February 3, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
Over at Townhall, the "conservative" Republican website: Why Liberals Hate Christians,
Liberals in America despise Christians of true faith.It's tied to some current event...
They do this because in doing so their own guilt is appeased, their anger is justified, and they can finally lay blame for their own misery at someone else's feet.
This is a strategic narrative - part of a long-term drumbeat designed to bring identity "Christians" into the Republican Party. The script is always tied to some current event, and then the event is used to teach the lesson. I call it "adding the because." Such-and-such happened because of the thing we keep telling you about those people. They hate you, so you should you should vote for us and pay them back by cutting taxes on the rich, etc...
Yes, Bush appointed cronies. Yes, Bush's administration wasn't ready, etc. But -- and here is the important thing -- people added the word BECAUSE, and tied it all to something more fundamental. And this was effective. Bush wasn't ready to respond to Katrina BECAUSE Republicans don't believe in government. Bush appointed cronies BECAUSE Republicans don't believe in government. People suffered and died after Katrina BECAUSE we need government and that is the primary thing government DOES.(Yes, I used to use bold type a lot more than I do now.)
See what I mean? When we are criticizing Republicans on narrow issues we should always tie our criticisms to make a point about how Progressive values are better than conservative values.
Progressives should learn from this. (I mean, learn to use "because" - not bold type.) Don't just talk about what the right-wingers did today, make it a lesson. Tie the current-event story to a larger view of conservatism and why it is bad for people, and why liberal and progressive values and ideas are better for people. This happened because conservatives think that people should be left on their own, alone against the powerful interests they represent, while progressives think we should all stick together and take care of one another.
In a previous 'Because' post I wrote,
What I mean is, drive the point home, don't make your listener guess. When you cite something bad that the conservatives do, add the "because" that ties it to core right-wing philosophy, and explain why it's the philosophy that's bad and led to the bad thing that is in the news. Make the deeper point -- not just a complaint about the current event. For example, Republicans screwed up Katrina BECAUSE conservatives don't believe in government, they believe in a "you're on your own, dog-eat-dog, everyone out for themselves" philosophy that is not good for regular people. But progressives believe we're all in this together and in watching out for and sticking up for each other.Always add the because. Drive the point home. They do it -- you should, too.
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I fear this may lead to charges of "talking down to" people, but what else is new in this damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don't world?
Posted by: Elayne Riggs at February 4, 2007 6:12 AM
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