Thursday, July 18, 2013

Changing the "Narrative"

Hugh Hewitt spent three hours yesterday interviewing Mark Leibovich about his new book sensation This Town:Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital.  It's a tell-all about the players in Washington, DC.

Why do the elected and the appointed officials decide to "stay on" after their official careers end?  What's the point of all the legislating and regulating and influence peddling and gamesmanship?
The influence that is being peddled is only secondarily about the legislation and the regulations. It is primarily about the overall media envelope which is shaping the public opinion which is truly shaping the legislation and regulations.

It is all about the awful term, the "narrative."
OK.  So Washington, DC is all about the power, but the power needs a story, a story about how things are and how they should be.  Just like the postmodernists tell us.

So the question for conservatives is: How do we change the narrative?  How do we change it from the current narrative which is that somewhere, somehow some helpless victim is being held down by some powerful force, whether white privilege or corporate greed, and government is the solution?

Because if we conservatives can't produce a good narrative after eight years of Obama, we should hang it up and go home.

The trouble is that you can't say, dipping into centuries of conservative thought, that of course Obamacare wouldn't work, because a rigid administrative system never works.  You can't say that of course regulating the banks never works because the government's interest isn't economic justice but cheap money from the credit system with which to buy votes.  You can't say that of course the supposed dangers of fracking or of oil pipelines are ridiculous, because then you are diving into the swamp of "safety" as in "Mr. President is it safe?"

But you can represent the ruling class as clueless and out of touch, as in:

"After seven years of economic incompetence, we need jobs.  So why did the Obama administration pass huge tax increases and hand the health care system over to the IRS?  Does the IRS know how to create jobs?"

"President Obama and his friends tell us that we must stop using fossil fuels. because the seas are going to boil and the ice is going to melt.  So what does he do?  He gives subsidies to his friends so they can buy pricey green cars on the cheap.  Then he gives subsidies to his crony capitalists so they can make a fortune out of wind farms that kill birds.  Meanwhile Americans don't have jobs."

"The beltway elite and their lobbyist friends want an immigration bill so we can amnesty millions of illegal immigrants, while people who obeyed the law get shafted.  They want to let in millions of new immigrants while millions of Americans don't have jobs."

I'm confident that there are thousands of campaign consultants and speechwriters that can do a much better job than I can.

But the problem for me is that at the level of political rhetoric we are not dealing with the basic problem.  For me the basic problem is the idea that government has any business in health care.  What? You think politicians and activists have a clue about how to deliver health care?  That a monster education blob can deliver education to children?  That the government can relieve the poor and lead them to productive lives?  What are you smoking?

Because the unspoken error is that you can order anything in the world by force.  That you can do anything with politics except divide people.  That you can do anything with an administrative system except dominate people.  As in:

"President Obama seems to think he can improve health care by ordering insurance companies and employers around.  Oh yeah?"

"President Obama seems to think he can improve race relations by injecting politics and Reverend Al Sharpton into race relations.  Oh yeah?"

"President Obama seems to think he can make the oceans recede by getting the EPA to regulate the coal miners out of business.  Oh yeah?"

In the end we are going to send the ruling class liberals packing by creating a narrative that makes them into pompous idiots. Somehow, somewhere, there is a word-meister getting ready to do that.  I wish I knew his name.

1 comment:

  1. Keep talking and writing you're doing a good job. It's not the message it's the messenger, without the Left Wing News story telling (lying) about how great thing are BHO would be left with the bully pulpit and probably get little attention. With social media being the new way for the youth getting information, is there a way to post, view or get in their heads. Do it in a way to get attention. I can't watch BHO, in my mind I see a backdrop the Nation burning the constitution being shredded, Christian being harassed and on and on, while the so called Poor driving new cars getting cash from the BHO machine, illegal’s lined up for jobs & living in new houses. It's like I see him talking (lying) and the subtext is what is below and is what he is really saying. We preach to the choir and few are being saved, somehow get the message out to those who know it but may never hear or read it in their closed minds or circle of friends.