From a certain perspective, you could hardly imagine anyone more successful than Barack Obama and the Democrats. They came into power with an ambitious, liberal agenda and succeeded in enacting most of it. They passed a great stimulus program, creating or saving millions of jobs, rescued the automobile industry, and started this nation down the path of guaranteed health care for all.
On top of that, they even had plans with cap and trade to finally take on carbon emissions, saving the world for future generations. This was the progressive agenda in full, with accomplishments and ideas most politicians could only dream of, and yet what happened in this election? The Democrats faced a historic loss with the public turning hugely against them. And why? It really comes down to a messaging problem. Liberals just couldn’t get their voices heard over the noise from their one foe that is always trying to tear down all their plans and belittle every accomplishment: reality.
The reality noise machine — with its job losses, terrorist attacks, and budgets — is always trying to shout down liberals’ ideas with its fear-mongering of actual problems that need to be addressed and a physical reality that needs to be appeased. When liberals create or save millions of jobs with a trillion dollar stimulus, there goes reality saying we’re spending money we don’t have and unemployment is only going up. When a progressive plan is proposed to get everyone free health care, there’s reality with its message of gloom that nothing is free and our health care will only get worse. And if we ever try to appease some nation like Iran through peaceful, diplomatic means, reality is always pointing out how close they are to nuclear weapons. Reality is obnoxious, and these days it’s everywhere, and people are actually listening to it over liberals.
For instance, look at the whole “death panel” debate from a while back. Despite numerous liberal journalists and commentators assuring people that death panels were not mentioned in the health care bill and that it was completely made up, people decided to instead listen to the reality of bureaucracy and limited supply over the intelligent people telling them to ignore that. And when New York Times columnist Paul Krugman constantly argues that we need to spend even more to get out of this economic situation, do people listen to the Nobel Prize-winning economist or reality? These days it’s reality, and people are going to keep choosing reality over their own interests unless liberals learn to fight back with better messaging.
It didn’t used to be so hard to get the liberal message heard over the screams of reality. Journalism was once a respected profession where liberals ignored reality to portray themselves as unbiased newsmen while actually pushing people towards liberal ideas and away from thuggish reality. Reality still found ways to occasionally get people to listen to it, whether through economic conditions or war, but its message could be contained. Eventually, though, reality weaseled its way into the media, first through talk radio, then Fox News, and now the internet, where pajama-clad imbeciles with brains too simple to understand anything other than reality spout reality on numerous websites on a daily basis.
And then came 9/11. For a while it seemed like no one would listen to liberalism after being subjected to that stark reality. With people focused on real things like Islamic madmen bent on killing us, how were they ever going to be concerned about liberal ideas like saving the planet through recycling? For a time, it seemed like there was no safe haven from reality except maybe a college campus or Europe. But perhaps reality was just too obnoxious, and people began to tire of it, because in 2008 people finally ignored reality’s message of what a disaster it would be to appoint a mediocre legislator full of empty platitudes as president and instead went ahead and elected Barack Obama.
It seemed like liberalism was making a comeback against reality, and we might even be able to spend a whole decade ignoring reality like we did during the nineties. But here we are now, with reality once again shrieking at us its angry, incoherent message about jobs and the economy and whatnot.
So what now? Well, part of it will be just waiting for all the Tea Party idiots elected in 2010 to find out that reality just doesn’t work in D.C. And while they’re failing, liberals need to be more coordinated to make sure their message is heard and reality is ignored. NPR, which receives government funding to help protect it from reality, recently fired Juan Williams for bringing up the reality of Muslim terrorists. We need more efforts like this to marginalize and silence anyone in journalism who mentions reality and distracts from liberal ideas.
Also, there was the recent incident with MSNBC, where that network suspended Keith Olbermann for political donations, trying to pretend they care about bias in clear defiance of reality. We need more bravery like that with liberals willing to stare down reality and say, “Shut up; we don’t care.”
Right now Americans are mired in a false consciousness where they’re picking reality over liberalism despite it not being in their best interests. So we just need to find more ways to make sure Americans constantly hear of all the things liberalism can get them, such as free health care, better economies through more government spending, and a world where tolerance defeats Islamic extremism. Reality doesn’t offer any of these things, so why would anyone choose it over liberalism? With the right messaging, we can get people to once again see that and ignore reality. And it’s pretty silly for liberals to focus on anything other than messaging. We have to remember that the success of liberalism exists only in words, not in reality.