Declassification! Attorney General Barr investigating Watergate 2.0! Democrat candidates turning cannibal! There are plenty of summer blockbusters on the slate. Will you sit back and eat popcorn, or capitalize on this rare advantage? A few thoughts on why you should consider the latter.
It Can Be Done
The election season is upon us. It feels like no one is budging from their partisan trenches, yet anecdotal evidence and leftist reactions show otherwise. Technocrats and establishment media are losing stature, reputation, and followers. They’re angry, and they are taking measures–even against newer sites such as our own CD Media. Brandon Straka, Candace Owens, Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, James Woods, and countless others have been banned from one social media platform or another. Deplatformed. Why? Not for TOS violations. Because the #walkaway campaign, Turning Point, USA, investigative journalism, brutal satire, and merciless, truthful tweets have the power to open PC-dust-crusted eyes.
Disillusioned Dems exist. Converts can be won.
“But I don’t have a broad platform or a unique story,” you say. No worries. Anyway, I’m not advocating for the methods of internet celebrities, I’m talking about guerrilla warfare. Subtle, cautious steps. The secret ingredient? Doing it from a place of love. After all, what could be a more heartfelt gesture than saving a friend from the febrile clutches of the modern left?
It does seem impossible at times to convert a smug liberal. I should know. I used to be one, for 20 years. My great friend, a true patriot from Virginia, managed to change my mind. More accurately, he patiently pointed out inconsistencies in modern liberal thought, leading me to water. I had to drink it. I’m grateful for every day since then. A trained eye for media, a refusal to be conditioned to feel guilty for who I am, a rejection of the erosion of free speech, 2A, and on and on: these are the gifts I was given, the gifts you can give others. Critical thinking beats contorting your mind to fit the strictures of political correctness any day. Some day soon, your friend will thank you sincerely if you help him wake up now.
A few observations I made during the move from center-left to solidly right:
The urge will arise to send your hippie father-in-law articles from conservative news sites this summer that prove points you tried to make over the Christmas vacation, or settle a score with your former golf buddy via Facebook. Check that impulse, for you know where that road leads. Instead, be magnanimous. Concede a point here or there on nonessential issues. Have a laugh with your friend. Show that you can take a joke.
A real opportunity exists right now to change how your acquaintances on the left perceive the machinations of the past two-plus years: with any luck at all, the cards–finally–will be laid on the table. All you have to do is kindly show how mass media stutters and pivots to the latest false flag or celebrity nonsense when Barr reveals the depth of criminality employed by the CNN-sainted leaders of the left. In your approach, think Mr. Miyagi, not Cobra Kai. Beating people over the head with facts only makes them recede further into their shells, so go easy.
Put yourself in the shoes of even a moderate Democrat: he’s still struggling with the Mueller report. He’s still clinging to the hope that the latest sub-investigation will turn up something, anything to justify his hundreds of excruciating Maddow-hours. Understand that his crabby attitude and knee-jerk ad hominem attacks on Trump & Co. are due to a sensation of having the rug pulled out from under him. His mind hasn’t accepted it, but his balance is off. He is uncomfortable, yet unable to name the source of his discomfort.
Pick Your Battles
Avoid his hot button issue. It’s not a winnable battle, so skip it. Plenty of people have moved to the right still clinging to a liberal pet issue or two. Your first goal is not outright victory, it is merely to interrupt the confirmation bias loop that nourishes his perceptions long enough to help him consider the other side. For instance, if your friend is watching TV news, instead of saying “Jake Tapper is a moron,” try something like, “Hey, have they said anything about [topic X] today?” Questions, not statements.
What finally did it for me: my friend–let’s call him John–advised me to pay attention to the actions, and not the pretty words, of newly-elected Obama in ’08. John didn’t like or trust the candidate who had appeared out of thin air and made grand, vague promises. Instead of screaming about it, he made a reasonable request: actions over words. So I agreed. As a result, I noticed when Obama didn’t immediately shutter Gitmo. The online transparency he promised didn’t materialize. When he preposterously agreed to accept the Nobel Prize a few months after taking office, I had to pull over to the side of the road near Oyster Bay, NY. The mask had slipped just long enough. I had seen the liar it hid. The scales began to fall from my eyes.
Over the years, my vision sharpened. All the people I had seen as right-wing trolls in online comment sections slowly became less objectionable, more human. I challenged myself to keep an open mind, to hear them out. Although we still disagreed on a number of topics, there was real dialog instead of the usual “teabagger/libtard” insults common to that era. I learned that many of my chat board former nemeses were honest, hardworking people like me, and their beliefs came from a place of love, family values, and respect for their country, not from philosophical ideas about the nature of man and accepting everyone based on their imagined and fungible identities.
(That’s another wedge to use–most sane Democrats know deep down that identity politics is a loser of an idea. The very notion is based on dividing people into smaller and more exclusive groups, not uniting them. Use it, but again, do so gently. Boys competing as girls in athletics is a good place to begin, especially if your friend is an athlete, a woman, or parent with a daughter.)
It Won’t Feel Like Winning At First
Defensiveness is human. No one likes to admit to a political opponent that his ideas are shifting, even if the opponent is a friend first and foremost. It could take months or longer, but at some point, he’ll let you know. Especially if you were kind about helping him find the way.
I’ll add more “Summer of Swaying Liberals” ideas as the season progresses. Good luck, and if you have a conversion story, please share it below!