The Right's Image Problem
There are many wise quotes and phrases which originate from the Bible. Here is one from the Book of John: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When I journeyed towards the right and began to learn fact from fiction, I thought this quote was apropos to my new understanding and believed the truth would not only set me free but others who were a part of my circle. As I read and learned more, I began to subtly share my enlightenment with friends and colleagues only to be dismissed or repudiated by most who tenaciously adhered to their rigid ideology. Eventually, I abdicated from my attempt to elucidate and withdrew from any conversation which veered toward politics. Since that time, the truth has not set me free. In fact, it has been the opposite.
As much as I am grateful for my evolution toward truth, the Left’s sound bites have increased exponentially. Consequently, many of us on the Right remain in the underground for fear of retribution. With a Republican President and Congress, why does this continue? The answer is simple: The Right’s image and messaging continues to be abysmal, and without those in power changing the narrative, decay of the Grand Old Party and conservatism for that matter will ensue. Like many on this site, I regularly hear the distortions about the Right without reprieve as evidenced here:
Recently, I attended a conference which drew people from all over the world with the majority coming from the United States. This particular event was not about mental or behavioral health and was bringing together peers from another profession. Being from the Northeast, I was aware of those colleagues who tilted Left. I was taken aback, however, that Leftist thinking was so pervasive throughout the industry in general. Even at a convention which frowns on any political discussion, I could not escape direct comments or insinuations about conservative principles and, of course, President Trump. Let me stress these people were some of the friendliest people whom I have met as a group coming together, and I have no doubt there are quite a few who are Right in their thinking. Like me, however, they remained in the shadows. Allow me now to provide you with some of highlights:
On my first day, I sat next to a colleague and her friend. The friend had on a stylish outfit which I complimented. All of the sudden out of nowhere, politics were injected. The colleague turned and said, “Right wingers would rather have us covered up.” I was stunned that a simple fashion statement would elicit this response, but I think my peer knows which way I lean. My inane retort was “All wingers would have a problem.” She laughed, and thankfully, she rose from the table to network. Later, as I thought about her biased statement, I wanted to list for her all of the glamorous, stylish women on the Right, but I refused to allow her to lure me into disclosing my beliefs. She has exhibited similar behavior before, but I have not fallen for the bait. You might ask why I associate with her, and I will tell you that she is a strong business friend. Although it is challenging, I remain steadfast in my position that business is a place where the personal and private do not belong.
Later that morning, insinuations were made about Trump but nothing direct. One speaker made a joke about Putin and “someone else” while another expressed the difficulty around 2016 and the need to promote love. Finally, a third said “now it is time to heal.” In my fantasy world, I wanted to stand up and ask, “Heal from what? Heal from the last eight years of deception, demagoguery and divisiveness with the country brought to a point of almost no return?”
The next situation which unfolded is the best or the worst depending how you look at it. My good friend and I were walking and were stopped by an assertive young man. The conversation quickly focused on him. Within a few minutes, we learned that this cocksure young man had risen in local politics during his twenties. He continued unabashedly, and without any thought of our positions, discussed his heavy involvement in the anti-fracking movement and plan to develop an organization which will rally against Trump and fossil fuels. Oh, I forgot to mention he arrived by plane to this event. Now for the juiciest part, I asked the man if his one-year-old was a girl or a boy. He looked at me with much annoyance and said, “Why should that matter?” To be polite, I first responded with, “I just love to know what people name their babies.” He relaxed slightly and said the name, a female one. I complimented the name, and then informed him I was in the mental health field and knew all about the “gender fluidity” movement. He smiled at me and indicated he and his female partner want the child to grow and discover who they choose to be. At that point, my friend and I bid adieu and avoided this man for the rest of the session. My friend and I have never shared our political orientation even through the tough election, but she looked at me in disbelief. We laughed at the absurdity, but it is no laughing matter which is why I am sharing this with you. This young man is charming, arrogant, aggressive, angry, and dangerous. He is one of many rising elites in the Leftist ranks. In addition, I gave you a snapshot of people of all ages from across the U.S. conservatives and libertarians, we have a graver problem than I recognized. The Right must do something soon about their image and messaging. Otherwise, they will continue to be trampled.
I have a few suggestions most of which have been and continue to be applied. I only state them again because even reaching one or two more people can help change the course of the trajectory:
1) While being interviewed, stop the Left from interrupting, you, the Right. Tell the anchor/reporter you wish to be afforded the same respect you offer your colleague.
2) When people say something, go offensive. They will not change their minds but are usually unable to argue facts. Case in point, during the debacle of Obamacare, I asked those cheerleaders, “Please convince me! If Obamacare is so good, why did Congress, the President and their staff get exempted?” Most either changed the subject or walked away.
3) For the Black community, challenge the young people to read the brilliant Thomas Sowell, the lyrical Shelby Steele, the courageous Lloyd Marcus, Walter E. Williams, Jason Riley, and listen to David Webb and the young passionate Lawrence B. Jones.
4) For the homosexual community, challenge them to listen to Tammy Bruce, remind them of Peter Thiel, and Log Cabin individuals tell them about the freedom of limited government.
5) For those in the world of entertainment, I get it. Your livelihood is at stake, but if you have some power and money, join the likes of those extremely powerful entertainers on the Right. Safety is in numbers. Channel your message through creativity.
6) Finally, the most dangerous of all is academia. Stalwart representatives of the Right challenge those deans and intolerant students who preach tolerance to invite you to present your information and to advocate for your right to free speech. For those alma maters who endow their universities, hit them where it hurts, the pocketbook, if they do not embrace freedom of thought.
As I have said many times, bullies are cowards, and they must be brought to their knees. Education about the freedoms derived from limited government must be expressed in every and any medium possible, and it must be repeated over and over. If not, I truly believe God Bless America will become God D... America.
The author is using a pen name for reasons she explains here