7 Reasons Why The Right Should Not Seek to Convert The Left
An appreciation of Dennis Prager and multimedia celebration of his magnum opus, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
June 8, 2012 - 7:00 am
3. Embracing American Values Does Not Require One to Join “the Right” or to Convert to Some Ideology Called “Conservatism.”
We don’t like to say it much in the conservative blogosphere but it’s true: you can still be a Democrat and live American values. The number of Blue Dog Democrats may be dwindling and Joe Lieberman may be an independent, but the patriotic, non-Marxists do still have a sizable presence even though right now the Soros-funded Alinskyites run the show.
In advocating for American values we’re really not asking for much. I can tolerate a pretty wide range of thought from my progressive friends. But everyone should be able to recognize that the Nation of Islam is a racist, antisemitic cult — and therefore has no place in our civic life. We have to at least be able to agree on the boundaries of discourse before we can make progress on much else.
Conversations about the self-evident unconstitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate are a long way away from where we actually need to start today. This is how low the moral bar needs to be set: having to explain why murdering political opponents disqualifies an organization from a place of respect in the culture.
Roger again, thinking about approaches for reaching through to the other side:
One tactic might be to take a more psychoanalytic/emotional rather than a logical/ideological tack. Look for areas where there is unconscious agreement. In some Hollywood movies, as my colleague Lionel Chetwynd recently pointed out, the film’s message is conservative even though its creators believe it to be liberal. (Lionel was speaking of The Hunger Games in which the masses are ruled by oppressive know-it-all elites who seem much like progressives taken to the next level.)
This approach argues for abandoning buzz words (conservative, liberal, progressive, libertarian) and focusing on issues. Hollywood filmmakers aren’t the only ones who espouse conservative ideas when they don’t identify them with the “c” word.
But even if this is a good idea, it’s not easy to execute and does not necessarily translate into votes. And votes are what are necessary for change in this epoch.
It’s not easy to come up with new ways to frame American values apart from the Left/Right, Liberals/Conservatives models. So maybe the answer isn’t to go forward with a new map, but to take the oldest one and apply it to today in a new way.