Voices Carry

American radio talk show host, columnist, and author Dennis Prager at the menorah lighting at the California Capitol Building, Sacramento. Photo by Nate Mandos.

I mocked #Resist. I still do, because overwhelmingly it is like most hashtag movements: a bunch of people who are already inclined toward something shouting into their computer screens at the people who already share their opinions.

That said, I was wrong. #Resist wasn’t going to make many new converts, which was its purported intent, but it did keep a measure of solidarity among those who wanted to take a stand against Trumpism. It kept peoples’ spirits high, reminding them they were far from alone in refusing to capitulate.

I did not, and do not, trust many of those who jumped up to #Resist. Most of them were lifelong Democrats or Green Party members, people who were complaining about lawlessness after being fine with Obama’s flouting of procedure and griping about morality after raging at Republicans for daring to condemn Bill Clinton’s felonies and improprieties.

The movement was performing one valid task, though. It was spreading the word through to the apathetic who were occasionally willing to listen. These are the people who have become convinced that one politician is much like any other: slimy. Politicians are, to them, a necessary evil. They are embroiled in complex matters in order to keep average people from needing to deal with them, and in return they’re allowed to get away with basic levels of corruption.

Most of it is just an echo chamber, exactly as is the Trumpublican chatter which is shorthanded by “Fox News” but which really incorporates Drudge Report, most of talk radio, One America News, Breitbart, PJ Media and more.

Spreading the word is key… and it’s difficult. The perceived ease of disseminating facts via social media is deceptive. People feel they can just go onto Facebook or WhatsApp or any one of dozens of other platforms and vent, but the truth is that they’re not being heard out there. Most of the aggressive posters have long since been blocked by people who are tired of the complaints. It seems like it’s a public forum, but in reality it’s just a small room filled with people who already agree with them.

#NeverTrump has the same problem as #Resist. While it is composed for the most part of ex-Republicans, conservatives and libertarians who oppose many of the President’s actions on constitutional and moral grounds, it is to a large degree an echo chamber.

This is why there is such value in assets like Justin Amash and Ben Sasse. These people have a handful of chances to shift opinion… in the case of Amash, away from Trump; in the case of Sasse, toward him… because they have voices which are, at least initially, speaking to crowds of “opposition” thinkers. Before they in turn are blocked or dropped, they can present a case and perhaps convert others.

Conversion is key… and it’s difficult, because there are two ways to convert someone. There’s the method for followers, which is to browbeat or lure them with the perception that there’s a large group and they’re not part of it. Those are immovable until there is, in fact, a large group for them to join. The most effective way to reach them is with podcasts and video series, where numbers can be artificially inflated… this is a key value of things like Prager University, Youtube stars and conspiracy shows. Then there’s the method for free thinkers, which is to present them a large amount of evidence and wait for them to come to a conclusion you feel is obvious.

Thankfully for #NeverTrump… a moniker I discarded the day after Trump was elected, but have reclaimed now that he’s running again… the President provides plenty of evidence of wrongdoing on a daily basis. The problem, as always, is getting people to listen to it.

The answer is what it’s always been in political campaigns: talking. Not merely posting angry rants to Facebook or engaging in rejoinders with a pro-Trump relative, but speaking calmly and somewhat passively to the people you encounter on a daily basis. The impeachment battle is one which is going to take place in the public forum, and it’s going to be won by the side which can adequately sway those typically called “the independents”, but which are in truth the apathetic.

They need to first recognize that Trump is not a typical politician, then that what the Republicans are doing to protect him is not typical politics, and lastly that, despite Democrats’ own offenses… and those offenses have been egregious… that does not in any way render inappropriate their holding the President to the law. Rather, allowing the Republicans to get away with ignoring laws will simply clear a path for Democrats to do it for a subsequent President.

That is the task before us. I believe we can do it.

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.