The Art of Persuasion
Roger offers a pertinent if enigmatic quotation from William Morris: “Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes out not to be what they meant, other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.”
What’s in a name? Juliet asked. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Was she right? Pondering Morris’s observation, Roger says that “What you call something is nowhere near as important as what it is.” Yes, but there is also this: “what you call something is often a deliberate form of misdirection.” This is something Juliet discovered too late and to her misfortune.
But she was young and inexperienced. We who are older, are we also wiser? Roger notes that “The art of public relations has been to get people to accept something, often when they don’t want it. Conservatives and Republicans don’t even have to do that. They are at an advantage in this regard. They have something the people most likely want, even though they don’t always know it. Our job is to make them know it.”
And how do we do that? Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, what Roger calls “radical rebranding.” “We need people with the skills and ability to reach out, to talk the language of America. And we need to listen to America as well. I suspect those people who voted against us and are now drifting even more toward Obama are trying to tell us something.” Reality is on our side, as we see in the burgeoning chaos all around us. What we conservatives need now are people who can effectively match the reality to the communicable rhetoric. It’s already happening.
Article printed from Roger’s Rules: http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball
URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/12/24/the-art-of-persuasion