Earlier today, I highlighted a "featured reader's comment". I would like to follow that up by highlighting a post from another site.
[I will doing more of the latter every week or so here on WARN. Please send along links to work that you think would be of interest to the nice (and smart) community of commenters and readers we have been building here over the years.]
I am really pushing myself to work on developing a better sense of timing, tone, and clarity in my online writing. I have what I hope and believe is a distinct and marketable "voice". Now, I am working on better managing those different "voices" to fit the media outlet and audience.
Returning to my politics is professional wrestling analogy, you have to be yourself with the volume turned up, but your "face" and "heel" versions of the same character have to be close enough to one another while also being different. Managing that tension is how one gets the bigger run and better bookings.
We all have strengths and weaknesses in how we translate our own intellectual curiosities and work into a final tangible product. For me, the easiest pieces to write are longer essays; the most difficult type of writing are either short news analysis items, or personal, "dropping the mask", reflective pieces.
Shaun Mullen's piece about the Right-wing propaganda machine on his blog Kiko's House is just good, sharp writing. I really like the tone...this is hard to explain, but good writing, with a definite style, and clarity of purpose and intent (sometimes) just coheres well.
The following paragraphs are spot on and devastating. If I tried to make the same claims, I would have needed many more paragraphs:
Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, the Republican Party has forsworn governance for something it believes to be far more effective -- lying.
The party has lied consistently and unapologetically about matters large and small, whether in grossly mischaracterizing the president and his policy initiatives or in committing to work with Democrats on a variety of issues, including the congressional supercommittee to fashion a deficit-reduction package, and then pulling the rug out from under the table. While the strategy of lying is shameful when considered in the perspective of the long arc of American political history and its many honorable practitioners, it has been brilliantly successful, so successful that the GOP's cavalcade of lies could conceivably put it within hailing distance of recapturing the Senate in the November elections.
The Republican playbook has been simple:
* Avoid abstract ideas and appeal to the emotions.
* Constantly repeat just a few ideas by using stereotyped phrases.
* Always give only one side of the argument.
* Continuously criticize your opponents.
* Pick out one "enemy" in particular for special vilification.
This playbook would be immediately recognizable to students of the Third Reich. It was employed, almost word for word, with insidious effectiveness by Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler's minister of propaganda.In my recent post-Twitchy expeditions on Twitter, I have encountered a good number of fully propagandized members of the White Right. The talking points for the Tea Party GOP are very effective because they leverage the schema detailed by Mullen, and its ability to reach authoritarian anti-intellectual Republicans under the guise of "populism" and "real America" rhetoric.
This is not to compare Republicans with Nazis. I do not. But like Hitler and Goebbels, Republicans have seized on lying as an effective tool for getting the attention of a restive electorate not unlike that in Germany in the early 1930s.
Contemporary conservatives are so fully propagandized by the Right-wing echo chamber that empirical reality has been fully altered/distorted in the service of their ideological fantasies. The contemporary Republican Party is a cult. The Right's dream masters and message makers can then mate conservative political dogma to fit the Christian religious fundamentalism and out-group bigotry of the mass Republican public.
Shaun Mullen drives to his conclusion with this body blow:
But the truth (pardon the term) is that when a lightweight like Ryan -- himself a Pinocchio of staggering dimensions -- is viewed by the GOP as its leading intellectual, it simply is easier to try to scam voters than educate them.Great stuff.
Whose work, online or elsewhere, have you been reading and would like recommend? Are there any under appreciated gems online--blogs, websites, etc.--that you think would be of interest to the readers and followers of We Are Respectable Negroes?