Getting Past Liberal Bullying: Conservatism Post-2012
Ben Shapiro's new book, Bullies: How The Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America, is a must-read for anyone interested in politics. The book delves into who the real enemy is and how to combat him. American Thinker had the privilege of interviewing Ben Shapiro about his latest book.
Ben wanted to emphasize that the main bullies are the mass media, including those TV show moderators who "are liberals masquerading as moderates. It is important to start recognizing who the real enemy is here. The one conservative who has done it right is Newt Gingrich, who started attacking the reporters."
Shapiro's solution is to have conservative representatives go on the talk show circuit and speak out with gusto when it comes to their ideology. They should be polite by thanking their hosts for the opportunity given, but then they should point out in no uncertain terms that since "I am a conservative and you are a liberal, we have two fundamentally different worldviews, and I just want to let the viewers know this."
Shapiro feels that conservatives never frame the debate and just assume that everyone knows that the media is biased. Since the mainstream media no longer represents the truth by presenting both sides of an issue impartially, "conservatives must explain who they are, why the reporters are biased, and what about the reporters makes them biased. Reporters are great in what they do because they are subtle. We lose because politicians are afraid of doing this for fear they are going to be treated badly by the press."
For learning purposes, Shapiro wants conservatives to look at what Candy Crowley did to Mitt Romney in the second presidential debate last year. "I would have reacted by saying, 'Candy it is not your place to be fact-checking this debate, especially when you are wrong. We all know that your sympathies lie with President Obama, and we all understand that. However, it is still no justification for asserting yourself in this debate.' Romney should have gone right at her and instead just took it. He never punched back after the first debate."
Bullies shows that regardless of the cause, the people on the left are currently able to show themselves as protectors and spreading the idea that anyone opposing their agenda should be hated. Pick the cause: be it climate change, gun control, abortion rights, or illegal immigration, anyone opposing the left's position will be instantly and brutally attacked by government officials, the mainstream media, Hollywood, and the union thugs. They try to frame the narrative through attacks that take the form of name-calling, heated rhetoric, and intimidation.
Shapiro summarizes the situation best by pointing out that conservatives are making policy arguments while the left are making character arguments. "They call us racist, and we call them reasonable. If you object to tax hikes, you hate the poor. If you object to abortion, you are launching a war on women. They play the race card, the class card, and the sexism card. Look at the past presidential election. Romney painted Obama as a nice guy, someone reasonable although misguided, a good husband and father. Yet Obama painted Romney as the guy who straps dogs to the top of his car, anti-women, someone who wants to put you back in chains, and fires employees whose wives are dying of cancer. Which one of those candidates would most people vote for?"
Conservatives are constantly shying away from the fight in the interests of civility. Shapiro wishes and is hopeful that "our mindset will change. In the aftermath of losing to Bush in 2004, the Democrats did not go into hiding or moderate their position. They got more extreme and more active. We have to point out our opponents' tactics. For example, trotting Gabby Giffords out there to push gun control is disgusting. It makes it seem that people who disagree don't care about her getting shot. They brought her out to create this emotional appeal. We should be pointing that out."
Shapiro also cautions that it is important not to walk into an ambush. When he went on Piers Morgan's show, he immediately made sure the "audience understood there was a rabbit in the bottom of the hat. The proof was in the pudding. When I said to [Morgan] that he was a bully for standing on the graves of children to put forward his agenda, he could not use that argument anymore. He now wants me to come back to debate some Sandy Hook victims. I am not going to do that because it is not appropriate to have political arguments with those who are experiencing grief."
Shapiro is hopeful that conservatives will see that in the past, they have been operating under a false assumption that the status quo is beneficial. "We need to go into the inner cities as well as to talk to all races, religions, and sexes. It is emotions that win people; policies do not. We should be defining our opponent. We can no longer be the pathetic girl who gets dumped by the guy and sits around the house asking, 'What's wrong with me?' We need to change from thinking we can have civil dialogue with people who want to destroy us. We have to stop being and acting like losers. No wonder people, the younger generation especially, do not want to be a part of our movement. People are attracted to passion."
Bullies is a thorough, comprehensive accounting of the left's tactics to implement their policies. This book is very insightful and revealing on the current state of affairs and what conservatives must do if they are to ever win again.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.