Sunday, September 19, 2004

its not what we say

Here's something I've been thinking about for a while.

It seems like we've fallen into a pattern that hasn't been working to well for us lately. Here's how it goes:

Lefty Liberal sees some possible writing on the wall, and thinks by exposing it to the world its power will be diminished. Example: "Can you believe it, Repubs are looking for ways to exploit 9/11 for their national election in 2004! Can you believe the gall! The insensitivity!"

There's a minor lefty uproar about the gall and insensitivity. Lefties settle down after a while, secure in the knowledge that they've thwarted evil, scored a few points and shown neo-cons/cons in a negative light.

Neo/cons continue to link 9/11 with the RNC convention in many and varied ways.

Lefties notice again after a while and start ringing that warning bell. "Repubs planning to hijack the feelings of good will and patriotism associated with 9/11!!!" We scream. "Look here! Look here!"

Neo/cons: Shrug and a "Yeah. So."

Lefties: "But you're trying to take undue advantage of the honest emotions of the people!!!!"

Neo/cons: "So what's your point?"

Lefties: "You're totally exploiting the fact that 3000 people were killed and turning it into an advantage for your political purposes!"

Neo/cons: "Well. What are you going to do about it?"

Lefties: sputter sputter "Er... The people aren't going to stand for it!!"

Neo/cons: "Whatever."
For some reason, we seem to think that if we publicly expose some future reprehensible behavior, it will prevent the other side from taking exactly those actions we expose. But it never seems to work for us. I don't know why. Perhaps because we're imposing our own standards on a group that lives by a totally separate set of values.

The point is, in situations like these, we've got to have a back up plan. And we've got to realize we can't talk our way out of problems.

A good case coming up. I get the feeling that lots of people think that if we talk (and talk and talk) about the Repubs "stealing" the upcoming election, then somehow they won't be able to get away with it. But this isn't like being able to call up the cops and getting them to stake out the jewelry store.

Well, actually it is, but we're the cops, and we're the ones who have to be willing to take action. Its not enough for us to simply tell the burglars that we've blown the whistle. They already know we got nothin' left.

So lets get out of this mindset that if we can just dream up some conspiracy theory and get it out in front of people, we'll have saved the day. It takes a bit more sweat than that.