the interview.

    Also, I only knew this interview even happened because I happened to read The Daily Shot on the day it was plugged.  I’m glad I found it.

    • #38
  9. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    As for the debate on this thread here, I believe it’s essential to fight on all fronts.  This includes either de-legitimizing or straightening out the media and proactively sharing conservative ideas with our friends and family.  The Left got where it is today one news report, one silly regulation, one club changing its bylaws, and one backyard barbecue where the conservative was afraid to speak up at a time.  So we’ve got to respond by fighting leftism wherever it springs up, be it on CNN or in the quilting club.

    • #39
  10. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Martel (View Comment):
    Nevertheless, there are leftist tactics I find off-limits, although the time to discuss them isn’t necessarily when so many on our side are already using “morality” as an excuse to do nothing effective.

    I think this is an imagined problem. I don’t think we have a crisis of hand-wringing on the right. Nor do I think we have a lot of proponents of violence, lawlessness, or wanton disrespect on the right. I think this is mostly a tempest in a teacup.

    What we have, I believe, is a right that, for reasons having little to do with honor or fear of being barbarians, and a great deal to do with a reluctance to come out and say what many of us are thinking, is reluctant to speak out with conviction.

    I am completely with you, Charles, in supporting greater energy, commitment, enthusiasm, fierceness, in-your-face boldness, fight-picking Devil-may-care mix-it-up verbal fisticuffs with the whinging pansies of the left.

    Since no one, as near as I can tell, is calling for right-wing violence, and no one, as far as I can tell, is calling for Caspar Milquetoast timidity and passivity, I’m all in favor of us moving on to practical, specific, and clear discussions of what we should be doing — with an emphasis on clarity.

     

     

    • #40
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Martel (View Comment):
    Great interview for both the interviewer and interviewee, and it’s cool that my thoughts (however indirectly) inspired it. And yes, my name was pronounced correctly.

    My thoughts on the morality of what we should and shouldn’t do are somewhat more nuanced than Racette or Quinn’s. It’s an important discussion, but I believe at this point one of secondary importance. We need to get on the same page regarding the belief that we’ve got to fight before discussing in too much detail all the ways we shouldn’t fight. Nevertheless, there are leftist tactics I find off-limits, although the time to discuss them isn’t necessarily when so many on our side are already using “morality” as an excuse to do nothing effective. Virtually anything we might do will be decried by someone on the right as unseemly. Thus, perhaps it’s a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but I’ve heard enough “we should never this”, “we should never that”, and “we’re better than that” to last me quite a while. Yes, I know that one of these days the wolf comes, but he isn’t here yet.

    And no, I heard no such annoyances during the interview.

    Also, I only knew this interview even happened because I happened to read The Daily Shot on the day it was plugged. I’m glad I found it.

    I’m so sorry, Martel. This podcast stuff is new to me. I’m glad you found it. Not only was your OP helpful to my writing, but you have given me a lot to think about, and I know that Hank was moved, too. I like your idea about just simply trying some stuff rather than feeling like we have to define every action; all we’ll do is get bogged down in ideas rather than doing something.

    If I reference you in my next podcast, I’ll be sure to let you know! ;-)

    • #41
  12. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Martel (View Comment):
    As for the debate on this thread here, I believe it’s essential to fight on all fronts. This includes either de-legitimizing or straightening out the media and proactively sharing conservative ideas with our friends and family. The Left got where it is today one news report, one silly regulation, one club changing its bylaws, and one backyard barbecue where the conservative was afraid to speak up at a time. So we’ve got to respond by fighting leftism wherever it springs up, be it on CNN or in the quilting club.

    ABSOLUTELY!

    It’s easy to slip into a this is the ONE thing we have to do mentality. Shoot, I do that too. But you’re right, this is a fight that must be fought on every front, from the level of the family to the public forums. A few will attend protests; others of us will speak out on social media and within our communities. All of us should be raising our kids with conservative values and talking to our friends about them.

     

    • #42
  13. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Martel (View Comment):
    Nevertheless, there are leftist tactics I find off-limits, although the time to discuss them isn’t necessarily when so many on our side are already using “morality” as an excuse to do nothing effective.

    I think this is an imagined problem. I don’t think we have a crisis of hand-wringing on the right. Nor do I think we have a lot of proponents of violence, lawlessness, or wanton disrespect on the right. I think this is mostly a tempest in a teacup.

    Lindsay Graham is among those who wring their hands quite frequently.  Romney’s campaign was hardly aggressive, nor was McCain’s (with the exception of Palin).  The rhetoric of our elected officials very rarely comes even close to what comes out of Maxine Waters virtually every day.  We’re hand-wringing.

    What we have, I believe, is a right that, for reasons having little to do with honor or fear of being barbarians, and a great deal to do with a reluctance to come out and say what many of us are thinking, is reluctant to speak out with conviction.

    Which sounds a lot like “a crisis of hand-wringing” to me, albeit for a somewhat different reason than I cite.

    I am completely with you, Charles, in supporting greater energy, commitment, enthusiasm, fierceness, in-your-face boldness, fight-picking Devil-may-care mix-it-up verbal fisticuffs with the whinging pansies of the left.

    Since no one, as near as I can tell, is calling for right-wing violence, and no one, as far as I can tell, is calling for Caspar Milquetoast timidity and passivity, I’m all in favor of us movng on to practical, specific, and clear discussions of what we should be doing — with an emphasis on clarity.

    Very few of us overtly “call[] for Caspar Milquetoast timidity and passivity, they just object to anything we do that isn’t timid and passive, instead using adjectives like “dignified” and “strategic” so as not to be “unrealistic”.

    • #43
  14. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Martel (View Comment):
    Great interview for both the interviewer and interviewee, and it’s cool that my thoughts (however indirectly) inspired it. And yes, my name was pronounced correctly.

    My thoughts on the morality of what we should and shouldn’t do are somewhat more nuanced than Racette or Quinn’s. It’s an important discussion, but I believe at this point one of secondary importance. We need to get on the same page regarding the belief that we’ve got to fight before discussing in too much detail all the ways we shouldn’t fight. Nevertheless, there are leftist tactics I find off-limits, although the time to discuss them isn’t necessarily when so many on our side are already using “morality” as an excuse to do nothing effective. Virtually anything we might do will be decried by someone on the right as unseemly. Thus, perhaps it’s a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but I’ve heard enough “we should never this”, “we should never that”, and “we’re better than that” to last me quite a while. Yes, I know that one of these days the wolf comes, but he isn’t here yet.

    And no, I heard no such annoyances during the interview.

    Also, I only knew this interview even happened because I happened to read The Daily Shot on the day it was plugged. I’m glad I found it.

    I’m so sorry, Martel. This podcast stuff is new to me. I’m glad you found it. Not only was your OP helpful to my writing, but you have given me a lot to think about, and I know that Hank was moved, too. I like your idea about just simply trying some stuff rather than feeling like we have to define every action; all we’ll do is get bogged down in ideas rather than doing something.

    If I reference you in my next podcast, I’ll be sure to let you know! ?

    “Hank was moved“?  Thanks for alerting me.  On the one hand, I was considering seeing if I could angle to get interviewed myself, but now that I know this I’d better not.  I wouldn’t want to hear the poor guy break down into tears during his podcast.

    • #44
  15. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Martel (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Martel (View Comment):
    Great interview for both the interviewer and interviewee, and it’s cool that my thoughts (however indirectly) inspired it. And yes, my name was pronounced correctly.

    My thoughts on the morality of what we should and shouldn’t do are somewhat more nuanced than Racette or Quinn’s. It’s an important discussion, but I believe at this point one of secondary importance. We need to get on the same page regarding the belief that we’ve got to fight before discussing in too much detail all the ways we shouldn’t fight. Nevertheless, there are leftist tactics I find off-limits, although the time to discuss them isn’t necessarily when so many on our side are already using “morality” as an excuse to do nothing effective. Virtually anything we might do will be decried by someone on the right as unseemly. Thus, perhaps it’s a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but I’ve heard enough “we should never this”, “we should never that”, and “we’re better than that” to last me quite a while. Yes, I know that one of these days the wolf comes, but he isn’t here yet.

    And no, I heard no such annoyances during the interview.

    Also, I only knew this interview even happened because I happened to read The Daily Shot on the day it was plugged. I’m glad I found it.

    I’m so sorry, Martel. This podcast stuff is new to me. I’m glad you found it. Not only was your OP helpful to my writing, but you have given me a lot to think about, and I know that Hank was moved, too. I like your idea about just simply trying some stuff rather than feeling like we have to define every action; all we’ll do is get bogged down in ideas rather than doing something.

    If I reference you in my next podcast, I’ll be sure to let you know! ?

    “Hank was moved“? Thanks for alerting me. On the one hand, I was considering seeing if I could angle to get interviewed myself, but now that I know this I’d better not. I wouldn’t want to hear the poor guy break down into tears during his podcast.

    *sigh*

    Way to build bridges, Chuck. Come on. I’m calling you neither a bloodthirsty rabble-rouser nor a paper tiger. Let’s acknowledge that we’re on the same side and talk about how, specifically, we can more productively engage the other side.

    • #45
  16. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Martel (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Martel (View Comment):
    Great interview for both the interviewer and interviewee, and it’s cool that my thoughts (however indirectly) inspired it. And yes, my name was pronounced correctly.

    My thoughts on the morality of what we should and shouldn’t do are somewhat more nuanced than Racette or Quinn’s. It’s an important discussion, but I believe at this point one of secondary importance. We need to get on the same page regarding the belief that we’ve got to fight before discussing in too much detail all the ways we shouldn’t fight. Nevertheless, there are leftist tactics I find off-limits, although the time to discuss them isn’t necessarily when so many on our side are already using “morality” as an excuse to do nothing effective. Virtually anything we might do will be decried by someone on the right as unseemly. Thus, perhaps it’s a case of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but I’ve heard enough “we should never this”, “we should never that”, and “we’re better than that” to last me quite a while. Yes, I know that one of these days the wolf comes, but he isn’t here yet.

    And no, I heard no such annoyances during the interview.

    Also, I only knew this interview even happened because I happened to read The Daily Shot on the day it was plugged. I’m glad I found it.

    I’m so sorry, Martel. This podcast stuff is new to me. I’m glad you found it. Not only was your OP helpful to my writing, but you have given me a lot to think about, and I know that Hank was moved, too. I like your idea about just simply trying some stuff rather than feeling like we have to define every action; all we’ll do is get bogged down in ideas rather than doing something.

    If I reference you in my next podcast, I’ll be sure to let you know! ?

    “Hank was moved“? Thanks for alerting me. On the one hand, I was considering seeing if I could angle to get interviewed myself, but now that I know this I’d better not. I wouldn’t want to hear the poor guy break down into tears during his podcast.

    *sigh*

    Way to build bridges, Chuck. Come on. I’m calling you neither a bloodthirsty rabble-rouser nor a paper tiger. Let’s acknowledge that we’re on the same side and talk about how, specifically, we can more productively engage the other side.

    I’m assuming you wanted to quote another comment.

    Yes, we’re on the same side in the most important sense, and that counts for tons.  However, on the one hand you say we need more fight (good), but on the other you seem to say we’re not particularly “hand-wringing”.  If we’re not, then what do we need to change?

    • #46
  17. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Martel (View Comment):
    I’m assuming you wanted to quote another comment.

    No. I was responding to what I took to be snarkiness. But fuggedaboudit.  Let’s move on.

    Martel (View Comment):
    However, on the one hand you say we need more fight (good), but on the other you seem to say we’re not particularly “hand-wringing”. If we’re not, then what do we need to change?

    Very short answer: I’m distinguishing between “hand-wringing” about not overstepping bounds (of which I think there’s very little), and the natural disinclination to speak up out of fear of being perceived as a bigot, bore, Neanderthal, sexist creep, or prude (which I think is too common).

    Now I’m going to go write a post expanding on my thoughts about what conservatives should do.

    • #47
  18. Rick Banyan Member
    Rick Banyan
    @RickBanyan

    Susan, I thought you did a good job and, if you were nervous, you didn’t sound like it.

    I think one of the problems with pushing back is that those of us on the right value and love our friends and family who are on the political left and don’t want to alienate them. Then there is the problem of what to say or not say in the work place. I teach in a southern California school. You can count the number of Republican/conservative teachers and staff on one hand. (We have a secret handshake.) My general rule is: keep your head down and don’t PO the boss. The boss is a garden variety lefty and would not take kindly to me explaining why charter schools are worth a try.

    So, how about this–some of us can be samurai and others of us can be ninjas. You samurai can wield the katana of truth and I’ll sneak around and whisper in someone’s ear how market solutions might be best in this situation. I look better in black anyway.

    • #48
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rick Banyan (View Comment):
    So, how about this–some of us can be samurai and others of us can be ninjas. You samurai can wield the katana of truth and I’ll sneak around and whisper in someone’s ear how market solutions might be best in this situation. I look better in black anyway.

    Good to see you, Rick! I like this analogy. But I think you are more than you think. One strategy you might consider, probably outside of work, is to push back when people attack Republicans or their positions. For example, if a Lefty friend said, “They want charter schools, which don’t work, so they can end the public education system.” I might say in return, “Actually, they’ve begun to do a better job of holding the charter school accountable, and they are doing a pretty darn good job. And by the way, charter schools are part of the public school system!” You’d have to find the topics that speak to you, and you don’t have to speak out every time someone puts out false information, but I feel responsible for at least correcting the record. And by the way, if people demonize the Right, I at least say some thing like, “People in glass houses . . . ” Just suggestions. Can you imagine doing that at all?

    • #49
  20. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Larry Koler (View Comment):
    This puts you right in the mold of the standard Republican. “Do nothing because we don’t know how and there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

    Seriously?

    This kind of thing brings me up short. I think it would be more productive if we didn’t say things like that. In fact, I’m not a “do nothing” conservative. I’m actually really active in spreading conservative ideas, and I think I’m even sometimes effective at it.

    When people turn a discussion of ideas into an exercise in labeling — and it’s happened to me several times now on Ricochet (and elsewhere, of course) — it puts people on the defensive and distracts from what’s really worthy of debate.

    Henry, sorry this is so late — I just haven’t had the time to respond.

    Please don’t take my comment as an exercise in labeling. I was talking about your stand on the media only. That was my subject and it is why I said you are saying “do nothing.”

    Here’s what you said:

    I don’t believe that the media need be an obstacle. Talk radio and the internet have given us potent alternatives. But, more than that, I think just speaking up would be extraordinarily valuable: each of us can persuade people in a way MSNBC can not, through direct contact and thoughtful discussion.

    So, because I harp on and mostly only talk about the media as the major and essential thing to do something about, I meant that you are putting the issue of the media problem in the mix of several things rather than seeing it as the essential thing as I do. This is the only thing that I thought you were like the regular Republicans. Your other suggestions and approach I like — I just don’t think they are very effective and are all trumped by the media.

    Sorry for any misunderstanding.

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