Does this sound familiar?

A conservative says something outrageous. You respond with facts. The conservative calls you a liberal (or something less nice). You call the conservative crazy (or something less nice). Repeat ad nauseam.

Are you bored? Angry? Have you vowed never to talk about politics again?

Believe it or not, there’s a method behind their madness. Conservatives want you to be angry and quit.

The signal and the noise

Here’s their bet. They have a lot of money and own a lot of media. They’re betting that their media can get their message out. That is, they’re betting they can produce a strong message signal.

Second, they’re betting that they can make you so angry that you’ll forget what your point was or even quit.

By boosting their signal and creating this “outrageous” noise, they have managed to build an impressive media-messaging machine with a high signal-to-noise ratio.

Why don’t the same distorting tactics work for you? Because you don’t have the same level of media support on your side.

Changing the game

The good news is that you don’t have to play this game. There are better options. If you know their strategy and why they say such outrageous things, there are better approaches.

The first thing I’d ask you to think about is what is your goal. Do you care about being right? Or do you want support for what you believe?

If you want to win people over, you do this by showing them something interesting or becoming friends with them or standing up for them or speaking about what you believe.

Beliefs such as:

  • Fairness
  • Equality
  • Prosperity
  • Freedom
  • Responsibility

Why? Not because I’m nice. Stating what you believe is simply more powerful than trying to convince someone that what they believe is wrong.

You want to work towards a shared goal. What you don’t want is a meaningless, unproductive head-to-head fight. You may even find that many people who you thought previously completely different have pretty similar beliefs.

I like our odds

This site is my search to frame and document my beliefs and values. I believe in winning people over and that our strength as liberals is in our numbers. In the face of conservative money, media and noise, we are the new silent majority.

If there are 100 million registered voters in our country, and we have 100,000 liberal activists, we have to convince 501 people each. 1 million activists and we only have to convince 51 people each. 10 million activists and we’re down to 5.1 people.

We have plenty of people with similar beliefs, we just have to show them how to preach it and teach it. And because we have a better story, at 51 people apiece, I like those odds.


-David Akadjian