Monday, November 9, 2015
Week of 11/09/2015
Why Liberals Continue To Lose
So (as of this column) we just had another election. And I’m sure the vast majority of Americans didn’t know and/or didn’t really care about it because it was an “off-off” election, which meant that pretty much most of the “big” offices like President or Senate or Congress were not up for grabs. There were a handful of states that had something big like a governor’s job on the line, but for the most part this was about local issues. Stuff going on in your neighborhood.
Think about it... if you didn’t give a care enough to vote, then you apparently don’t give a care about what’s going on in your own community. These are the things that affect you directly more so than anything that President Obama or the GOP-controlled Congress could ever do on a national level.
And there were some measures in this “off-off” election that would affect people. Ohio voters, for instance, had the opportunity to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use, like the folks in Colorado did. Citizens in Houston, Texas, had the opportunity to support or repeal a city ordinance outlawing LGBT discrimination.
Both these measures failed by the few people who bothered to vote. Pot is still illegal in Ohio and rednecks can once again discriminate against LGBT people with impunity. Worse yet, Kentucky’s version of Donald Trump, Matt Bevin, won that state’s governor’s race as a GOPer in a state that normally votes for Democrats.
And that has some people in the media scratching their heads. How could this happen? How is it that liberals continue to lose to the GOP?
Well, I could give you the Donald Trump reason: “Because they’re losers! That’s why!” Then again, he calls everything he hates “losers”. It’s his thing.
But in truth, there are some simple reasons why liberals and the progressive ideas they champion lose out to conservative and neo-conservatives and their borderline-fascistic concepts. And while I spend a lot of time going after cons and neo-cons for their crap, I’m far from a fan of liberalism. While cons and neo-cons will goose-step towards fascism, liberals fumble and bumble about with ideas that sound good, but ultimately fail in execution. But that doesn’t matter to liberals at that point, because then it just becomes a matter of keeping power at all costs.
So why is it that liberals have a hard time getting people to support their ideas? After all, they supposedly have the “liberal media” and Hollywood and academia on their side, right? It should be a cakewalk for them. So why isn’t it?
Well here’s the problem in one word: salesmanship.
Let’s get brutally honest here... liberals don’t sell their messages. They expect the rest of the world to simply accept their ideas as truths. Legalize pot? Of course! Accept same-sex marriages? Why isn’t it done already? Healthcare-for-everyone? Shouldn’t even be a question! Clean air and water? Naturally! Better living conditions? Absolutely! End bullying and discrimination? Should’ve been done a long time ago! Discuss it? Why should we discuss it? Everyone knows these things to be true and good already! So just put our people in and it’ll all be done!
Except it’s not that simple. First of all, a lot of what liberals propose goes against decades, even centuries, of fixed mindsets and dogma, not to mention generations of conditioned human nature. You’re fighting whole institutions that have gotten fat and wealthy and powerful keeping what they have going at all costs. Even if it means the actual destruction of the planet and the complete extinction of the human race. That is how entrenched their egos and their power-base are.
And the cons and neo-cons have spent a long time selling their messages to the masses. They have Fox News and talk radio and newspaper editorials and the business sections and a whole bunch of lobbying groups and think-tanks that have also gotten fat and wealthy and powerful keeping everything where it is. They have spent decades infiltrating the halls of academia to counteract the so-called “liberal scourge”.
And the cons and neo-cons have the laziest and most powerful argument in the world on their side. Like Bruce Hornsby sung it: “That’s just the way it is; some things will never change.”
As long as the cons and neo-cons have that as the high-ground, you can’t expect the rest of the world to simply accept anything else on face-value.
So liberals have to fight, and fight hard to get their message across. They have to sell it to the American people for them to support it. They cannot assume, even for a moment, that the great unwashed simply “get it”. I’ve got news for you liberals: they don’t “get it”. You have to sell it. You have to actually convince them to accept it.
But it’s more than just selling the message. You have to have a message to sell. A lot of the Democrats have been running for office – and a few have won – simply because they’re seen as the “safer” of the two dominant and domineering parties. Not because they have anything to offer but because the other side has been shooting themselves in the foot. (And that’s not hard to do when you’re the party with support from the gun lobbying group.) Now if you have the masses that firmly believe that the status quo is messed up and needs to be changed, you can’t expect them to buy the idea that you’d be their candidate if your strongest argument is that you’re more in-tune with the status quo. People will buy into the lunatic if that lunatic promises to rock the power-base to the ground and looks crazy enough to pull it off.
Look at the wannabes running for President in 2016. Look at the GOP clown car and what they represent, and then look at what the Democrats are offering in rebuttal. Now ask yourself which clown car would you want to see drive into the Washington Circus Tent, center-ring?
And, by the way, it doesn’t help your cause when what you propose sabotages the very idea you’re trying to sell. Remember that marijuana legalization referendum in Ohio? That measure had a few conditions to it, like giving a small group of businesses monopolist control over whole process. That’s why it failed. Not because of the idea, but because of the fine print.
If you look at Obama’s prized Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare”, there’s nothing in it that provides healthcare-for-all. It’s the forced purchase of a corporate product under the legal “pretense” of it being a tax. It’s corporatism, plain-and-simple. But the liberals allowed the cons and neo-cons to brand this as “socialism” because they weren’t paying attention to the fine print and instead were chanting the idea as a mantra.
There’s one more thing that liberals need to do when selling their message. It has to appeal to the masses on a personal level.
Remember the whole scare about AIDS in the early 1980’s? People were scared about AIDS and HIV back then. They treated it as the Black Plague of the 20th Century. I’m not kidding, folks, I was there. I saw the hysteria over it. I remember when people were panicking over drinking fountains and toilet seats and whether someone with AIDS and HIV was breathing the same air as everyone else. But within a decade, the hysteria died down. Part of that was because of advances in treatment, but also because more people came out, and there were people that we could identify with. And, no, the world didn’t come to an end because of this.
Same-sex relationships were unheard of twenty years ago. So much so in fact that we bought into the fear and hysteria of the bible-thumpers and had laws passed to outlaw even the suggestion that same-sex relationships could get government recognition. What changed? More people came out. Celebrities and sports figures. People that we could identify. People at work or in your community. The idea of same-sex relationships slowly worked their way into our media. It wasn’t in-your-face, but it also wasn’t a taboo topic. But the idea was sold to us gradually on a personal level as something that was not to be feared.
Look at the recent focus on police abuses. When it was simply about police abuses, there was tremendous support for the victims. But as soon as it became “Black Lives Matter”, the support started to evaporate. When it was just about police abuses, that was something that affected people on a personal level. The idea was that this could be any of us. Any one of us could have a bad encounter with a police officer. But as soon as the talk went to “Black Lives Matter”, that turned off everyone who wasn’t African-American. It wasn’t about “us” anymore, but about a specific group.
Oh, one more thing... stop boasting about how many people you’ve “registered to vote”! Registration is nothing! Liberals here in Georgia were crowing about how many people they “registered” in 2014. The problem was that none of them bothered to show up to the polling places come November. You want to impress me? Get all those people you registered to actually vote on Election Day. Otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time.
The truth of the matter is that liberals and conservatives have pretty much ruined America with their petty games, and either one or the other side needs to go away. The cons and neo-cons are playing for keeps, so unless liberals are ready to cede the game and turn what they have over to my libertarian friends - who will eagerly accept that challenge – then the liberals need to stop assuming that we automatically agree with them and to start selling the masses on why we should listen to them again instead of the cons and neo-cons.