Yesterday, I wrote about the difference between the two main divisions of political thought in terms of their views of historic American greatness.
To set up that discussion, I noted that both groups—left and right—want to make America great. My point was that they have widely different views of what constitutes greatness and utterly inconsistent views on how to get there.
Most of the debate that arose on my Facebook page came from fellow conservatives. Some contended that the left is not motivated by any appeals to greatness or that which is good. The left, in their view, is just power-hungry and evil.
While there are certainly some on both the left and right who do not believe their own public arguments and are simply hungry for power, in my experience, it is best to meet the arguments head-on. Our target is to convince the people that are hearing their arguments—not the cynics themselves.
We will never win this debate in the long haul if we don’t understand this differently.
Does anyone really think that American college kids are being drawn into socialist thinking by arguments that say little more than: “the other side has power and we want it for ourselves so we can do evil?”
Such a message would attract very, very few.
The left argues that society and our government are unjust, unfair, and unequal. The left argues that we are polluting the planet and will eventually destroy it. The left argues that sexual standards are harmful to people and rules that harm should be undone.
These are appeals to do justice, promote fairness, establish equality. These are calls to live in a clean environment and in a world where people aren’t hung up with irrational sexual taboos.
I hope every conservative look at these claims of socialism and understands that there is an intrinsic appeal imbedded in these claims.
We will not appeal to the next generation (and some in our own generation) by castigating the ideals imbedded in this program of socialist propaganda. We have to take on these ideas in a manner that has a very good chance of success if done properly.
We must be ready to use history and logic to demonstrate that socialism is inherently incapable of producing those good goals. We must especially demonstrate that freedom always suffers under socialism.
Our flag salute truly captures the essence of the right message. We want freedom AND justice for all.
But if we simply argue that anyone who promotes socialism has no desire to do good and is only an evil power-hungry monster, the young person will reject our philosophy entirely because our arguments will not align with their experience.
They have been thinking favorably about socialism, and they do not think of themselves as power-hungry monsters.
A person can be 100 percent in the wrong and yet think they want what’s best.
If we want to grow the percentage of freedom-loving people in our society, we have to learn how to treat opposing arguments with candor and dignity in order to have the opportunity to prove that our ideas are better.