On citizens and voters who make no effort to consider critically whether outrage is faked or real.
The pretended outrage we see and hear in North Idaho has little or nothing to do with patriotism or godliness and everything to do with living by and applying the teachings of something a lot meaner than scripture.
Behold the MAGA manipulator’s Bible:
Confrontational Politics was published in 2014 years ago by a California gun rights fundamentalist and former politician by the name of H.R. “Bill” Richardson. As is implied in the title the phrase “How to Effectively Practice the Politics of Principle” the subject of Richardson’s writing presumably is about civil discourse and a life of statesmanlike political negotiation.
Hardly. Essentially the book is a about aggressive and unrelenting ambush and not much else. A hundred years ago it could have been written by the James Brothers as a how-to for robbing banks or trains.
Ambush and stampede
The basic premise is that the self-styled Kindergarten Konservative ambushers and stampeders are the “good guys” and the liberal Grownups in the Room are the “bad guys” who are to be verbally and otherwise assaulted like unsuspecting strollers in the park.
Do not respond to a liberal the way you are taught to respond to your superiors, even if they are your superior as your incumbent representative or political rival with a reasonable demeanor.
Be confrontational. Don’t let the years of supposed ethical training get in the way during a debate with a liberal.
Be in your combat mode. Know your enemy as well as yourself. Know what tricks they are going to pull and how to respond to them. Play ball with their tactics so that they don’t run roughshod over you.
Know who the enemy is, and how they hide under the title of “humanist” and other false images.
Understand that you possess the only truth. Wear your personal paranoia and do not be unafraid to state it effectively, always understanding that the enemy is going to try and drown you in lies.
Remember that liberals will lie cheat and steal, the only rule with them that they cannot break, is that they cannot get caught. There is no overarching ethical code for the liberal, they will use morality to suit their purposes and then dispose of it when the need arises.
Conflict should be expected, welcomed, and analyzed and used to forward your goals.
Don’t misread the liberal agenda, they advance so that they can win by retreating. We are on the opposite polls of life, either we win or they win, there is no middle ground on the issues that matter most to the minds and hearts of Americans.
Hot Button Issues
People by nature are divided by issues, not by class, use this.
Yellow dogs should be fed the scraps they need to vote accordingly, don’t feed their yellow dogs.
Turn out the Hot Button voters even if their issue is of no concern to your campaign directly.
Play the game of categorizing people and then win at it. Leftist Democrats and “moderate” Republicans pass Liberal agendas
Frame your issues in the best light to avoid giving the left free ammo against you. Elect candidates on issues other than their own, you goals are and will be supported in such a coalition.
The most common factor with Christian homeschoolers, “no compromise” gun rights advocates, anti-vaxxers, QAnon, social media trolls is that they are mostly single-issue voters.
Confrontational politics identifies specific single issue “audiences” with the single issue most important to them. This brand of activism uses specific persuasive techniques to convert a narrow slice of the electorate into fervent single-issue voters.
Why? A small number of people can come to have massive influence on election outcomes, public policy, and political discourse when they act in unison and vote in blocks in specific communities where the impact of such voting blocks makes the news and creates the idea of a “wave” of sentiment outside the locale that may not even exist.
You can employ much more radical rhetoric becauses the more radical your rhetoric, the more impact it will have on the people predisposed to your message.
Technology makes it possible to reach this group flood them in the equivalent of an echo chamber of misinformation, fear-mongering, and outrage. Social media is the principle highway to misinformation, fear-mongering and outrage.
Harsh criticism of everyone who doesn’t embrace the “No Compromise” philosophy blends telling the offended (who often cannot describe precisely why they are offended) with intimidation of the same audience because compromise has become a dirty word.
For example, with gun rights stampeders present themselves as tireless, relentless, outspoken defenders of your gun rights against stupid lib-tards, spineless politicians, and biased media. They record theatrical, bombastic videos in state legislatures, at gun rallies, and at lockdown protests, ranting, insulting opponents; all the time claiming that they’re working tirelessly for you in the halls of power and online every single day.
The more they repeat their arguments, the truer they seem to the people following them. Repetition makes a claim feel true regardless of its content. Psychologists call this the “illusion of truth effect.” And the more information provided, the more fuel audiences have for their confirmation bias and motivated reasoning. Confrontational politics provides plenty of “evidence” people can use to justify believing what they want to believe.
Anti-vaxxers are another example of confrontational politics. They don’t argue against the science of vaccines as much as they argue against the authority of medicine. They question the motives of doctors, health officials, and the government. What secret agenda might Anthony Fauci have for exaggerating COVID? Could the pandemic be a lie to justify mandatory vaccinations? Might those vaccinations secretly contain tracking chips?
The less the fringe is ignored, the more their views spread, become normalized, and gain acceptance
Similarly, the basic premise of QAnon is that they know the truth — the existence of a vile political enemy that can be defeated only by Donald Trump, the messianic “Q.” The can defeat the enemy if they vote for Trump. QAnon-believers promote their theories with religious fervor even though there seems to be little financial incentive apart from gaining a platform.
Once engaged, this minority becomes too vocal, aggressive, and agitative for leaders and journalists to ignore. The less the fringe is ignored, the more their views spread, become normalized, and gain acceptance. The gulf between people with different political beliefs grows wider. The “us vs. them” lens colors relationships.
How to Contain Confrontational Politics
Misinformation that engenders fear or outrage is especially difficult to undo. Neuroscientist Tali Sharot exposed research subjects to misinformation while they were in an MRI machine. A week later, she brought the subjects back and revealed that the information had been randomly generated.
Yet half the subjects persisted in believing the misinformation even when its source had revealed it to be false. Her team found that subjects had much more difficulty correcting false beliefs when the misinformation stimulated the amygdala and aroused strong negative emotions.
As mis-informers and outright manipulative liars continue this infestation of our information society, there are no simple solutions short of some sort of censorship, a concept that has its own hugely negative civic implications. Censorship might punish the deliberate liar who yells “Fire!” in a crowded theatre when no fire is present, but there seems to be a greater need for taking away the incentive for confrontational discourse based on ulterior motives never openly-admitted and around which the purveyors offer only wide-eyed and insincere denials spiced with fake outrage.
Truth be told, fake outrage is the first step of instilling real outrage among an “offended” community of citizens and voters who make no effort to consider critically whether outrage is faked or real.