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The Right as Political Hydra: New Strategy Needed

How do those of us on the left (and both rightwingers wedded to reality – jk) fight the right? How do you have a constructive policy-based debate with people who are immune to evidence, have no shame or standards and do not acknowledge the legitimacy of their political or ideological opposition? How is it possible to hold a debate and reach compromise with such people?

The Divine Right, Corporate Socialism, and Political Survival: How?

In recent history, the right-wing has become increasingly politically inept, openly authoritarian corporate socialists. They despise the poor and the middle class and they have no qualms about showing it. Whether it is drug-testing or otherwise demonising welfare recipients, gutting health services (freezing the medicare rebate or sabotaging the ACA) or spending without limit on the armed forces and corporate subsidies, the platform is pretty clear. They are brazen corporate cuckolds who care not a fig for anyone making less than 6-figures per annum.

Now, in a democracy (laugh along with me) a platform that is so openly hostile to the majority and favours the minority would not be long for this world. But we in the west have not been democracies for almost half a century now. This goes far to explain the continued political existence of a movement so hostile to the people. But there are other factors at play too.

Secret Weapons of The Right, Part One: Immunity to Evidence

As the title suggests, the two chief weapons of the modern right-wing are their complete immunity to evidence and their utter shamelessness.

The fact that the right does not care about evidence utterly nullifies the chief weapon of the left: facts. Whether the issue is climate science, the economy or anything else, the right is not interested in any countervailing opinion. Whatever they have decided (or been told to say) is already correct and the opinion of a communist is not worth listening to anyway. They do not care what the facts are: ideology comes first and the facts must be bent or otherwise distorted to fit. Simply put, to the extent that they believe in evidence at all, the right believes in policy-based evidence rather than evidence-based policy. Examples abound, but Mr Morrison on climate change is perhaps the most blatant: he either does not know or does not care. Either way, he has no business in politics.

Secret Weapons of The Right, Part Two: Utter Shamelessness

The second great weapon of the right is their utter shamelessness when it comes to pedalling their lies. When Morrison left the country earlier this week (because that’s what a good leader does mid-crisis), his department lied and said he was not there. Mr. Morrison has since cancelled his holiday and will return, but I hope the damage is done (again, laugh along with me). Previous efforts on his department’s part to use national security (the age-old cry of the oppressor as Captain Picard said) to hide his whereabouts were even debunked by the Errorgraph. Ok – when a Murdoch rag debunks your lies, you need to get better ones. But the point here is the utter lack of shame in their lying. This renders them immune to any and all charges of hypocrisy, lying and other transgressions. They do not care what the facts say (up to and including their own words), we have always been at war with Eurasia, ie the truth is what we say it is at any given time.

Secret Weapons of The Right, Part Three: Deny the Legitimacy of the Opposition

The modern right continually denies the legitimacy of their opposition and has done so for some time. Whether the GOP uses the term ‘Democrat party’ (something Bush 43 made up) or the LNP dismisses out of hand anything that anyone says that deviates from their preconceived ideas, the right does not see any value in the opinions of their opposition (or even their existence). They do not see the value in a conversation with someone who does not already agree with them. They expect lockstep compliance with everything they say and any talk of reform is socialism. They claim to be all about free speech and the exchange of ideas. Indeed: as long as they already agree. You know there is much to be said for Bill Maher’s quote

Whenever a Democrat seeks ‘common ground’, he always seems to find it where the Republican was already standing

Other western tories are no different: their opposition is illegitimate and compromise is treason. Indeed, the term ‘compromise’ only ever seems to apply to their opponents. Tories are the stereotypical entitled partner in an unhealthy marriage: there is compromise alright – the other one compromises and they get what they want. As with such a marriage, this is not a healthy model for politics, since the other partner eventually grows tired of the situation.

Conclusion: Fighting a Political Hydra

We return to the question asked at the beginning of this piece: how do you fight such an enemy? If facts and evidence do not matter, and you cannot shame them or in some other way convince them to change their minds, and they are not even open to considering other opinions, how do you make progress? This is where I would usually insert some thought out potential solution, but I have nothing. I am genuinely at a loss.

The chief weapons of the left, namely evidence, the political dialogue, and our opponents’ better natures, are all nullified. The modern right hates the facts (and the media is on their side anyway) and they cannot be shamed or otherwise convinced to change their minds. The right-wing is a modern political hydra: every fact you present and every quote of theirs you offer just results in more heads growing.

The disappointment is strong in this one, but we must fight. The only problem is – I do not know how. Even with a competent opposition (which Labor and the Democrats are not), it is not clear how to kill this hydra of ineptitude, proven lies, and reckless (and ruthless) planetary destruction.

If anyone has any ideas, I am all ears. A new strategy is required, but I am not sure what it is.

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17 comments

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  1. STUART E ANDERSON

    Non violent protest and disruption.

  2. New England Cocky

    Tell the bogans there is a better way, explain it in broad detail, and be prepared to do this many times because the average Australian voter is like the frog in the slowly boiling water.

  3. Kathryn

    It’s so easy to win an argument or debate with RWNJs …. All you have to do is present them with FACTS, LOGIC and credible REASON and they will run screaming into the hills! There is NOTHING liberal about the LNP or their misguided, Murdoch-manipulated sycophants. They are prisoners to self-delusion, hypocrisy, a false sense of superiority and a breathtaking level of elitist entitlement.

  4. Jano

    Australia is in its comfort Zone ..As long as people have it good , Its a stuff you attitude !!! . If you are not on Work for the mole Or dead start payments , Then you have it good . Its not until , you dont have it Good .Will you respond to The Right – wing – Sting and notice its mass criminalisation of the Un-employed and people on Welfare ! – The Right Wing- sting ,,Have posioned MInds for too long !! .(. THey call them selves Christians ,,But are wolves in sheeps clothing ! ) They persecute the poor ..Not help or assist .. They persecute ! .

    They have no solution to poverty .As they are the masters and creators of poverty ..Not the solution !. Its a stuff you party , There God , Is Neo liberilism and greed , Their Ideology has blinded them , to all that is good and right and fair in this world …

    Jesus the saviour of the world ..The humble carpenter of the Bible , would not have anything to do with these bunch of Hypocritical Charlatans – greed merchants , Do they serve Christ – or the Right wing church of The Fiberal party ??? …………………………………………………………………………………..

    Blessed are the Poor ..For they shall see the Kingdom of God !!!!!…..

    The ,Right Wing – Sting HYDRA, can go put a match to its policies and practices and institutions and be rid of them for Good !!!!!……………(..Burn the bastards idealogy to the ground ! )

    For .Only then , Will Fair Go – Abound !……………………………………………………………………………………. Strike Me Rome !!

  5. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Grassroots campaigning and keep it simple.

  6. wam

    this appeared in my page:
    “don’t worry Brittany, most aussies with a brain actually don’t mind Trump and are aware he’s done a good job. Our media is just like the US media, and full of crybaby left wingers who will jump at any chance to bash trump because he puts a dampener on their shit crazy lefty world view “.
    Conservatives, like that, have no chance of using or even understanding facts, reason or commonsense.
    But they are irrelevant as are most of us here.their vote is fixed.

    No mings, rabbotts lying rodents or scummos can be elected without the vote of workers, pensioners unemployed and women. 4 groups for whom the lnp have no respect.
    For labor to win they must:
    allay the fear that gives the gang of 4 the courage to defect.
    OR
    find a whitlam, hawke or rudd and wait till scummo falls

  7. Jano

    The, Right Wing – Stingers ,,Cant handle there own venom back ! , The dogs .want to attack the poor and the Vunerable ..Now wonder ..Judgement day is coming upon- you right wing vermin !!!! ..

    .Repent you hearlt less ,,greedy ass wipes ..!!!!!!!……………………………………………………………….

    .Oh- i forgot ..you like expensive toilet paper ..to wipe away your filthy, rotten . transgressions towards the poor and the down trodden !!! ……………………………………………………………………….

    Rise up ..Sir- Robin Hoods ,you know what you have to do !!! ………………………………………………….

    As Metallica would say !!- ( And Justice for all , !!!!!!!!! ….)

    No more defending ..The In-defencible !!……. Smash the Greed disease – Eradicate ,Devistate .Annihilate ! , Bring the right wingers – to their corrupt knee’s !! …..

    Oh – Arise Sir – Robin Hoods ..ARISE !!!!……….Blessed are all the Merry Men !!! – Amen ! …..

  8. johno

    Immune to evidence,.. The town of Keith, three hours south-east of Adelaide, topped the list of broken records with the mercury hitting an astonishing 48.8C yesterday. The Moron Party (LNP) will find it very hard to ignore what is happening now.

  9. Peter F

    @jonno: the Moron party will simply say: this has all happened before. End of discussion. THEY will be believed.

  10. Neil Barr

    Fight fire with fire. End justifies the means.

  11. totaram

    If you think carefully about all that has been written, you will see that everything they do is implemented with the aid of the mass-media, which is now owned wall-to-wall by the money-bags. Stokes is no better than Murdoch. This is what allows the right to get away with all that has been discussed.

    We need to find a way around this, that works on at least 10% of the voters to swing the vote. However, given that people on the “left” cannot even agree on simple things, it is going to be very hard.

    I recall arguing with left-minded people here and on other forums, that the franking credits refunds would really impact only very rich retirees. People argued against me, even using nonsensical claims that our super funds would get hammered. Complete lack of understanding how tax, and super, and franking works. No wonder the coalition propaganda machine was able to turn the whole thing into a “retiree tax”.

    We now know that Dick Smith gets 500K of these refunds. He didn’t tell us before the election, notice? Of course he has a SMSF. Only multimillionaires do because they can reap the advantages to offset the extra cost of maintaining the SMSF. (non-millionaires with a SMSF have been badly advised by some venal financial adviser and they should roll their SMSF into an Industry Fund and be better off).

    That was just one example. I could go on. There were others who kept on carping about Shorten’s leadership, insisting that Albo would have been the better choice. What evidence did they have? None. They still insist that Labor lost because “Shorten was unelectable”. What does that even mean? Nothing to do with Queensland, nothing to do with 60 million dollars of advertising by Clive Palmer. There are just too many opinionated people around to whom facts and evidence mean nothing. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

  12. Wobbley

    Janie got a gun, nuff said really and opologies to Aerosmith.

  13. Charles

    I don’t think its possible to convince those who refuse to. You can go into a dialogue/conversation with good intention and hope one or two amongst the many would change their mind. The majority would stick to their guns. In the end, it is like swimming against a current. The more we present credible scientific evidence and facts, the more resistance grows. It’s not popular to admit this but the left of this and the next generation will need to come to terms with defeat. The left has a long history of losing and losing big and being sidelined for years on end. Maybe the lesson is to learn how to live with it. While I would not discourage people from ‘fighting’ for their cause, it is necessary to be psychologically prepared for what is to come.

  14. Harry

    Do not try to persuade the right as you are on a hiding to nothing!

    Ignore them and focus on ordinary pople and workers. which is what the so called party of the left failed to do.

  15. totaram

    Harry: Did you read my post? Obviously you did not. Did I talk about trying to persuade the right? No, I did not.
    My problem was with trying to persuade people on the LEFT. Sorry if you didn’t get it. I do apologise. I was not clear enough. My fault entirely.

    Please reread the post and see if you have anything relevant to say.

    Please explain to me what evidence you have that “focus on ordinary people and workers. which is what the so called party of the left failed to do” is correct. Thanks.

  16. Harry

    Totaram;my comment was not directed at you.

  17. Matters Not

    Re:

    his department lied and said he was not there

    Wrong! Or to be in sync with the sentiments expressed in this article – it’s not factual. The PM’s Office (the teller of untruths in this instance) should not be equated with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (the PM&C). The former is staffed by Morrison’s political appointees while the latter is administer by public servants who are subject to certain legal obligations and who won their positions on the basis of merit.

    Both institutions have their territory. And it’s not for the PM&C to make announcements re the PM’s dalliances with lei bedecked Hawaiians on distant beaches.

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