We know it, but it was still a sad shock to see Conservative Blogs are More Effective in today's NY Times maggy. This brings up the questions about whether liberals could...or should...do the same things to get our points across.
Key points in the times mini-article (part of the annual ideas or things-that-make-you-go-hmmmm issue) include:
Left-wingers tend to blog ideas.
Right-wingers go straight for an emotional appeal, regardless of truth or reason.
Right-wing radio and TV are eager to broadcast the conservative tripe, even if they know it is false.
So the questions remaining are can pinkos catch up to the Dark Side, which jumped on radio and on the Web while we were thinking deep and altruistic thoughts? Can we create a network of broadcast media eager to spread our messages? Perhaps most important, should we, any of us, consider the raw, manipulative tactics of the worst of the right-wing bloggers?
We can dismiss the last one quickly, or we can consider it. Both fortunately and unfortunately, lefties tend not to swallow and repeat emotional crap. That makes our messages more lasting, but harder to disseminate.
On the other hand, our traditional way can work. Take last summer and this fall's Maine battle to keep the anti-gay discrimination laws and wording. Twice before, hateful and dishonest arch-conservatives pulled every emotional trick they could to predict the most dire consequences if homosexuals were offered basic legal protections.
This time they lost to a honest, smart and reasoned campaign by left-wingers. They tried the same lies and distortions, but Maine Won't Discriminate and their buddies won with honor and honesty. It certainly didn't hurt that all the dreadful untruths that the Christian Civic League and their partners in spite were increasingly obviously false. Simply put, the voters knew gay men and women, and knew they were neither monsters nor citizens who should be denied the rights the rest of us take for granted.
So here we are looking at Republican lies that have already cost the lives of thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Afghanis and Iraqis. Right-wing bloggers still fling fallacies frequently. The Rush-type radio talkers push every innuendo, calumny and deceit as not only truth, but truth that proves liberals and real leftists are wrong.
What's a leftist blogger to do?
I honestly can't see the left-wing blog world turning to lies and gut-over-brain appeals. If the proven, impeachable lies that put us into war in Iraq will not convince those of small minds, our gnawing on that bone won't either. The right-wing blogger/broadcast support is neither our audience nor the forces that will eventually prevail.
Our future seems to be as we must in Massachusetts and as they did in Maine. Make it true, make it right, make it real, and we eventually prevail. It is the preponderance of the small.
As the Boomers did with the Viet Nam War, pound and pelt and prove. Eventually, the scales fall from the eyes of the voters. Thne even Tricky Dick or George the Lesser give it up.
It's a damned pity that the bullies who can't play fair or tell the truth start out with an advantage. They lose in the end though.