Skip to comments.Conservatives Must Learn the Dark Arts of Image Manipulation
Posted on 11/28/2012 7:05:38 AM PST by Lakeshark
I contend that much of the problem with current right-of-center electoral efforts involves conservatism as currently practiced. This has nothing to do with conservative principles, or any public preference for moderation in politics. It has to do with how conservatism is expressed, and can be summed up as conservatism's failure to sell itself.
Several common stereotypes of conservatism exist and are utilized to define and destroy conservative candidates and movements.**snip** What all these have in common is that they are clown images -- laughable, easily caricatured, and, like all clowns, sinister and menacing at base..virtually any GOP or conservative spokesman or candidate can be slotted into a particular stereotype, and often more than one.**snip** These images have become received wisdom among the public at large, beyond debate or necessity of proof. They are fully integrated into public consciousness and have virtually become matters of instinct**snip** You can look long and hard to find any sign of effort by the conservative movement to combat or correct these stereotypes**snip** Palin's case marked the nadir of character assassination by the left and in a saner epoch will be looked back on as a milestone in the deterioration of American progressive politics.**snip** The conservative reaction can only be viewed as an expression of cowardice. So the public views it, and they are quite correct. A politician or party that will not stand up for its own reputation is unlikely to stand up for anything at all -- principle, tradition, or the interests of the voters.
Leftist control of the conservative image is no longer acceptable.
Conservatives must seize control of their own image, or risk becoming the Mensheviks of the 21st century
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Many still do. They sided with Peggy Noonan, Mike Murphy, and lots of other so called conservative fools.
Kowtowing to leftist manipulation is the mark of cowardice, the article clearly points that out, and it's correct. Breitbart called those people on the right who didn't step up to the plate and defend her "eunuchs".
He was right.
While I agree with the authors premise I think that it is secondary to a more basic point - no party - not the Constitution party, the Libertarian party, or (especially) the Republican party - can compete with the Free Shyt party.
The Free Shyt party spends every day of every year actively working their game, preparing for the next contest and the next controversy - all on the taxpayer dime. Who can compete with that?
The Free Shyt party appeals to people’s baser emotions while those other parties attempt to reach out to folks based on reasoning and common sense. Who can compete with that?
The Free Shyt party hands out freebies, trinkets, and entitlements right out in the open and without fear of remonstration. And all they ask is a little piece of your soul. After all, most Amerikans don’t even believe they have one anymore. I ask you - who can compete with that?!
The Medium is the Message.
aka The Medium is the Massage.
it is a brief book which is a road guide to the modern media.
Reagan used this.
It does not matter what we say, the IMMAGE is obama as president. Visuals count.
Just like they manipulated GBush’s images. (ala juxtaposing him with marine one’s tail rotor warning of “keep away”)
then redefine free stuff.
make it toxic.
But the free shyt party is also allied with the Hollywood/Academic/Media image manipulation machine.
It's a tough enough sell to overcome free shyte, but add the image manipulation machine, those conservatives who buy in to the image, plus a bit of cowardice and you have:
I hope to God we do see “saner” times ahead.
Public relations, branding... Means conservatives need to understand, espouse, and STAND FIRM ON core non-negotiable principles. Looks like a job for the T.E.A. Party.
This should be printed and taped to the mirror of every Republican politician.
Seriously, EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Either FIGHT BACK or get out of the ring!
Without the media Bambi wouldn't have gotten 40% of the vote this time around.
It's a problem......
Now if they just weren't such redneck racist old white people.......
Good points. If I had to sum up the major reason why romney lost in one word it would be “image”. In politics image is everything. The MSM twarted our efforts. We have to find ways through facebook, youtube, etc to go around them.
The very name “conservative” is a liability. “Conservative” connotes old, old-fashioned, stodgy, boring, unimaginative, bland, drab, no fun, out-of-date, etc.,etc. The very image is a big negative.
The media has to be taken out before anything changes.
ObaMao has a very predictable speech pattern. When he's constructing a strawman, he starts with a phony base that is supposed to be taken as settled fact, then from that preposterous position, he builds on it with emotion charged rhetoric that is relatively logical if the original supposition is conceded.
Count the number of times ObaMo starts his delivery with "it is an undeniable fact", "every serious economist agrees that", "we all know", and so on. It's not something the person hearing it can prove or disprove, but it's spoken with such conviction that the person will file it away for later contemplation (which never occurs) and their mind is much more open to the following ideas after his subliminal, but authoritative and convincing rhetorical manipulation. He learned this technique as a community organizer to create anger, then action.
When responding to him, first chop away the base supposition (e.g. "that every serious economist believes") - and then that resets what this article says is the caricature that's painted, so the listener will refocus on the substance of the argument and not the fallacious base of the ObaMao strawman.
Liberals started calling themselves progressives when liberal became a dirty word, what should we rebrand conservatives as?
Hint: Not Inclusives.
” But the free shyt party is also allied with the Hollywood/Academic/Media image manipulation machine.”
And they are POWERFUL. The only way to beat them is
1) Run a fighter, who takes his conservative arguments to the streets.
2) Run a conservative, who doesn’t have to hide the past.
We lost conservative purists, the squishy middle, and probably some who wouldn’t vote for a mormon. Also, Romney played nice guy to Obama. Obama was not “a nice guy who didn’t succeed”. He is a Marxist thug, and it would have been easy to expose him. All of the statistics were HORRIBLE
under Obama, and they should have been wrapped around his neck!
Reagan was a nice guy, but he ATTACKED liberalism everywhere he went, AND his opponent, Carter, for his miserable record.
what should we rebrand conservatives as?
That’s the challenge. I just know that the last thing that most people under 40 want to be is conservative. Imagine trying to sell a collection of Lawrence Welk LP’s to a twenty-year-old. Not gonna happen.
Great article, but it can be boiled down to two words:
I would suggest “libertarian” if it hadn’t already been hijacked by the Libertarian Party.
I vote for the moderates to go be democrats.
They spend about 80% of their time trying to figure out how to get democrats to like us.
While I agree with Dunn that conservatives have to do a better job of publicizing conservatism, I fear what you said has more and more bearing on the elections. Sure, Romney and and other Pubbies could have had a more conservative message and the conservative establishment could have done a better job defending conservative candidates. But what if in 2016 we run a conservative candidate (here's where I disagree with Dunn...Romney almost ran away from conservtism), and we get beat again? After another disastrous four years from Obama? What then? It might be time for a split.
And they always do. The thing is, a lot of these media figures who facilitate the Left's mockery of conservatives love mockery itself far more than Leftist politics. Give them something to work with, and Republicans will suddenly find themselves on Comedy Channel all the time, and able to use that direct pipeline to the opinions of young people to change the debate the way Democrats do now.
It isn't gentlemanly behavior in a WASPish sense, as the author points out, but that ship sailed a long time ago.
great show - great character
I personally don’t think beating up on Obama voters is a particularly bright idea. While everybody talks about Reagan, they seem to miss the fact that he respected all the voters whether they were likely to vote for him or not.
Why don’t we call ourselves what we are?
Americans. We start the American Party, founded on principles that America should be a strong prosperous country, and we should take care of ourselves, both as individuals and as a nation.
I suggest we welcome as fellow Americans anyone who shares our basic values.
Good points. But free shyt plays into image. We need to translate the dems into a drunken uncle that promises to give everyone other people’ money once they hit the track.
Another point is we have to work on things we CAN control. We can’t compete on free shyt other than to educate the masses. We can however compete in that our growth policies will provide them a greater liklihood of having a job. So we are in effect offering them tangible material benefits.
I agree. I think the 2 largest indoctrination centers are MSM and schools. The latter is trench warfare in each states must has to be dealt with long term. Whole generations have been brainwashed.
But I think you’re right. We have to take out the MSM through exposure on facebook, twitter, youtube etc and other forms. We also need some wealthy conservatives to help acquire news outlets and establish conservative media.
It’s similar to what I’ve been saying, which is that there’s nothing wrong with our message, but our messaging is horrible. As a group, we seem to think that people will respond to facts and logic. But they don’t, at least not enough of them. We need to appeal to them at an emotional, almost visceral, level, without having to pander or compromise on our core principles.
Of course, it’s relatively easy to say what needs to be done, but unfortunately, I am at a loss for the “how”.
What’s more, hammer the truth that whatever Robin Hood was, he was a thief. The libs’ Robin Hood act is nothing more than robbery. They get away with it for the same reason Robin did: they steal from “The Rich.” But let’s point out that there’s no way they can pay for all their giveaways taking from “The Rich”. Sooner or later, Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class, they’re coming for YOU.
Ronald Reagan created a stereotype of the "welfare queen".
In this age of mass media and digital manipulation, is it so difficult to do this once again?
Bush I put Willie Horton out there. Is it so difficult to do this once again?
The Free Shyt Party can be demonized and beclowned. What is so wrong with a website that says, "Get your free stuff here! Tell us, what do you want us to take from your neighbors and give to you? Its Santa Claus Season!" Use images of kindly men in black suits with Ray-Bans holding clipboards and carrying guns. Get a couple of people supplicating themselves in front of the suited men.
Do a video of some nice middle-class Asian guy going off to his engineering job and being mugged by the "Free Shyt Party" and carjacked. Yes, its an extreme image, but imagine the impact of having folks in vests with "IRS" on it in big yellow letters would have. Then have the "IRS" people giving this guy's stuff to someone else and telling him to get his arse back to work so they can take more stuff away from him.
Get that meme out there and hammer it daily and watch what happens.
“The Free Shyt Party can be demonized and beclowned. What is so wrong with a website that says, “Get your free stuff here! Tell us, what do you want us to take from your neighbors and give to you? Its Santa Claus Season!” Use images of kindly men in black suits with Ray-Bans holding clipboards and carrying guns. Get a couple of people supplicating themselves in front of the suited men. “
My favorite of your several great ideas.
Might not be able get through to the Obama-phone lady, but a lot of the people out there getting government freebies have been educated in government schools.
They think the government just has a stash, and it needs to be pounded into their heads that the government can only give away to them what they take from someone else.....
Exactly! Now that Merle knows he's still alive, fasten your seatbelt.
But I digress... Gimme a redneck or two.
If we don't take out the media, it won't matter how well crafted our image becomes, or how pure we become.
That is what I have been about since Carter Administration times. Not that I can claim any success but I have made intellectual progress, at least.
The first and fundamental point to make is that if you want to preserve the First Amendment, there is no point in going after fiction, whether books, TV, or movie. And in fact as far as nonfiction goes, they will stand or fall on their own merit, or lack thereof. Therefore, we should focus our attention on the topical nonfiction. To put it plainly, journalism.
If you cant take on journalism head on, you are nowhere. If you can, then the whole problem of the media would be tractable.
The vulnerabilities of journalism are:
The third vulnerability, independence, was subverted by the advent of the wire services, particularly the Associated Press. Adam Smith pointed out that
- journalism needs the presumption of objectivity to attract an audience,
- journalism needs the presumption of objectivity to retain broadcast licenses.
- journalism needs the presumption of independence, so that when one news report quotes another news report, the effect is cumulative and the quoting newspaper can rely on the existence of the quoted report as good-faith reason to believe that the report is true.People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. - Wealth of nations, Book I, Ch 10Since the AP newswire constitutes a 24/7/365 virtual meeting of all the major news outlets, the presumption has to be that all major journalism outlets are in cahoots as regarding anything which touches the collective interests of journalists.
The interests of journalists are to attract audiences to advertisers and to promote the influence of journalists (since making a difference is the driving motivation of aspiring journalists). Rules of journalism such as If it bleeds, it leads' and "'Man Bites Dog', not Dog Bites Man have nothing to do with objectivity and everything to do with interesting an audience. In fact they promote sensationalism rather than serious analysis. Since journalists do not get in the arena and make tough decisions in a timely manner before all facts are known in order to provide the public with food, shelter, clothing, water, and security, but are eager to set themselves up as superior to those who do, journalists are eager to point out the errors and failings of the people who work to a bottom line. There are others besides journalists who do the same thing - union leaders, socialist politicians, college professors, even high school teachers.
It is no accident that those who promote the same interests as journalists do get positive labels from journalists: moderate, progressive, liberal, . . .
And of course those who defend interests which journalists attack get negative labels such as right wing, conservative, extreme, . . .
Viewed from that perspective, journalism is not at all independent - individual news outlets subordinate their individuality to the Associated Press consensus, and journalism as a whole promotes the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party promotes the interests of journalism as a whole.
The Associated Press and its entire membership promote the idea that journalists are objective for the very good reason that the individual member of the AP need the credulity of the public for reports written by reporters whom the editor of the individual news outlet not only does not employ but does not even know. But there is a logical oxymoron entailed: you cannot become a reporter for an AP member news outlet without knowing that the AP will claim that you are objective, and that makes accepting employment by an AP news outlet tantamount to claiming objectivity for yourself. But it is impossible even to attempt to be objective without being open about the motives and incentives you have which might tend to influence your perspective. And you cannot admit nonobjective motives and simultaneously claim to be objective.
This shows that journalists, all protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, do not even attempt to be objective. They cannot. It is impossible. Even when they think they are giving the other side of the story, they do not do it because they cannot. Since they know that they are objective, they do not accept the legitimacy of any other side of the story and, such being the case, they cannot avoid setting up mere straw man versions of the (conservative") arguments they have already rejected.
One would hope, given this ammunition, that it would be possible to counterattack in any place where facts and logic, as opposed to PR, might prevail. I have reference to the Supreme Court. At least as long as there is no conservative retirement there . . .
I really gotta give the makers of the show props for fair treatment of Redneck Daryl. Even with SS lightning bolts on the tank of his cycle they don’t portray him as a racist.
Brother Merle on the other hand is an all around piece of crap but he does get some great one liners. When he turned the walker loose on Glenn “He’s gonna be hungry again in an hour.”
So be it. Bork most likely would have voter the wrong way in D.C. v. Heller. He's OK with gun control.
The value of deterrence cannot be overlooked. Conservatives should select one or more representative leftist icons and Palinize them. Susan Rice, with her decades-long record of incompetence, mendacity, dishonesty, and sleaze (this woman tried to cover up the Rwanda massacres, long before the Benghazi attack), would make an excellent target.
When you're already attacked as racists and sexists, go for it. She deserves it.
Above all, we need to stop walking into sucker punches, playing the game the way the left wants us to play it. The world will never respect anyone who allows that to be done to him. The image of the simpering twit is the first one we need to shed.
If they can't fight, what are they doing there? I saw little evidence that Romney and his campaign really wanted to fight.
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