Weakening the Democratic Base, Part 5: Liberal Netroots
When discussing the Internet, Al Gore’s great contribution to the world before drawing our attention to the dangers of man-made global warming, and political websites, there are a couple of ways to look at it. First, there is no doubt that the traditional news outlets (especially NBC) and the print media like Newsweek approach the news from a left-leaning viewpoint while it is also true that print media like the Washington Examiner and news outlets like Fox News do so from a right-leaning viewpoint. Besides going directly to the sources, there are the news aggregator sites that also have their political proclivities. For example, Huffington Post leans left, the Drudge Report leans right, and Real Clear Politics claims a middle course. A recent examination of RCP shows that of 25 articles, 12 came from liberal sites, 11 from conservative sites, and the other two being neutral. However, when looking at the most popular or read stories from RCP, all seven are from right-leaning writers. Hence, one can surmise that conservatives more than liberals use RCP as a source of news. This sort of proves my point that conservatives in general and Republicans in particular can start an argument with an advantage- we can see the argument from other perspectives and attack the liberal views with that advantage, whereas liberals largely avoid the opposite view because they approach the discussion from one of self-anointed, yet false intellectual and moral superiority.
Most importantly to this discussion is the political blogs where everyday people- much like you and I- are given the unique opportunity to opine online about political and social issues. Besides writing through blogs or diary entries, we are given the chance to comment on the opinions of others. There are the traditional sites like the New York Times, Washington Post and others, but I am referring to other sites where the opportunity to comment should be a goal of all of us on conservative sites to let our views be known.
The people who regularly consult sites like Gawker or Think Progress or Dailykos and take their liberal drivel as gospel will never be reformed, just as I am sure the folks who regularly consult Redstate, or Townhall, or Human Events will be ever be “reformed” in the eyes of the liberal. However, they are bigger blockheads because unlike the conservative, they refuse to consult and comment on the other side. That is where conservatives- armed with better facts- are better equipped to steer away from these liberal websites, those visitors who are new or unique to those sites. So the best way of combating the liberal netroots is through a 4-point program.
First, infiltratethe site. For this, you will have to avoid creating screen names like “GoPalinGo” or “Heartlandredstater.” Also, some websites may actually have you wait a week before you are allowed to comment or blog. Perhaps, they are investigating the e-mail address you give them against whether it is used for a conservative website. Be sure to avoid that tendency; if you use, for example, aol.com screen name for RedState, make sure you use a yahoo e-mail address for Dailykos, or whatever. Once you are there, the second part of the strategy is to gain their trust. For this, you cannot be too overtly gung-ho conservative in your outlook. Instead, you sort of have to be the voice of a moderate liberal. This will take a lot of acting skill, but it could be done. For example, over at ThinkProgress, they had an article about how the folks in Alabama got what they deserved with the recent spate of tornadoes because their legislators did not believe in global warming. It took all my energies not to reach through the Internet and strangle these kooks, but I responded, “Well, that might be going a little too far…” Along the way, I gained the trust of certain posters on that thread.
The third step is to move the conversation in the direction you desire. By doing this, you can then form the debate in terms you can win. For example, in the above story, although I said they were going too far in their comments, I moved the conversation somewhat by questioning whether the folks in Alabama would accept Federal funds to rebuild their lives. In other words, the subject was changed from a debate on global warming to one of fiscal responsibility. Once there, you can then highjack the thread. In effect, you have changed the subject and tenor or the conversation and the writer of the original post has lost their ability to moderate the conversation and that creates a free-for-all that gets the conversation far off the original mark. Of course, you will be accused of “threadjacking” or, worse (drumrolls please…) being a “troll.” To this I say, of course you are a troll and you should be proud of it. Embrace your status of being a “troll” on the liberal website and carry it through to its logical conclusion. To put it bluntly: Embrace your inner troll. If they realize what is happening and accuse you of being a troll or such, or if they try to block you and your opinions, remind them of their support for the Fairness Doctrine and their reasoning for it- to ensure that both sides have a say- should allow you to have your say. Force them to practice what they preach.
What if liberals try this with conservative websites? Let them. Remember that we have facts, logic and reason on our side. What will really get them upset is when they are ignored. That is usually when they resort to the most vitriolic and outlandish statements…then they go away. Another way to combat the liberal netroots is through using search engines like Google and Bing. By opening the negative articles about liberal policies, laws, or public figures, you increase the chances of those negative articles moving up the list of popularity. All one has to do is go five pages into the search- usually 50 entries- and just open the negative articles about, for example, Joe Biden. The more this is done, the more “hits” that article gets and when the next person searches “Joe Biden,” you increase the chances the negative article about Biden pops up earlier. You can thank Dailykos for this little technique as they actively encouraged it during the midterm elections in 2010. In fact, because of the limited articles and such, the more local the election, the more likely this strategy will work. A negative article about your local congressman is likely to move up in hits quicker than a negative article about Barack Obama. And since most politics is local, the use of this technique is best at the local level.
There is no doubt that the liberal netroots got a headstart on conservatives in this area. We are playing a game of catch-up and may have, through websites such as this one, caught up. Sites like MoveOn.org and Dailykos give the left their marching orders. They give voice to the Left and they circle the wagons with self-serving, self-congratulatory comments. We cannot reform the staunch liberal; their’s is a psychopathology. But, if we can plant the seeds of doubt in the minds of the Left-leaning fence sitters, then we have won an important battle. Yes, this seems childish, but there is a certain amount of self-satisfaction in being a child again.