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We have Symposiums, they have LOLcats

We have Symposiums, they have LOLcats

I’m glad that my post, Upworthy — or, How we are losing the internet to lowest of low information young liberals, has garnered a fair amount of attention.

Mandy Nagy at Breitbart.com, has an interesting history, in response, that we all should consider, Why LOLcats Matter in Politics:

In 2002, when the Democrats felt woefully defeated and questioned the long term viability of their party’s goals, they realized that their existence was dependent upon more than elections.  It would take a new permanent progressive infrastructure – one that included not only new donors, but new media, bloggers, activists and new technology innovation all its own.  And culture would become a driving force behind their new progressive movement and infrastructure.

As in-fighting in our own movement continues, I am reminded of the left’s struggle and rebirth after 2002.  That’s where we are now.  It’s easy for many on our own side to lose sight of the long game, the perpetual fight – the fight against the left’s permanent infrastructure, which is one that embodies a nexus of politics, media and culture combined.  The power of cultural memes and viral messaging to counter political ideology doesn’t just happen autonomously. To speak to the low information audience today, you need to create the infrastructure of the future.

Our existence is about more than just the issue of the day that consumes our attention, or the candidate we’re all fighting over today.  Our existence depends upon weaving technology, new media and culture into our messaging and into our mechanisms.  That’s infinitely more than just “incorporating social media” or “bridging the digital divide.” It requires creating a culture unto its own.

When you do the permanent infrastructure right, tackling individual elections suddenly becomes easier.  Just remember, that LOLcat might mean more to politics than you ever imagined possible.

Andrew Breitbart used to say, “Politics is downstream from culture.”  That should be the mantra of our movement, and of all who invest in it.

I was thinking along these lines today when I saw a tweet linking to an American Enterprise Institute book presentation, Bad history, worse policy: How a false narrative about the financial crisis led to the Dodd-Frank Act.  The point of the presentation was that almost every leftist trope about the causes of the financial crisis is wrong, and the remedies have made matters worse:

Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, US economic growth has slowed. When the Volcker Rule is finalized, state and local governments will experience increased borrowing costs. The largest financial institutions will dominate the market, with funding advantages over their smaller rivals. The adverse effects of Dodd-Frank will seriously outweigh its benefits. Why did a law with these deficiencies pass in Congress?

Peter Wallison’s new book “Bad History, Worse Policy: How a False Narrative about the Financial Crisis Led to the Dodd-Frank Act,” (AEI Press, January 2013) provides the answer: the act was based on a false narrative about the causes of the financial crisis. This book release event will examine how a mistaken view of an event leads to bad policy decisions.

There certainly is a place for such in-depth discussions.  But what chance does an intellectual discussion of how the mortgage crisis was a result of government policies stand in the culture when confronted with the low information presentations at Upworthy, in the mainstream media, and from low information politicians (via MassLive):

“You can’t come into people’s neighborhoods and just tear them up. You can’t sell terrible mortgage products that cause people to lose their homes. You can’t come into our economy and just wreck it – cost people jobs, cost people their savings, cost people their retirements – and then say, at the end, ‘We’re too big to touch,’ ” Warren said.

There is an important place for The American Enterprise Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and other intellectual foundations on the right.

But we also need more LOLcats.  A lot more of them.

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Comments

So the question becomes: How do we convert our intellectual firepower into culturally accessible messages?

I’ll confess. This leaves me at a loss.

In the war of ideas, we win on the merits. So, the Left lies. They lie very well, and it is often difficult for truth to win out every time.

What this tells me is that the Left has learned to make a lie true by repeating it millions of times. If enough people believe your lie, it becomes the truth.

I suspect that our best response might not be just repeating the truth millions of times. I suspect that, just as our ideas are different, so must be our approach to spreading them.

    Ragspierre in reply to Same Same. | February 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    It isn’t just repeating it a million times…

    it is make it COOL to lie.

    See Letterman, David.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Same Same. | February 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    If the hip young sprats repeat to one another their low-information mantras until replaced by the next ones, that’s ‘community’. If some un-hip greyheads repeat brilliantly thought out mantras hoping to convert said young sprats, well, them sprats are experts in tuning out bothersome non-community members.

    Short of a spate of new movies, in which the celebrity players make a conservative viewpoint cool enough to get you laid, we’ll have to wait until the natural consequences of leftist governance crashes the system into crisis, and then somehow demonstrate a better system – against the hurricane narrative of the media blame festival pointed our way.

    The problem with waiting for that crisis is that some Mussolini-in-waiting is doing the same, and may even be organizing his street armies against the day.

      Very well said. I think the precedents for fascist leadership are already on display. And I’m not at all convinced that we could ever prevail in making it cool to be scholarly and respectful of conservative ideals. Breitbart was pushing that way, but he seemed too unsavory for those of us who value scholarship and respectful discourse. Greg Gutfeld is clever, and can be funny — but stocking up on glib irreverence will not serve when we are entrenched in calamity from the choices made in present times. The complete independence on display in Amish communities is looking real attractive right now — and one day maybe secession will become a possibility.

    Not so. “God made a farmer.” Eastwood’s half time ad for Chrysler. http://heygirlitspaulryan.tumblr.com/

    More like this.

LOLcats indeed. Something is needed to crack through the dense skulls of the 47%

I worked in the mortgage banking industry for nearly 16 years all during the 90’s and into the 00’s. I saw first had the perverse effects of Fannie, Freddie and the constant government push to further the ‘dream of home ownership for everyone.’

But today it is ‘common knowledge’ that the collapse was 100% the fault of the evil wall street barons. Seriously… the act that is supposed to fix the mess is named after the two individuals whose finger-prints are all over the mess in the first place. Only in Washington DC.

“But we also need more LOLcats. A lot more of them.”

I couldn’t agree more. This is an important point on a day when the dunderheads at Politico suddenly realize they’ve allowed themselves to become irrelevant. Sad truth of the matter is that Politico, WaPo and other media outlets are merely upset because they can’t help this White House and they fear future administrations (including Republicans) will follow the lead here and bypass the Washington press altogether.

If ever a political party needed to find a way to bypass the Washington press it was the Republicans. The right and the Republicans can allow themselves to go the way of the Washington press or they can get in the game. It would be the best possible use of some Adelson/Koch dollars imaginable to fund some lolcatz publications. Or we can keep feeding dollars to a few overpaid consultants in DC and keep losing elections.

“You can’t come into people’s neighborhoods and just tear them up…You can’t come into our economy and just wreck it – cost people jobs, cost people their savings, cost people their retirements – and then say, at the end, ‘We’re too big to touch,’ ” Warren said.

Why not? The government does it all the time. Especially the Obama administration.

I’m not equipped to turn that into a LOLcat or cartoon, but maybe somebody can take the baton.

How? First, talk to them in their language: superheroes and villains – you on Tony Stark’s side of supporting creativity and capitalism and problem-solving and telling the truth, or you on the side of the MegaGovernment that tries to steal his ideas and kill him?

People like their Guy Fawkes masks – we Conservatives should take over that meme – after all, we’re not the ones trying to build MegaGov. And make the point that if Libs don’t like the idea of evil, power-hungry people running MegaCorps, where do they think all those evil, power-hungry people will go when MegaGov created by the Dems is the only power in town?

How you feel about the idea of 16-year-old American boys being killed because they *might* be a problem some day – like Obama’s White House said they did last month? That’s exactly what the Evil Government did in “Minority Report” when they decided to do something about Tom Cruise because the government predicted that he might be a problem. You on the side of government killing kids for something they might do some day? How you feel about the government killing you because of something YOU might do some day?

I have liberals tell me that I’m very good at being an agitator – so I figure I must be doing something right.

Last week, I asked one pro-Obama, very Liberal white female lawyer: The Dem party went to a Civil War instead of freeing slaves, the Republicans had to stomp them down in order to end Slavery, so the Dems created the KKK after they lost the war, and today they are STILL keeping the inner-city Blacks down on the economic plantation by forcing them to go to schools where they can’t even learn to read/write, and then when the Blacks get uppity and demand school vouchers and choice (like they did in Chicago), the White Chicago Dem establishment stomps them down?

I ask: what’s their moral justification for bankrupting their kids, just so they can get a bit cheaper medical care and 30 years of retirement? What happened to “leaving things better than you found them”? “Sustainability?”

What’s their moral justification for starving millions to death in Africa, and causing food riots in Egypt, just so they can stop Keystone and put food in their gas-tank. Why are tens of thousands of dead Blacks less of a problem to them than AGW? Do they even care???

Just gotta argue forcefully emotionally. In their words, using things they know (movies and TV).

Two words: People’s Cube

What I believe most people on the right miss is that we don’t need a secret formula, or @#$% and Shinola salesmen like Karl Rove.

The dumbing down of our culture is due to our allowing leftist educators to dumb down students. So common sense dictates that continuing to stand by and watch this happen with our collective thumbs up our @#$%s is a bad idea.

Re-electing clueless cowards to leadership positions in the GOP doesn’t work either, so we need to discontinue that idiotic practice.

But most of all, we need to realize that people — even dumb people — follow LEADERS. Leader projecting alpha qualities will be follow. (If you don’t believe me, ask any dog.) Right now, the GOP leadership is gutless, uncommitted, and uncharismatic. They’re in their positions simply because people before them either died or retired, and they rose to their level of incompetence.

When we become enraged enough to collectively push the corrupt hacks running the GOP out of the way, we will choose a leader. Palin is a leader. But she was sabotaged by the fearful hacks in the GOP.

Remember, Romney almost won. But he stupidly campaigned with one hand behind fearfully his back, and lost the aura of leadership — so enough idiots voted for the closed alpha they could find: the incumbent.

There are plenty of Tea Party alphas in Congress, swept in in 2010. Many are military officers, and pretty tough bastards. Hand them the reigns of GOP power, and turn them loose on the electorate and on the corrupt Democrat media. You’ll see the tide turn.

It’s going to tough to get through the fog as long as the left controls the educational curricula from kindergarten to grad school.

We need to get federal money OUT of directly controlling education at all levels, vouchers for the first 12 years and completely out of higher education, period.

If the states want to subsidize tenured leftist liberal arts faculties at their public universities, let them pay for it.

On the subject of LOLz: How about rising the voting age to 25, or the age at which individuals are expected to proved for their own healthcare. Exception should be given to those who enter the armed forces. They should be able to both vote and consume alcohol as soon as they enlist.
That will take care of LOLcats.

Republicans and conservatives are old and decidedly less tech savvy — and less pop-culture savvy. It’s hard to imagine a solution to this problem.

“Tumblr? What?”

As much as I like Instapundit’s idea — super wealthy conservatives buying up popular publications — I’m afraid you can’t simply buy pop culture success.

We can laugh ALONG WITH the LOLcats, and at the same time laugh AT some of the ludicrous positions their “leaders” try to push. We can laugh AT Obama acting as our Daddy (Chris Rock) since Daddy keeps using the kid’s credit card. Laugh AT Jesse Jackson for buying Rolex bling with campaign money. Laugh AT Al Jazeera Gore, with even a Greenpeace founder and other old green stalwarts seeing the light.

Maybe we can co-opt their comedy routines … laugh AT Chris “who’s your Daddy” Rock for his politics … funny guy, but dumber than a box of rocks. Laugh WITH the jokes, laugh AT the politics and ignorance.

At risk of annoying repetition, “low info voter” is a misnomer. They are “excessive info of which 90% is wrong voters”.

It isn’t that they don’t receive enough info – the problem is that the large amount of info they do receive is propaganda coming from various sources (TV, radio, Hollywood, magazines, internet, etc.) that reinforce each other’s agenda message.

Conservatives can blare the actual facts (‘high info’) from the mountaintops all we want, but it won’t overcome the liberal propaganda blitz. The idea that we just need to provide the facts won’t fly. It *should*, but it won’t.

What are the traditional/historical GOP positions/values? Law & order? Haven’t heard much on that in a long while. Low taxes? R-i-i-ight. Small government? Yeah, uh-huh. Strong nat’l defense? Not so bad on that one. Pro-choice? Hanging tough on that one for the most part.

Before the GOP tries to communicate with voters for the 2014 midterms, it might be a good idea to FIGURE OUT WHAT THE FRICK Y’ALL STAND FOR.

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