The Art of Rhetoric

More recently, I have been thinking about how important it is to recognize the ins and outs of effective communication. I have always had difficulty talking to people and making friends and so I understand how awful feeling lonely is. But I also understand how socially anxious it can be try to convince people of things or to put your values and ideas on the line. It is said that if you want to have a pleasant time at a party no not discuss politics or religion. Basically, divisive things are not a good idea to talk about at a social event. However, it would be wrong to never discuss the differences we have as Americans. Especially, since these differences are important to understanding each other. Politics is entirely about differences and figuring out what policies are best. In fact, the importance of politics is that it is a necessary first step towards changes. Division and argument is necessary for a healthy system of government. How can you fix something if you don’t recognize that it is a problem? If you don’t agree about what the problems are, how can you ever solve anything? In fact, politics are divisive specifically because, we as Americans, actually don’t all share the same values. Americans are not a monolith. Neither the Democrats in power of the Republicans in power speak for a plurality of Americans let alone a majority. The reason is that, one side is always using politics and insisting they aren’t and the other side is attempting diplomacy and compromise. One side recognizes the other as worthy participants and as people who have ideas worthy of discussion and the other treats their opponents with contempt. Do you have any idea why discourse is so poisonous right now? It is because the left and the right cannot agree on common ground. This not necessarily all bad though. I must reiterate that, as far as strategy goes, the right wing is far more skilled at politicking. They understand liberal thought well and the tendencies of the Democrats in power. They understand and they do not agree. By playing lip services to classical liberal tendencies to responsible and accountable government and discourse, they play the Democrats like fiddles. I do not believe the Democrats are idiots. I believe that they recognize the importance of responsible government and respectful and open discourse. They believe it and stick to it no matter how painful. However, the Republican party doesn’t actually value these things. They realize that the things they want cannot be gotten through the liberal methods. They believe the ends justify the means. They delight in using bad faith tactics, and the squealing about free speech being censored and the evils of the supposed liberal media. They recognize that the truth is secondary to a compelling fiction. That the real world can be dull and uninspiring. They are masters of marketing. It doesn’t matter that the entire political field has given them every single possible advantage, they will still whine. They rely on the Democrats need to be the adults in the room and to appear like responsible statesman. And they know that the Democrats will never ever reach the base of the Republican party. They know that the Democrats are actually quite effective at silencing the left flank of their own party. They know that they can constantly bitch about far leftists indoctrination everywhere regardless of them getting everything they want. They know that there is always a market for hateful ideas and bad ideas. That the millionaires and billionaires can create platforms for them and that leftists will never be able to amass as many platforms as they can. That market forces and the supposed marketplace of ideas, is  a compelling fiction, and that the right will never have to play by the actual rules of a marketplace of ideas, is something the right knows and can count on. They know the left will bleat about hypocrisy and disgusting intransigence of the right and that it will never ever stop them. Being hypocritical is only annoying, if you don’t actually get what you want, is basically how they view it. The Democratic party will never protect the ideas of leftists and will only play lip service to it. They do not challenge the framing of the right because many of them know that many of the policy ideas of the right are things on which they agree. The culture war battles never stopped and the right will never stop fighting it. The right and left can never agree on this because the values are not the same. The government cannot and will not always reflect every American’s values and points of view. Understanding this is important. If centrists really care about responsible government then they will support the left doing whatever they need to to fight back against the right. Being polite is not helpful and whining about social norms and rudeness cannot make things better. The establishment cannot help the left though because they are only ever angry if they feel like their lives are disrupted and they are made uncomfortable. The fact that most Americans are increasingly living precarious and depressing lives is lost on them. The left, if it wants to win, must ignore the center and the right and proceed to push forward with our agenda. Regardless of whether our ideas are popular or not we must forge ahead. We must also challenge the right wing framing and consistantly dismantle it. The right wing are wrong about everything and we are allowed to say that. Furthermore, certain ideas are not worth debating. Whether human beings are all equal regardless of skin color, ethnicity or sexual orientation is an idea that should just be accepted as fact. When conservatives whine about being oppressed on these grounds, shut them down. These are not debatable ideas and the verdict is in. Tolerating ideas that so expressly degrade and oppress groups of people are NOT worthy of the discussion. If you must, remind people that racism is bad because it is irrational and because it leads to violence. These ideas create toxic cultures that make many people feel like they cannot be themselves or live their lives on their own terms. The right cannot win an argument unless they use deceptive tactics and straw man arguments. Do not allow them to tell you what you believe. Do not allow them to ask a bazillion questions and not address any of yours. They expressly want debates to get their hateful ideas out there. They need to saturate the media with their views regardless of merit. They know that as long as they can get them out there, there are people who will believe them. They can be lying and if they never have to admit they are wrong, that people will believe them. The whining and bitching of the right is effective because language can be effective. However, the bullying they tend to pursue almost never comes back to bite them. Often the deplatforming of right wing ideologues happens because of advertisers being pressured and not from a lack of audience or because of the content of their show. The fairness doctrine is a worthy legislative goal to bring back. The Fairness Doctrine was a regulation that made it so that any program on television that had a political bent, had to present equal time to an opposing view. This was repealed by President Ronald Reagan. It is worth noting that many conservative outlets are allowed to present their world views and values as objective without allowing any opposing views. This is how they win. They rely on the inability of the opposition to have as many platforms for their ideas and by pressuring the biggest outlets to go out of their way to be kind to conservatives in order to prevent the calls that they are liberally biased. Of course, the whining will never stop. The strategy will continue as long as the billionaire class gets what they want and as long as conservative ideas can get monetized. This is why we must take the gloves off and get ready to never stop fighting back. The right will always have money behind them and a platform to use. The left cannot count on that and the mainstream media and the Democratic party cannot be counted on. Therefore, if they do not respect us enough to take us seriously, I insist that we make the life of the right hell. We have better ideas and actual support from actual people. Money cannot match a good idea but as long as we don’t give it our all the right will continue to win. When the left fights the right cannot win. In the long term, they are fucked and they know it.

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