Intermarkets' Privacy Policy
Support


Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!





Recent Entries
« Time: Hey, You Know Who'd Make A Good Person of the Year? Sandra Fluke, That's Who | Main | McCain, Graham, Ayotte: Susan Rice's Answers on Benghazi Leave Us Even More Troubled Than We Were »
November 27, 2012

Suggestion for Time's Person of the Year: The Vagina

A commenter suggested this and it sure seems to cut to the heart of the matter.

Not really related, but kinda-sorta, is this article about the natural political advantage of Democratic "solutions."

Through the eighties, and nineties, and naughts, liberals were fond of claiming that Republicans won elections only because their messages were so simplistic and easily-understood by dummies. This is always the reason offered as to why conservatives thrive on talk radio, but liberals fail: Well, you see, it's because conservatives' messages are so simple they lend themselves to fifteen second sound-bites. Whereas liberals' messages are so dashed complex they couldn't possibly be explained in a verbal format (even in a three hour radio show!); no, they're so impossibly complex they can only be explicated in thick academic volumes with lots of charts and integrals.

Which always struck me as precisely ass-backwards: Conservatives like Limbaugh were talking about very indirect, and thus abstract, benefits of capitalism. Capitalism doesn't directly put money into your pocket the way AFDC does, but by creating an environment of economic vigor, it creates more jobs, and hence creates a Seller's Market for labor, thus increasing wages and also increasing worker's bargaining power, and so on.

Meanwhile, liberals' messages were all about a very simple Kindergarten concept -- fairness -- and very direct effects. Vote for this guy, he'll give you the Life of Julia.

You don't need an argument to explain how a government check in your name increases your wealth. It's quite a direct process, requiring no elaboration at all. Your Government-as-Father send you a check, you deposit it. You have more money. You need no more explication or argument about this concept than a college kid needs regarding the getting a loan from Dad to pay for "books."

The benefits of capitalism, on the other hand, are indirect and mostly unseen; Adam Smith had to create a metaphor with tangible form and heft -- "the Invisible Hand" -- to explain this. If something is complicated and abstract enough it can only be explained via metaphor, it's not "simple."

This article discusses that advantage in simplicity of messaging.

Let's concede that those who are pushing to expand government have one huge advantage. Their advantage is that their solutions are immediate, direct and easy to explain.

...

Being correct, however, isn't the same thing as being persuasive. The conservative is rightly concerned with incentives and the long-term effects of any government program for relief, which are vital concerns for workable policy. The liberal is far less abstract: Here are some food stamps so your children don't go hungry tonight.

Never mind the long-term costs and consequences of these solutions. Yes, the education loans that supposedly make college "affordable" actually drive its costs up faster than normal inflation. Yes, housing subsidies have saddled people with homes they cannot afford. And, yes, minimum-wage laws price the people who can least afford it out of the job market. The dilemma for those of us who oppose big-government solutions is that the true costs of these "solutions" are seldom clear until it's too late.

So what's a Republican to do?

Surely not to embrace higher taxes for the rich. Leave aside the impact of higher taxes on investment. The political problem is that raising these taxes does nothing to challenge the larger liberal narrative about government. Conservatives' top priority should be promoting an alternative—that in a highly competitive, global economy, the only real economic security for ordinary Americans is the security of opportunity.

The writer mentions Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" as the sort of thing we need to start doing again.

I have one depressing thing to say about that, though: "Free to Choose" aired on PBS. In 1980, while PBS was in fact liberal (of course), it also took its mission of presenting a lively exchange of under-reported ideas seriously. PBS gave wide exposure to another one of America's best-known rock-star conservative intellectuals (William F. Buckley, of course).

Now, in 2012, does anyone imagine PBS has any interest in airing something like Free to Choose? Or a William F. Buckley style tony conservative discussion show?

No. Liberalism has become, slowly, pure leftism. That is, while liberalism would consider it a positive political virtue to air contrary viewpoints, because such contrary viewpoints have an indirect, but real, salutary effect on our politics and discourse, the leftist mindset is much cruder and much more fixated on direct, immediate results. And that means that the old liberal idea of "balance" or "exchange of ideas" and "lively discussion" are idealistic follies, and the right course of action is simply direct and relentless propagation of the leftist message.

So while the author is right, partly, he understates the dimensions of the problem; it's not just about providing solid conservative content, it's now about finding any media through which to disseminate it. Doors once left slightly open in a liberal (classical sense) spirit are now shut tight, as crude, results-oriented leftism has displaced the last gasps of a more enlightened, process-oriented liberalism.

Today's PBS would laugh at the naivete of 1980's PBS permitting persuasive conservative voices to be transmitted on "our air."

Of course you see this same pattern -- enforced even more ruthlessly and remorselessly -- in academics. Whereas once it was at least thought that having the occasional conservative professor might be good provoking debate and keeping the intellectual climate vital and frisky, leftists have decided they no longer want to be in the same room as conservatives, do not want them spreading their lies in "their institutions," and have all but purged them.

The problem, as I keep saying, is larger than simple messaging, or about content, or about politics, even. It's about the complete capture of idea-transmitting institutions by the Gramsciite left and the almost complete blacklisting of any contrary voice.


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:14 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
pilot141: "Yeah, thanks Andrew. Bought your book and ended up ..."

rickl: "[i]97 So what did they know about Churchill, if th ..."

Misanthropic Humanitarian : "Hey morons ..."

Polliwog the 'Ette: "With the unparalleled availability to find answers ..."

AltonJackson: "g'evenin', 'rons ..."

Sister Sestina: "99 You know what astonishes me? The lack of cu ..."

Bat Chain Puller: ">61% say President Obama lies either "most of t ..."

cthulhu: "Hola, amigoz en loz tuboz!!! ..."

EC: "Carol, you cannot just hit it and quit it! AoSH ..."

The Mega Independent: "I was going to mention that Nancy. Love my Zo. ..."

Carol: "I'm off to make myself something to eat. BBL. ..."

freaked: "I am certainly more knowledgable today than I woul ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64