The Grain of Truth theory of effective activism.

Activism is effective politically and even socially when it starts from one true thing. Even if a giant forest of lies is built up around that, one small grain of truth is what keeps people attached. This is more true of progressive activism than conservative activism, but that is fairly recent.

The reason conservatives lose so much of the time is that they prefer stories that don’t even have the grain of truth and then wonder why people reject them. A good example is the bizarre love affair conservatives have with food stamps needing to be converted into actual raw ingredients. That this was done and didn’t work and that food stamps really are better at both feeding little kids who can’t help who their dysfunctional parents are and at getting said parents to be less dysfunctional is something they appear to be utterly ignorant of. Conservatives prefer a story about how things ought to be over the historical reality.

That’s just one example. There are plenty of others. Wide open topic for discussion.

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3 thoughts on “The Grain of Truth theory of effective activism.

  1. Your specific example elucidates a broader issue with American conservatives; many are poisoned by an ideological libertarian style Lockean liberalism that prevents them from acknowledging areas where it doesn’t work or conflicts with their own conservatism; this is where the lies become more loved than the truth.

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  2. Conservatives are always pushing a pull yourself up by your bootstraps narrative that conflicts with the reality of the many different forms of welfare that the middle class is swimming in.

    They also insist that contraceptives and sex education don’t reduce teen pregnancy and abortion when they do.

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    • No, the data on sex ed is pretty terrible. It’s bad whether it’s putting french letters on bananas or abstinence. The relationships between teen pregnancy, contraception access and abortion are also a lot more complicated. Prolife activism is a success story for conservatives precisely because the grains of truth are mostly on their end with a lot of prolife stuff.

      I certainly hope this post doesn’t turn into conservative bashing, the point of it was that there are effective ways to activist it up, and conservatives are totally capable of effective activism contrary to what is increasingly becoming cant among the dissident right ones. It’s just that they need to ask themselves about the truth of what they’re advocating if they keep “losing” or not getting people to be on their side of the argument.

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