The Information War: Realities on the Ground, April 2014

Bruce Walker at American Thinker has an interesting article up about the latest Battleground Poll (you can read it here). He opens:

The latest Battleground Poll, compared with prior Battleground Polls, shows the percentage of Americans who describe themselves as “conservative” dropping. The percentage is lower than almost any Battleground Poll in the last fifteen years. The percentage of Americans who call themselves “liberal,” by contrast, is at an all-time high.

After explaining the demographic shift in the polling sample, Walker writes:

So what does the March 2014 Battleground Poll say about the “conservative / liberal” division of America? Conservatives are still the overwhelming majority of Americans, as every single Battleground Poll in the last fifteen years has shown: 56% of Americans are “conservative,” while 40% are “liberal,” and “moderate” and “don’t know” are the piddling remainder. Excluding the last two indefinite categories and looking at America as a “conservative” versus “liberal” division, then, 58.3% of Americans are “conservative,” and 41.7% are “liberal.” This is identical to the results of the January 2014 Battleground Poll.

Walker explains that the “Battleground Poll has begun to dig deeper” in their questioning:

A whopping 43% of Americans wanted their party to become “more conservative,” while 14% wanted their party to become “more liberal.” The other major category, those who wanted their party to become “more moderate,” is a meaningless number in terms of ideological identification.

Walker also notes:

Every single national poll taken over these fifteen years, regardless of which polling organization took the poll, shows that conservatives are much larger as a group than liberals.

And he adds:

If the data showed that liberals outnumbered conservatives, the Gallup, Pew Research, the Battleground Poll, and all the leftist establishment media, would be screaming that fact.

Seems like good news, right? I’d say yes — but unfortunately that’s not the end of the story, since we all know that government continues to grow in size and scope, debt increases at all levels of government, societal decay accelerates, and Obama has three more years to work on fundamentally transforming America.

National polling trends for a while now have been predicting the GOP will take the U.S. Senate this November. As I noted previously, that’s not going to fix anything if Republicans act like they have after almost every other winning election (1980, 1984, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2004, 2010).

Another American Thinker writer, Marguerite Creel, summarizes perfectly why GOP victories don’t seem to make much difference. Her post, “What the GOP Does with a Supermajority,” is about Republicans in North Carolina, but we all know state legislators are no different than members of Congress.

North Carolina, like other red states, is awash in risk-averse career politicians who fear negative publicity. Legislators are not seriously motivated to reduce the public footprint, enabled by business leaders’ cowardly refusal to publicly call a spade a spade. Fear of attracting the big, bad liberal press is rampant.

Columnist Ben Shapiro complains about GOP foolishness in a post titled, “Why Hillary Clinton Will Win in 2016,” giving an example of that “big, bad liberal press” (referred to by Creel) that Republicans are deathly afraid of. Last week Paul Ryan put forward a tepid budget proposal and the political left, as expected, decried it as “mean, nasty, heartless, brutal.” The same day the Obama Administration lied about its sign-up numbers for the Affordable Care Act.

Here’s Shapiro:

Republicans reacted with predictable confusion and outrage. They suggested — rightly — that Obama had “cooked the books.” They complained that sign-up numbers did not justify the entire overthrow of the health insurance system. And Obama, the man who canceled plans, doctors and drugs for millions of Americans, responded thusly: “Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance?”

This is why Republicans will lose in 2016.

Democrats understand the art of narrative. Republicans do not…

[Republicans] enjoy debunking Obama’s falsified statistics and singling out his corruption of data. Democrats would prefer to point at those Republicans and suggest that they don’t care enough about poor, sick children.

Shapiro concludes:

Republicans continue to lose because Republicans get distracted from story by information. Democrats continue to win because they never let information get in the way of a good story. Until Republicans figure that simple truth out, no amount of truth will put a Republican back in the Oval Office.

So what is going to save the country if not the Republican Party? The Tea Party? Not according to Deborah C. Tyler in her article “The Next Last of the Mohicans?” She recently attended the South Carolina Tea Party convention and writes, “For three days, brilliant, passionate speakers addressed the audience of 600 about the destruction of American freedoms.”

Then comes her dour assessment:

But I also thought that these Tea Party patriots are more psychologically similar to the indigenous peoples of the colonial period who were conquered, whose cultures were crushed and land taken by the European occupation, than they are to the painted marauders who overthrew the greatest military power on Earth. Will they be the last generation to enjoy the God-given liberties defined in the Declaration of Independence and secured by the Constitution? Their land is also being overrun by foreign occupiers brought in by the government; their religion is being suppressed by the government; their superbly humane way of life is being destroyed by the government. But are Tea Party patriots too conformist and well-behaved to be revolutionaries?

Here are Tyler’s “four psychological characteristics that cause today’s Tea Party patriots to suffer evils their namesakes would not have tolerated”:

1. They have a defensive mindset due to relentless verbal abuse by the government/media complex.

2. Their religion — Christianity — has been completely politically neutralized.

3. Tea Partiers may be too polite to save the Republic.

4. Unlike the left wing, Tea Party patriots repress public negative emotion.

Shapiro and Tyler both make important, excellent points. But this column has argued that there is more to it: If the Tea Partiers, let alone all Republicans and conservatives, don’t get their act together and begin to engage in genuine activism (actual contact with/outreach to the uninformed and misinformed), then the GOP taking the U.S. Senate will make little difference, Hillary will win in 2016, and the downward slide of the nation will continue.

To learn more about the information war, scroll through the archive of articles here and visit this page.