How To Be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct (2015)
LOOK LIKE THEM
You know what depresses me? If I can turn the sound off on a TV and still be able to tell if the person on-screen is a Republican. The stereotype of an older white male exists because it’s true. Sometimes we have women, too. Today, on TV, I saw one white, southern, female, religious, conservative talking head say she was refusing to see Fifty Shades of Grey because it was a threat to marriage. Her outrage couldn’t have been scripted better by The Onion. The casting agency nailed it. I felt sad (so I ate a chicken smothered in peanut butter).
My point: sometimes you should just admit the opposition has something on you, and then work like a mad dog to fix it.
We need diversity, not for diversity’s sake, but because it actually helps the country. It makes the nation a better place.
Also, it’s fun. After all—think about what the left is most terrified of.
Think about what drives them batshit crazy.
It’s not a guy who looks like Orrin Hatch. Or a woman who looks like Phyllis Schlafly. It’s a guy who looks like Tim Scott, and a woman who looks like Mia Love. Nothing upsets a liberal more than someone who is supposed to be liberal—a black, Hispanic, or gay conservative. I’ve seen it happen. Bring up a conservative black leader (like, say, Allen West) and you see steam pour out from the lefty’s head—like a malfunctioning robot in a low-budget sci-fi movie. “Does not compute! Does not compute!” they mechanically wail, as their stiff arms desperately flail for something to steady their shocked system. It also reveals their secret bigotry—assuming blacks must adhere to specific beliefs. Only an infusion of craft beer and kale will help them recover.
A black right-winger is kryptonite to a white elitist liberal. When an “afri-con” enters the room, white liberals forget to check their privilege, and instinctively decide that they know better. They shut down. And then they lose. Which is why Mia Love won. I mean, a black, female Mormon. That staccato popping sound you hear is the collective synapses of the New York Times editorial board frizzing out. As I write this, washed-up actor George Takei just called Clarence Thomas “a clown in black face.” Then offered a piss-poor nonapology.
Black liberals love to call black conservatives “house negroes” (or variations on that N-word). White liberals are actually worse: they simply hate conservative blacks. Even those who are true heroes. Ben Carson has saved more children’s lives than all the members of the Congressional Black Caucus combined, which makes his gaffes forgivable. He was too busy saving babies to keep up on changing times.
The reason for left-wing antipathy toward conservatives who aren’t white is twofold: they can’t label them racist or homophobic, and one more gay or black for us is one less gay or black for them. And God forbid it becomes a trend! It threatens the existence of their strip mall of collective identity blocs.
Which is why, for the Republican Party to grow and succeed in places where it hasn’t before, it needs to do the most shallow (but perhaps most important) thing: look like the left.
That’s all. Look like them.
It’s not enough to be the party of red white and blue. It has to be the party of black, brown, pink, yellow, and purple. And mauve. Why not?
Try this the next time when you’re in a debate, in conversation, or trying to make a point at a bar: quote people who look like Democrats. The Allen Wests, the Susan Martinezes, the Stefanicks and Rubios. Instead of saying, “Well, Glenn Beck says that unicorns are the Antichrist,” say, “Mia Love has spoken eloquently on satanic unicorns. What, you don’t know who Mia Love is? Let me show you.…” Trust me. You will suddenly be regarded as a genius.
And what about new arrivals—illegal immigrants now staying thanks to Obama’s amnesty? Do we write them off, or do we sell our philosophical goods to them? You know my answer:
Every immigrant is an ally.
Immigrants are almost always naturally conservative (see Arnold Schwarzenegger—just not in a Speedo). Most come here to succeed, to build a life—not to live off someone else. Many escape countries where the government is their total safety net but also their mortal enemy. Which is why they come here to risk everything (including their lives). I mean, this country produced Skrillex, Kathy Griffin, and yoga pants. And people still come here. You know they must want it, bad.
We need to get these people on our side, and stop assuming they’re gimmes for lazy leftists. It’s hard for me to fathom that a family-oriented religious Mexican believes what your typical prog academic spews. They have more in common with Limbaugh than with the left. I can’t believe for a second that a young Cuban actually looks at an Occupy Wall Streeter and thinks, “I want to be like that. I want to crap in the street and eat out of garbage cans.” No, he thinks, “Christ, I just left that.”
What Diversity Looks Like
There is a challenge, however: where these immigrants came from is often a place so much worse than where they end up in America.
Their expectations are way different from yours—which presents a problem for Republicans who wish to preach aspirational values that run counter to the left. Immigrants understand opportunity and money and comfort and warmth—but they’re not going to be won over by the privatization of Social Security, or battles over the death tax. You need to recruit, and to speak their language—which is often the language you speak to yourself.
If I were a superrich conservative, I’d create a program called the “American People Who Work for Food and Stock Options” (“APWWFSO”)—a new, free class that explains what makes this country a success, teasing out the equation that enticed immigrants to flee here in the first place:
ASSIMILATION + HARD WORK − ENTITLEMENT × LONG-TERM OPTIMISM FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS + INTACT FAMILY STRUCTURE × COMMUNITY INTERACTION = SUCCESS
(Koch brothers, give me a call—we’ll talk.)
Perhaps the APWWFSO—a reform movement focused on an appreciation of the basic principles, values, and history of the greatest country ever—could be free but tied to employment. It could be something that companies strongly encourage new arrivals applying for work to attend. I’ve already got the motto: “You take this class, we’ll hire your ass.” Wouldn’t that look great on a flag flying proudly over US immigration headquarters? I’ve even sketched the mascot, and yes, it’s naked and has a horn. Which I admit is, like, so last Saturday night. But it never gets old.