We target consevatives with info: That’s part of our frustration
Dorothy Seese accurately described the bleak dilemma that many of us have complained about. We do have TMI — too much information. But, in a sense, we’ve contributed to this frustration. Many “conservatives” have more clearly seen where we’re headed than have Republicans of various stripes. They’ve surely seen more clearly than most Democrats and the Independents who took to the cracks between parties in a desperate search for things more in tune with their unaddressed wants and needs. However, it’s not hard to see that we’re losing ground. It’s understandable that many of us are ready to throw in the towel.
But, we shouldn’t look just to strictly conservative sites and sources to ease the situation we find ourselves in. We’ve passed the point of building strictly conservative support. We’ve found comfort and support among our own, but we may have stayed too long among our own, and allowed ourselves to be shunted aside, while opponents had a field day convincing everyone else that we are a tad more than a bubble off-level.
At times we become so frustrated and angry that we allow ourselves to appear irrational to the other side and provide them with “proof” to cite as validation of bubble-off-level viewpoints. Rank and file opposition dutifully avoid exposing themselves to what “we” have to say — but their leadership keeps a steady eye on us so that the spinmeisters can extract only the most damaging phrases to spread out of context as far, fast and furiously as possible. And, it’s spread in places their supporters and prospective supporters are sure to see. Their target audience isn’t inclined to search out conservative sites where they might get a different slant on what they have just seen or heard from the spinmeisters.
The opposition knows what to focus public attention on, and how to reach the largest potential “market.” Somehow we haven’t yet mastered that technique. Or perhaps more accurately, we were too slow to recognize that it was needed. Most conservatives are still of the old school, believing that truth will stand alone, that knowing it is enough, and that others will eventually come recognize truth for its own worth. Too few conservatives have yet realized that while we were waiting for the truth to sink in, schools, universities, media and bureaucrats were churning out thousands of Americans indoctrinated in twisted truths and opposition agendas. They now make our task much more difficult.
Unfortunately, there is also a need to explain to many people, from scratch, that “A is for Apple,” while simultaneously explaining to others that many unnoticed mistakes have piled one atop the next. At this point we can neither solve things by crying over spilt milk nor by allowing sour milk to stand and pollute current efforts. Americans need to find the best way to compensate for past mistakes while avoiding repeating them in today’s growing chaotic conditions.
No matter how valid theories might be about internal, external or global machinations, we are shouting into the wind when we try to gain new supporters by offering details of what they have been trained to see as crackpot conspiracies. The other side has done its job too well. They have reinforced their grasp on the reins of government and society and at the same time ensured that random murmurs from newly-questioning citizens are dealt with swiftly. Conservatives rarely get a chance to jump the spin barriers to offer back-up and truth to those just beginning to see a glimmer of chicanery in the daily “information.”
Our problem is not that we lack “the truth,” or that we don’t work to spell it out. Our problem is that we consistently spell it out mainly to those who already agree with us, and use dogged repetition of unwelcome facts to those who disagree. Our problem is that we haven’t found the right access route to those so far unexposed to or resistant to “truths.” We haven’t yet been able to convince sufficient numbers of Americans that they have been accepting too much information at face value, simply because it comes from mainstream journalists, educators, politicians and opportunists in the guise of “caring experts.”
True, many of us are nearing burnout, seeing the apparent futility of our efforts. We are not alone in that. Every front-burner issue today has behind it a long line of often unseen, and more often unsung volunteers who tried to keep the issue from building to crisis state.
If there is any antidote for fatigue and information overload, it may well be finding ways to link “truths” to the current circumstances of those we haven’t reached before. We may need to link past national and local mistakes to situations now evident simultaneously in many parts of the country. One thing more people are beginning to accept as “truth” is the fact that what they have thought were their own unique local problems are turning out to be replications of what many others faced, are facing now, or just beginning to see signs of building to crisis proportions.
It may be a time to make sure that individual friends, relatives, co-workers, fellow parishioners or passing acquaintances are pointed to articles that relate especially to their own involvements or complaints, in such a way as to logically link their own experiences to more widespread causes and effects facing others.
I’m sure I’m not the only one overwhelmed to the point of being unable to choose which of the many wonderful new book exposes out there will be the best one to have time to read, let alone share with others. Conservatives are turning out books faster than other dedicated conservatives can read, but many Americans are still largely so far behind the curve that they don’t know about the books, or what significance they have, even if they do hear of them. And, few people can afford to buy each of the latest wonderful books.
What is the answer? There is no single answer. Maybe it’s to point more casual contacts to alternative news sites, so that they can learn and share with others. Maybe it’s for us to realize that knowing something doesn’t mean that others know it also and are just obstinately choosing to reject it.
Maybe we need to realize that not everyone has our access to extensive internet communication. Many Americans don’t or can’t participate extensively on-line. Cable TV still doesn’t blanket the country; many people can’t afford the full range of connection options. Working people can’t hear Rush Limbaugh in the daytime, or stay up for nighttime talk shows. Exhausted and busy families can’t devote their evening hours to catching up on what they have missed. E-mail users with only message exchange capability don’t get the fast-breaking news and commentary that we take for granted. Sunday talk shows where conservatives proudly outline their views, aren’t seen by churchgoing Americans who have largely retreated from active involvement in civic issues and who miss the discussions that might spur their increased involvement.
Maybe some professional conservative journalists and writers need to add ideas and shorter pieces to those of the concerned and dedicated volunteers who are driven to merge their love of writing with the strong conviction that there is an urgent need to get the message out whenever and wherever it can be done.
We need the creative impetus of noting opposing views and comments. By concentrating most on our own groups and contacts, we often miss opportunities we could turn to our advantage. We need to link what we know to current news and use it to convince the unconvinced that they should pay attention to more than the artfully crafted headlines, soundbites and evening network “news.”
We need to vary our approaches for different “audiences.” If we talk over the heads of the intended audience, or use references they can’t relate to, we make no headway. If we use terms that aren’t understood, or worse yet, are insulting, we often lose ground. No matter how justified harsh rhetoric and ridicule may be, it often turns off the very supporters we need to add to our ranks. That’s especially important in today’s world where the too-long-ignored education agendas have now gone full-bore into teaching one-way tolerance as the cultural norm.
Maybe what we need is a brief respite, plus awareness of different ways to get the attention of those who don’t yet know they need to know what they’ve missed so far.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”