Part 3: The Right Wing

Much of the problems of discourse I believe comes from a fundamental misunderstanding between the right and left. However, I do believe the right understands the left and the center much better than the left understands the right. I say this while there is a plethora of literature critiquing and chronicling the rise of the right since the 70’s. There is so much information out there and it is comforting to the liberal sensibilities and to those who seek to understand their opponents. However, the answer as the core of the misunderstanding is possibly the most simple out of all. The nuances of the real world of politics can be very off putting to many people and not everyone has the time and energy required to keep up. The right understands this but it isn’t simply about just lying and being deceitful. If really it were about proving them wrong and crushing their arguments the right wouldn’t have been able to do what they did. At the core of the right are two central understandings, first that ordinary folks are more likely to respond to narratives that are suitably comforting but also that animate them. The central Western narratives alongside religion is a guiding principle that gives the right a sense of drive and purpose. This cannot be underestimated. The right have been very successful in making their principles very clear to every American. Whether or not it creates actual change is besides the point. Furthermore, they understand that moral courage and fortitude are appealing and can keep people grounded in turbulent times. This means that that gives them a sense of grounding that means they will resist any competing narratives or correctives. This means that their axioms and ideas are resistant to any other definitions of truth or objective that anyone else might have. Sam Harris might have been distressed at how Jordan Peterson defined truth but Peterson does understand the conservative mind better than Sam does. It is really sad that Peterson is able to get away with things like this. The resistance to opposing ideas and narratives means that the loyalty is fairly absolute. What we on the left see as dogmatic, the right sees as moral and praiseworthy. The right doesn’t care about the same things the left does but by appealing to what the liberals like and what the left likes they try to engage in bad faith. They don’t need to prove their points because the moment they speak they already won. They know the loyalty of their side is fairly irreversible but that the audience they gain doesn’t need to join them for them to effect them. They can demoralize the opposition by continuing to appear and never seem to stop lying and being deceitful. They can use whatever tactics they want and know that as long as they appeal to some great liberal principles they will get an audience. The principled ones will be useful for the right because they will always team up with the right to chastise any perceieved shutting down of the right. They appeal to the love of debate and ideas and use cultural capitalism as a means to an end. Everything the right does is connected to their perceived moral clarity and vision. This is why often the right are the ones who censor their own more often than the left does. You don’t ever hear about left wingers getting removed from conservative outlets. But the right demands to be allowed to challenge the left and liberals wherever they want. They refuse to play by the rules that they want the left to play by. This is how they win. In other words, the left cannot beat the right by sticking to liberal principles. This isn’t because liberalism is inherently useless or evil. It isn’t even because we must always respond to the right. It is only because the right has chosen to put their own perceived moral purity over the common good. This is inherently authoritarian. Of course, the centrist is more willing to play along because their status and power is more important than human rights or any particular principle. The principles of the left may seem to be broken by the Democratic Party all the time, but really what infuriates the voters are how they seem to always abandon the people for high minded compromises and principles. The Centrist and establishment left do care about the liberal concepts of government and this is why they don’t bend them for themselves. This is why the concept of the only adults in the room is such self-congratulatory bullshit. It is simply the establishment patting themselves on the back for perceived maturity and vision. Of course, often this ends up backfiring on the people. It also leads to the left and the centrist left looking weak and unable to govern. In fact, the sticking to principles actually is why they fail. They are playing a game in which the opposing side isn’t playing by the same rules. This means the right can look strong and principled, but also win. They look better regardless of how awful they are. The left then, by choosing to play by a set of rules are handicapping themselves. You can’t beat the right if they refuse to play. The right cares enough about their principles and policy goals to flout any conceivable norms to get it. The left would be wise to do the same. Our policy goals and principles are better and if it means being perceived as dangerous so be it. The right always is able to be dangerous but also somehow get legitimate status in discourse. I say, we don’t need permission to be better than the right because we are. They are unable to win without cheating so I say throw out the old game and show the right that the left cares more about human beings than the right. The left would also be wise to purge those who choose their own perceived money and status above their constiutents. This adds to the perception of the leftist parties being weak and unprincipled. The sad part is, these parts of the parties have been dominant for a while. Winning elections is secondary to getting the best policies. Do you think the transformation will happen overnight? Nope but the right showed that even when they had no power they had the backing and money to do whatever they wanted. Their ideas cannot survive without injecting them with sterioids. I say deprive them of the oxygen and change the conversation.

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