Forum Post: We have to win the war of words…
Posted 11 years ago on Oct. 21, 2011, 6:13 p.m. EST by nocasualobserver
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
to win the hearts and minds of the people. What you read below is a mixture of facts and my opinions (of course) but they represent years of observation within and without some of the organizations of which I speak. Take it with a grain of salt if you must but read it with an open mind please.
Over the last 20 years, right-wing, conservative political strategists have effectively mobilized a very large part of the electorate, called 'low information voters', to do their bidding. I didn't coin the phrase 'low information voter, I actually saw its use in a recent parting missive by a former Republican staffer in Washington. You can find that missive here, which is well worth reading.
Low information voters are characterized by a partial or total abdication of responsibility to think for themselves or become informed about political issues that affect them directly. Principles are often cited for some of the reasons low information voters make some of their choices at election time. It’s hard to ask someone to vote against their principles but that’s a cop out. My own mother falls into this group and I had a recent discussion with her about some of the candidates after the 2nd Republican Presidential debate on TV. After my opening remark, she said that there were two candidates that she could vote for – Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. When I asked her if she understood that Rick Perry was an opponent of Social Security and other social safety net programs (not entitlements!), she was unaware. Her principles inform her that fiscally conservative, anti-government, pro-business candidates favor her own needs. Now, my mom is 84 but still a sharp cookie. She can think for herself if and when she chooses. But, when it comes to politics (or religion), her ability to get beyond the sound bites and oft-used words of the candidates is diminished by her previous socio-political experiences, one of which is the great depression. Another of her walls that she can’t get past is race driven. Growing up in the south from the 1920’s to the 1970’s demanded that one recognize the ‘obvious’ differences between the races and vote accordingly. Even today, if Herman Cain spoke every word she needed to hear and the remaining candidates were more moderate, she would not vote for Mr. Cain in the primary. However, if he were the only Republican candidate on the ballot come November, she would certainly look the other way and vote on her principles that are broadly embodied in the Republican party. (continued)
These words are the biggest and the best.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.------
We need an Article V convention.
Congress is very afraid of it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_to_propose_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution "Congress acted preemptively to propose the amendments instead. At least four amendments (the Seventeenth, Twenty-First, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fifth Amendments) have been identified as being proposed by Congress at least partly in response to the threat of an Article V convention."
Our first right in our contract is Article V, the right to have congress convene delgates when 2/3 of the states have applied for an amendatory convention.
Lots of facts here about Article V. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html
Article V conference, Mark Meckler Lawrence Lessig at harvard 9/25/11-video comments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-7ikbvu0Y8
Lessig power point on article V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk
we win the war of words by having a wiki and sub forums and creating new memes that go viral.
Yes! We must create new memes!
like: Science: No Left. No Right. No Faith. Just Truth.
create! create! new new new! MEMES!!
think of it as art. see it clearly shift. wake up you who read this now. understand it differently. the true revolution starts the moment the mob picks up 20 textbooks to read and then attempts to apply that knowledge expansion to the assorted main problems they can solve.
until that moment this is merely the conversation we are having with ourselves to talk us into doing that.
I like the cut of your jib, memesmith.
i like my wings...2...
I'll be expecting great memes from you.
track back, i been here long time. go find them and make a collection for us? we need a new meta map.
you know the secret azzholes union must think the same thing they just hacked me and erased hundreds of private documents.
i must have been hitting hard. one thing i did was make a list of threads worth being important for others to visit.
if you are in for the fun ride... go find me and report back in some threads. lol
Oh, that was your thread list?
Good stuff. A list like that serves as a nexus that the trolls can't submerge in their flood of irrelevancies and antics.
We need to bump it.
yeah. please go answer my threads. as soon as that happens you will blow the trolls off like irrelevant noise.
hang on, it's gonna take some Google-fu to even find it.
Short-term effective. Long-term no progress.
Yes, that would help.
People need to focus within their state and demand states apply to congress for an Article V. That's closer, theoretically, and legally more powerful than people railing directly against congress because the states created the constitution and the federal government. They can amend it.
This ‘low information’ attitude is an outgrowth and result of being spoon-fed faith based and spiritual dogma by church pastors, and other de-facto spiritual leaders, who have interpreted religious writings to suit their own needs and support their own positions of power. They are people who have not matured in their faith, who think that just believing and following are all that matters in order to achieve the rewards of an after-life or a reunion with their god. While that may be true, this attitude does nothing in an attempt to make life better here on earth; and they don’t care. Why? Because the earth is simply a place where the physical body resides before it gets reunited with the spirit in heaven, nirvana, etc. In fact, life on earth is looked upon as a necessary evil foisted upon us by original sin. Some of the extreme fundamentalist, right-wing people would like nothing more than to see Armageddon come in their lifetime, and to help usher in the apocalypse is their duty.
Over the last 30 years, we have watched the Republican Party being taken over by extremely conservative, uncompromising people. This strategy was not their own. It was replicated from a similarly successful coup within the faith-based community.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the nation’s largest religious organization with over 16 million members from churches all across the country. Prior to 1991, it was held together by a common, shared belief in church autonomy and mission work. Articles of faith were the domain of each individual church and there were no canonical requirements in order for a church to be a member of the convention. The ‘priesthood of the believer’ was a cornerstone of the faith, suggesting that every individual has a personal relationship with her/his god and no one needs intercede for him/her.
In 1979 two fundamentalist SBC delegates from Texas, Robert Pressler and Paige Patterson, announced that they were going to elect a more conservative leadership to the SBC and help return the convention back to its roots. (http://www.sbctakeover.com/chapter8.htm) They had developed a strategy of top-down replacement of key leaders with new fundamentalist leaders who thought like them. From the SBC President down through all the various committees, leaders were replaced over the next 12 years and the organization took on a much different mien. In 1991, the convention split and the more moderate members formed the Baptist Cooperative Fellowship. From this takeover strategy of the SBC, the fundamentalist and conservative political movement was born. (continued)
The same strategy that was used to take over the SBC has been, and is still being used today, by the right-wing, conservative movement in order to disenfranchise moderates and liberals from the political process and deny them any involvement in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government. From this movement PACs were born, which allow corporations to provide indirect contributions to political candidates and office holders. The National Congressional Club (doesn’t that sound inclusive?), a political fundraising juggernaut for the Republican Party, was formed, thanks in no small part to Jesse Helms, a five term, ultra-conservative senator from North Carolina elected to congress in 1972. Most of us on these boards do not need a history lesson in Jesse Helms’ politics once he became a public figure in the U. S. Senate. But, what many of you may not know is that his former career helped to propel him to conservative stardom quickly where he set the stage for the attempted coup that we see unfolding before our eyes today.
Before being elected to congress, Helms was the executive vice president of the Capital Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, NC, where the flagship station, WRAL, a CBS affiliate at the time, provided him with a no-holds barred editorial podium at the end of each evening newscast. The hate, bigotry and social divisiveness that this man spewed in his editorials is infamous. When he wasn’t personally available for the editorial comments, his friend and partner-in-crime, Attorney Chubb Sewell, took up where he left off, sometimes even eclipsing Helms’ level of toxic commentary. It was this attitude that Helms brought to the Senate and won him the chairmanship of several important committees during his five terms. It was his attitude of ‘never compromise/take no prisoners’ that is the mantra of the Republican leadership in the Senate and House today. Needless to say, Jesse Helms and his political machine provided their support and services to Ronald Regan during his presidential campaign. Need I say more about that?
The forgoing is to illustrate the power of words and rhetoric in our political system and in the media. The conservatives have done an extraordinary job at crafting sound bites and warm, fuzzy names for legislation that serves their purpose only. They have won the unflagging support of ‘low information’ voters with their ‘never compromise’ attitude. Over the last 30+ years conservatives have made the same kinds of inroads using the same kinds of political tactics that were used by the conservative members of the SBC. Only, in politics, nothing is ever ‘announced’ beforehand, it is couched in words that make everything they propose sound like apple pie, baseball and the American flag.
Low information voters aren’t interested in the details. The saying, ‘the devil is in the details’ may as well have originated with them. Until we, OWS and other like-minded organizations, realize and utilize the same kinds of tactics, our messages will be drowned out by far simpler, low information messages from the right-wing. That does not mean we have to engage in a race to the bottom but sometimes we must respond in-kind. There are some tactics that I know this group would never use because we wish to claim the moral high ground. But the moral high ground is shifting under us as we speak. We have to choose our words carefully and use them continuously without fail. The use of words like ‘defeat’ instead of ‘reform’ has enormous consequences. Likewise, saying that we ‘demand’ is much more incendiary than saying ‘we want to work with people’. Considering the apparent level of education and intellect of this group (I know the trolls will, predictably, have fun with that statement), this is not a difficult task for us. Until we fully understand the consequences of our choices of words and apply that understanding to our messages, our struggle will remain just that or, I fear, turn violent. We all know that people fear the unknown and change so we have to ‘spoon feed’ them instead of ‘force feed’ them.
Agreed. You could also call them "catch phrase voters"