Dafydd at Big Lizards:
Some days back, my fave blogger on my fave blog posted a plaintive, desperate cri de coeur: “Why aren’t more people repelled by the Left?”
I can’t tell whether John’s question is serious or rhetorical, but there is an obvious explanation: Defiance is “cool” to younger voters and activists, because they’re still in the throes of their own genetically driven urge to leave the nest and create their own family line. Without evolutionarily induced defiance, mammals would never leave their mothers.
This is likely why teens and early-twenties tend to vote more leftish than older voters: genes.
But it brings up a larger point: For decades now, at least since the late sixties, Republicans have been thought to be stodgy, old-fashioned, reminiscent, hidebound, nerdy, and out of touch with the contemporary world. By contrast, the Left has successfully painted itself as bright, new, clever, nimble, snarky (which now seems a good thing), and above all, cool.
I will say this over and over: In elections, reality is meaningless; image is everything.
So given our image, we must ask a very serious (and not at all rhetorical) question: Can GOPers ever be elected again?
The answer, I’m happy to say, is absolutely! But not by the kinds of campaigns Republicans prefer running these days; we’re chasing hydrofoils with canoes.
We need to emulate, not the corrupt, totalitarian policies of Progressivists, but their brilliant ability to grab the electorate and make it dance to their tune. In particular, we Republicans must master three techniques that we have (for the most part) disdained until now:
- Convert your voter first by passion and emotion, and only later persuade him with logic.
- Pick candidates that are likeable, future-looking, and cool — not nerdy, annoying, and obsessed with a Golden Age that never was.
- Develop a consistent narrative of government, what it should be and do; then let policy flow from that story, rather than warp the story to justify predetermined policies of the past.
To make my point clearer, I will focus only on presidential candidates. But the same strategies of coolness, emotion, and finally logic to retoactively justifiy the emotional decision still apply, even when scaled up to the 535 members of Congress — e.g., Newt Gingrich’s victory in 1994.
Wait, isn’t this pointless, now that the “Gang of Eight” is going to grant a path to citizenship for all the illegal aliens, and they’ll all vote for Democrats, so the GOP will never win another election?
The two phenomena are not connected; it’s not like we have to choose either to improve GOP campaign strategies or securing the border, but not both! Each will either happen or not happen independent of the other. So there’s no rational reason to reject improvement of electioneering skills just because the 2016 electorate will have more Hispanics than in 2012, or because the 2024 electorate will include some number of erstwhile illegal immigrants. It’s like saying, “Radical-Islamist terrorism will probably increase in a few years, so there’s no point in refinancing your high-interest home loan.”
Now let’s get on with the show!
Coolness as political proxy
In any election, the mass of voters will cast votes for the candidate they consider the coolest and most likeable, and who seems to be looking ahead, not behind, with little regard to logical argument or rational policy-making.
Let’s define “hyper-informed Republican voters” (HIRVs) as those folks who read blogs like Power Line, Patterico’s Pontifications, Hot Air, who read books by Ben Shapiro, Thomas Sowell, Jonah Goldberg, and suchlike, and who tend to vote GOP. We must understand that HIRVs do not win elections.
Most voters vote a straight party ticket, usually whichever party their parents voted; and the balance of the election, especially in more recent times, is held by the Low-Information Voters (LIVs), those who rarely read about politics or policy — and almost never deliberately. Most of their political ideas, quirks, and outbursts come from ostensibly non-political sources, from celebrities, gossip columns, and meme-squibs squirted into otherwise apolitical articles in culture media (glamor shows, teen idols, fashion mavins, homemaking magazines). Alas, the vast majority of such sources lean very far to the left.
Agreed, example is Rick Santorum getting sucked into the gay rights and abortion issue, when all he should have said , calmly and with finality, these issues I will leave for the states to decide. Our primaries looked like a circus last year because of all the grandstanding crap. We should keep primary numbers down to 2 people and not attack each other. We lost the election in the primary stage in my opinion.
The extreme right of the GOP and the Corporate whores, will keep them out of the White House until 2024 at least and their recent actions will lose them the House in 2014.