Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Conservative Storytelling

Liberals tell their story better than conservatives.  That's the message from Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven.  Habeeb is a VP at conservative Salem Radio Network, home of Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager, so he should know.  Conservatives should tell our stories better.

No doubt.  And the liberal advantage goes back to the invention of the movie.  Even conservative icon Margaret Thatcher was affected when the movies came to Methodist Grantham in the 1920s.  What a world outside the dull Methodism of the old ones!

But it's not just storytelling; it's hegemony.  Liberals get to force their stories down our throats and stigmatize our stories as racist, sexist, homophobic.  That is the key.  Liberals sit in the cultural catbird seat and they don't intend to give it up or anything else.

And anyway, the main consumers of cultural product, young people, want edgy stuff that annoys their parents.  How are they to tell that the real "parents" are the edgy liberals running their schools and their TV shows?

The reason conservatives are in such a world of hurt is that liberals have deliberately hitched up their efforts at cultural hegemony in the last couple of decades.  Let's say it goes back to the 1980s when Ronald Reagan was carrying all before him.  Liberals responded with the Clintonian New Democrat feint and with efforts to corral their supporters into ethnic enclaves. with naked racist appeals.  Along the way liberals taught themselves to stop listening to conservative critiques.

It is a mistake to imagine that the culture war is merely a matter of competing stories.  That's not the way the world works.  Each era has a dominant culture, the taken-for-granted stories about the way the world works and came to be.  That dominant culture doesn't really get challenged until it starts to fail.

The reason that Obama got elected and reelected is because liberals ran a full-court press to sell the idea that Bush had failed, and the American people bought the idea.  Never mind that the main reason for the Crash of 2008 was the popping of a 30-year real-estate bubble, and the biggest reason for the pop was the loans to people that couldn't afford to service them.  Nothing to do with greedy bankers and crazy derivatives.  Just bad liberal government policy.  And the fact is that liberals have the cultural power to push their narrative on the American people.

Liberals will find that their stories will cease to persuade when things start going wrong.  Oh they'll blame the insurance companies for the failure of Obamacare, and they will keep blaming class size for the failures of public education.  But in the end, people will stop listening and just say: things aren't working; we have to change.

At that point people will be ready to listen to another story.  It is then we will need conservatives with a story to tell.

1 comment:

  1. Who had these bankers making loans to people who couldn't afford them? You are trying to make it sound like that was a government program, when in fact, it was bankers. The derivative products you speak of were a way to "manage" the risk of these loans by selling them bundled together as "securities". In other words, the bankers who made the loans were quite aware that some number of these mortgages would be defaulted on. Period. It was further abetted by banks with no community ties trying to maximize their return on these shoddy instruments, and jacking up the interest rates on these loans. It wasn't a 30 year bubble either. The housing markets last crash before that was back around 90-91. What gets me the most is how you see "your" part of society as being essentially separate from the working class people. In fact, a nation is the sum of all of its parts.