Sunday, October 7, 2007

Why The Republicans Win

I use to wonder why with all of their racism, bad policies, and assorted immoral behavior Republicans continue to win elections and out maneuver Democrats. After what has transpired between the ad and the latest flubs by Republican talking heads, I no longer wonder. It seems that no matter what the fodder given to the Left, they are unable to muster the same amount of indignation that the wing-nuts are able to produce on a moment’s notice. Is it that the base of the Right are more easily aroused by bullsh*t or is it that they are better at rabble rousing?
After the liberal media watchdog organization Media Matters sounded the alarm about his comments, Mr. Limbaugh said on subsequent shows that he was talking about only one discredited man who claimed to be a wounded veteran. “I was not talking about antiwar, active duty troops,” he insisted.

Yet analysts for Media Matters noted that Mr. Limbaugh’s first reference to the discredited man came nearly two minutes after his plural reference to phony soldiers. That group and like-minded Democrats have refused to back off. More than 40 Democratic senators signed a letter sent Tuesday to the company that syndicates the radio show, asking that Mr. Limbaugh’s remarks be repudiated.

But no Republican senators signed the letter, highlighting a significant difference between the responses to the MoveOn advertisement and the Limbaugh comments. The Republican-backed plan to condemn the Petraeus advertisement drew substantial Democratic backing in the House and Senate, while Democrats have been unable to splinter Republicans on Mr. Limbaugh.[1]

How is this possible? I don’t understand how the Right is able to pressure Dems into supporting their crap, but the Left cannot place the same pressure on Republicans. Is it that the Left does not have a vocal enough constituency? I think not. So could it be that the Left does not represent the mainstream values of America and that the issues they raise are not resonating with the public? While this idea has some merit I think that it does not explain the difference. I think that there are basically 2 problems that continue to plague the Left and the Dems. The dilemma for them is that these are also the 2 that represent their strengths.

The first is that when you have a big tent, you have many different types of people in that tent, each with their own agenda and pet projects. What happens is that because everyone has their own causes there tends to be a lack of focus, there is no uniform movement. With individualism comes a lack of cohesiveness and redundancy that drives the news cycle of today and for the most part the body politic.

Because the wing-nuts have such a small tent their issues are simple and easily defined. Their base is more cohesive and easily motivated by their designated leaders. Who are the designated leaders of the Left or the Progressive movement? There are none, we all march to our own beats and if by chance we are able to coop an issue cool, if not that’s cool too. There is no focus. The wing-nuts can converge on a single issue with the precision of a laser. We can’t even decide the best way to end the war in Iraq. If someone doesn’t exactly articulate our “feelings” or demand the resolutions we want then they are conformists or sell-outs.

The Left does not appear as disciplined as the wing-nuts and that lack of discipline displays itself in the above example. This brings me to the second point and that is because of our independent natures and free spirits it is much more difficult to broker compromise with us. We tend to be less inclined to accept concessions and more demanding of complete agreement. The wing-nuts on the other hand tend to be of a more conforming nature and tend to accept the conventional wisdom. They accept the party-line more easily and even in the face of overwhelming evidence will continue to espouse it. By their nature they seem to be more submissive and obedient to authority and tend to accept it blindly. We not only question the authority of the powers that be, we question each other’s authority. We question each other’s credentials, experience, and upbringing, right to believe or to think a certain thing and in the end it affects our willingness to accept each other and to work with each other. I remember it was an issue in past progressive movements and it continues today.

The wing-nuts will always be more focused and uniform than progressives; it is in their nature to be so. We on the other hand must continue to strive towards more and better communication, tolerance, and acceptance yet at the same time become more focused on the issues that unite us. We must get to the place where we can put our own personal agendas and issues aside for the bigger picture. We have to learn to adhere to an issue even if it isn’t quite how I would like it to be or framed in the fashion I would do it. The wing-nuts have made a living using divisiveness and fear; we have allowed our own paranoia of each other to prevent us from seeing the big picture.

When you have such a small constituency united by moral imperatives, it is easier to raise the level of indignation. It is also easier to overlook the inconsistencies and the hypocrisies that they are so famous for. Am I advocating that progressives become wing-nuts? God forbid, but what I am suggesting is that we incorporate some of their focus and willingness to compromise for the bigger picture which is the future of this country and the future of our children. This should be something we all can unite behind.


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