Sunday, October 11, 2009

Liberals don't know how to engage the Right

While the rabid health care people and company may be a small movement now, eventually we're going to have to learn to engage them in order to counter them. Regular liberal rhetoric won't work because these folks are steeped in a right wing culture that has dealt with many, many, liberal arguments and provided stock answers to them. Granted, these stock answers are flawed, but they're still there. What this means is that just ramping up the volume without trying to proactively argue against their arguments will not work. Progressive folks stood out from mainstream liberals in the '90s by being willing to take on hypocrisy of nominally liberal institutions like the media through exposing how they compromised their fundamental values. In the process, Progressives became adept at formulating new and innovative arguments to make their case. The same creativity is now needed to oppose the far right movement that's making its voice disproportionately heard right now. It's not a sure thing that these folks will even grow, and in fact the mainstream Republican Party has been gently shooing them off with its official positions, but in any case perfecting those tools is something that can only help us and not hinder us.

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