Check out Salon and Edwyn Lyngar’s latest article The Angry Right’s Secret Playbook. It’s an interesting, yet frustrating read. Lyngar, a former republican, suggests liberals have a monopoly on the better ideas but that they need to adopt some of the right’s tactics to win the ideological debates of our time. I would rather lose elections than act like Sean Hannity for five minutes—unless it’s during a Discord News parody bit and I can coax Tina Fey into playing Sarah Palin.
Lyngar explains why the left keeps losing the war of ideas, despite having all of said ideas:
“In an ideological battle, the tendency toward inclusion and reflection can become a handicap. As a side effect of all this soul-searching, the left becomes ineffectual at fighting even the worst excesses on the right.”
Whereas I appreciate the sentiment, I also know such tactics—if taken one step too far—end up being fodder for the right (see: any Drudge Report headline). It’s often the only meat in any given Fox News segment. Behave badly and you will be called to the carpet.
“Hey everyone, look at what the craziest liberal professor thinks!”
—John Q. Republican
And yet I remain perpetually mortified by what the sanest republican thinks. That’s the difference. I understand there will always be fodder on both sides. Any poorly behaved liberal across the country can and will be the focus of the right’s scrutiny, be it politician, professor, teacher, plumber or what have you. Joe the Dumber? Just like any death in America will be somehow linked to Obamacare or how every snowflake that hits terra firma is God’s way of “refudiating” climate change. I don’t need to battle the comment section over on Breitbart.com., because I have bigger Fox to fry.
[Hyperlink removed for your protection]
The right’s inability to synthesize data as well as predict or understanding anything relevant remains astounding to me, and yet this zombie party still exists, devouring resources, craving brains, and gathering in ever greater herds. The Walking Deaf? Whereas it’s true the country will always be replete with ultra-liberal morons (ULMs), the real media need not slip down to Fox News standards. In fact, I insist.
As a person with some liberal sensibilities, MSNBC does not speak for me. The problem for conservatives is that Fox News always speaks for all of them. They may say in some private conversation “this one goes too far,” or “I don’t agree with this tactic,” but then they all, in unison, regurgitate any given Fox News talking point like the gospel—which if I recall is from Leshiticus: Chapter Poo.
“When you only have to win the news cycle, it doesn’t matter that any Fox talking point has a shelf-life on par with your average unpasteurized dairy product.”
There’s only one Foxx quote that ever resonated with me:
“When you see the handwriting on the wall, you’re in the toilet.”
Fox News is that toilet. We either move back toward reason, or this place isn’t worth saving. Lyngar is calling for liberals to play dirty pool. He wants them to get in the trenches and start winning the arguments.
“I call on my fellow liberals to embrace the rough stuff. Engage in battle with people who hate you and feel free to throw crazy right back, even if you only half believe it.”
Win the arguments, certainly, but minus these questionable tactics. Lyngar’s a bit too Machiavellian for my tastes. The ends justifies the Seans? Oh the on-Hannity! Sure we must, in the strongest possible terms, dismantle their arguments and remind them each and every news cycle how fundamentally wrong they all are. Hell, that’s what I do. But why stoop to bullshit? If both sides are mindless mudslinging machines, what good can come from that? Having two polarized and nonsensical arguments is depressing, not inspiring. Hold the line, people. The society you save may be your own.
I do agree that liberals are far too wimpy, on each and every topic. Pluralism is a handicap and a fatal one at times (see: Neville Chamberlain). Dems are wishy washy, they are too aloof, they are too cerebral, and they often perseverate to the point of total inaction. But ask your doctor if deciding on a course of action is right for you. Still, it sure beats being the village idiot any day of the week (Python bit excluded).
I refuse to replace crazy republicans with crazy liberals. That thread back to reality is tenuous enough for all of us these days; there’s no need to muddy the waters further.
[Hoochie Steve Doocey joke removed by the editor]
So you want our elections to be decided, not on the merits of any given argument, but to the loudest blowhard? Okay, let’s skip the election and anoint President Christie, right now. And let’s hope Air Force One doesn’t go all Kevin Smith on him.
Hey, I’m allowed one once in a while. Maher does it every week.
I do agree with Lyngar on this much: liberals need not work across the aisle and compromise with crazy people. Use the existing laws and fight them on every issue through every legal avenue and for the love of their God block every appointment. But I don’t want any further expansion of executive power and I do not want Foxian tactics to win elections. If neither side gives a shit about the truth, or the Constitution, we’re in big trouble. It’s bad enough having half our country living amidst some delusional self-created echo chamber of feces. [Editor still working on lousy acronym joke]
Liberals are all over the place and republicans remain one massive united force of wrongness. It’s why liberals still lose easily winnable elections, well, besides gerrymandering, voter suppression and The Fox News All Sharts. Republicans are on the same page, but in the wrong book. Everything is on a spectrum and so are they. Sorry, it’s a DSM-V thing.
“Liberals focus on leveling the playing field while republicans focus on leveling the rain forest.”
Having MSNBC employ guilt by omission tactics is disturbing enough, but I don’t want the outright lies to follow, though as per Lyngar’s sentiment, I’m sadly predicting they will. Still, I don’t know how anyone can watch Fox News and think for a moment that this is a serious attempt at journalism. The fact half our country is not immediately nauseated by the likes of Sean Hannity is beyond me. He should be marketed, not as a news anchor but as an appetite suppressant.
At the end of the day, I don’t want any part of what Lyngar the Horrible is suggesting. Go back to conservatism if you feel this way. We don’t need you and I won’t defend you. I refuse to mimic the right wing’s media tactics in any way shape or form—with the exception of Megyn Kelly’s form, who, despite being unable to spell her first name properly, has a pleasing form nevertheless.
[Closing comment deemed inappropriate by the editor]
[Image included by editor to, um, illustrate journalist Megyn Kelly’s form]