After a long phone conversation on fighting the Right, I wrote up a summary to send via e-mail. I think it’s worth sharing here:
My research and the research of others shows that the Right has been so successful because they developed an “infrastructure” of organizations specifically designed to follow a long-term plan to move public opinion to the ideological right. After the public is “primed” with repeated messaging from the Right’s echo chamber of organizations and media, they are softened up and prepared to be responsive to the right’s politicians. In contrast, our (centrists, moderates and progressives) politicians are faced with the entire burden of developing a message themselves, from scratch, each election cycle, usually on their own, to a public that is NOT primed ahead of time to be responsive. Even if we manage to elect a new President, he will not be in a position to be effective because of the power of the Right’s network of organizations — look at what happened to Clinton.
We can’t be successful without fighting the Right’s underlying ideological messaging. We need to fund and develop our own advocacy organizations designed to move public attitudes back toward “the center.” Our organizations can be modeled after the Right’s successful organizations, but would operate within our value system — no lies, trickery, gimmicks and deceit needed because we aren’t trying to trick people into giving up their health care, Social Security, etc.