Conservatives have been losing the war over the hearts and minds of the American people for quite a long time. Finally, we seem to be regaining some ground as the left have gone so far extreme on so many issues. With that said, I believe that the reason why the left has been so successful over the years has been because they are appealing to the emotions of the American people, while we, the conservatives, have been appealing to the minds. Ben Shapiro summarizes the conservative perspective the best: Facts don’t care about your feelings.
You see, this kind of thinking is why I believe Conservatives have been losing the overall war. While it appeals to a great many who are more intellectual, we have to realize that not everything is analytical or intellectual. Some are more emotional. Oftentimes conservatives sneer at the thought of this, as if this kind of thinking is beneath us.
However, I would make the argument that people are wired differently, primarily because of how they are raised and possibly even their genetic makeup. If we want to win the overall war over the soul of America, we have to acknowledge that not everything thinks just like you and I. So what do we do about this? How do we win the war?
First, let’s take a look at how the left works: They appeal to your humanity in order to push an inhumane agenda. For example, they appeal to your anti-racist mindset to push an agenda that is, by definition, racist. Take a look at our welfare system… Democrats will accuse the right of being racist for opposing welfare because this would impact a significant portion of the minority communities. All the while, the actual results from their agenda is keeping minorities in poverty, while the conservative agenda of capitalism and freedom is statistically proven to lift more people out of poverty than any other system in the history of the world.
The response from conservatives is typically an analytical response, breaking down the facts and figures, which are often times complicated. Most Americans don’t have the time or energy to follow the arguments of the right, so they go with the simplistic talking points of the left which emotionally makes sense. Think about it, the left puts out the narrative that they care for minorities and the poor, thus we need to give them more money, handouts, housing, phones, healthcare and anything else that they can come up with. It SOUNDS good… I mean, we want to help them, right? So let’s give them everything!
This is where conservatives typically lose. As soon as you say, “Cut welfare,” the left points their finger at you and screams, “Bigot! You don’t want to help the poor minorities!” That puts us on the defensive, and we almost always lose the argument in the mind of the audience.
So how do we flip this on its head and begin to win the narrative in the minds of Americans?
Obviously, we can’t stop making the intellectual arguments… we have to continue hounding the facts and the figures. You have to remember that we have the truth on our side.
However, the change that we need to make is to couple the facts and figures with the appeal to our humanity… with an appeal to our emotions. Let me give you a few examples.
When it comes to welfare, we have to continue to make the point that this is financially crippling our nation…. We are in debt and can’t afford to continue down this route. In addition to that, we also have to make the point that welfare is holding the poor back. With limits on how much you can earn before your “benefits” are taken away, people on welfare are de-incentivized to lift themselves up out of poverty. We, as conservatives, WANT to lift people out of poverty. We WANT to see people out on their own and move into the middle class. But the only way to do that is to stop incentivizing poverty through our welfare system.
Let’s take a look at illegal immigration. Yes, we can point out that illegal immigration leads to more crime in our nation, jobs being taken away from Americans and many of the other talking points that conservatives make. However, we can also point out that illegal immigration is bad for the ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT! How so? People that sneak across the border and into our country almost always have to do so with the help of the cartels. Thus, they become drug mules. Additionally, women and girls that are coming across are often times raped and have to be on birth control because it’s expected that this will happen during their journey. Human trafficking is a HUGE problem with illegal immigration. If we can stop illegal immigration, we can significantly cut off the source of human trafficking. We have to appeal to the humanity of Americans who are sympathetic to the migrant trying to come to America for a better life. The only way to stop these horrific tragedies from happening to these people coming from third world countries seeking a better life is to cut off illegal immigration, take the power away from the cartels and human traffickers and funnel everyone through a legal immigration system where we can vet people. This isn’t only for our benefit, but for the benefit of the migrant, as well.
You see, when we have the truth on our side we can make these appeals to the humanity of the American voters. We can’t leave this line of argumentation only to the left. All they have is the emotional argument. We have both facts AND emotion. Combined, we can be unstoppable.