For the last 40 years, America has lived George Orwell’s worst nightmare. It was a bit more subtle than Orwell had imagined, but our domination by powerful men was no less complete. We have been fed propaganda instead of news for decades. The interests of Wall Street have long since replaced those of the American people.
We are consumers, certainly not citizens and certainly not informed.
This year represents the first year in my lifetime that a significant number of the electorate seemed to have shaken off their stupor, despite the long national awakening since Bush stole the White House. It took a full-on coup to wake us up and even now the media is trying to shove us back in the Us versus Them framework.
Unity is bad for ratings.
If that’s the way it is going to be, I say fine. Time for progressives to go on the offense. This is the first legitimate shot we have had at the presidency since Jimmy Carter and it is with someone like Barack Obama. He will be as progressive as the country allows him to be, but we need to first explain to the country why that is a good thing. There are hearts and minds waiting to be won if we would quit being to afraid to speak our truth with the same conviction as those that speak nothing but lies.
I am tired of trying not to offend stupid people. I contend that they aren’t bright enough to get a subtle argument, much less sarcasm, so why bother changing the message?
Those who have an open mind are usually willing to listen despite in-artful or inappropriate language. I think they are every bit as angry as we are and are ready for some truth. Perhaps it is only in our individual lives that we start preparing people for the truth that a new President Obama will have to tell them. Until we get it right at the grassroots and push our representatives to support massive changes in how we do things, Barack will be no more successful than Carter was in promoting a progressive America.
It is all on us.
Which brings me back to offense. This is going to be a huge effort taking multiple generations. We need to start, right now, speaking the language of winners. The language of winners is positive and assertive and a tad bit arrogant. Not arrogant in the sense that everyone else is wrong, but arrogant in that how can anything else be considered right. That sort of conviction leads to converts. It’s why Barack won the nomination. He was convinced America could be better and trusted the voter to see through the haze. He was right.
I am betting on the same thing. I am betting on more of us being in a place to hear hard-truths laid out in uncompromising language. I also think we are more ready than ever before to contemplate big, bold initiatives that will take this country in a brand new direction. I don’t think it will be easy or that we solve 40 years of pain and misery with one election. The journey must begin somewhere, though, so why not right here and now? If the journey is to begin, we need as many people moving in the same direction as possible. After all the shit we’ve been fed and continue to be fed, it will take shocking language and absolute certainty to break through the programming.
To do that, some people are sure to be offended. Some people need to be offended. I’m offended on a daily basis when and if I bother to watch five minutes of local or national news. Given the nature of the People’s enemy and the enormity of their resources to use against us, isn’t time we had a good offense for once? Isn’t time we used the same uncompromising tone and moral certitude? Americans respect that sort of bold communication style. They can get their arms around it. Nuanced discussions give the appearance of uncertainty, which is weak, which is un-American.
That’s the feeling I get from speaking with friends who are conservative or former conservatives. The thing they hate most about “liberals” is that they don’t take a stand and fight to the death. It’s time we showed them a different type of progressive this year. They need to see the capable, type-A progressive. The need to see the Alpha Male progressive (even if you’re female!)
That’s how we win back respect from people who have barely tolerated being in the same country as us for the last forty years. To them we are still a bunch of hippies hanging out in the park with our hand-painted signs. The RNC convinced them they were right years ago and then didn’t deliver on anything. It’s all bad. Now it’s our turn. We need them to understand that not only are we right but we will prove it to them.
First, though, we need a good offense, because the people we want to convince don’t respect a defensive strategy.