file under: sweeping generalizations
this evening, while reading the crunchy con blog, i ran across the following quote from peter suderman concerning "why the republicans are so bad at communicating."
"One of the major problems with the contemporary right, broadly speaking, is that when it comes to communication, it's good at manipulation, but it's not very good at conversation. That makes it fairly effective when it comes to TV ads and speeches, which are one-way broadcast mediums. That's great for telling people what to do, and the GOP, especially in the Rove era, has become masterful at figuring at ways -- usually involving fear, of change, of the other, of political enemies -- to tell people what to do in ways that will actually get them to follow instructions."
now read the quote again, but substitute the term "conservative evangelicalism" for "contemporary right" and "the GOP."
maybe it's just me, but i find the critique fits both the GOP and much of evangelicalism quite well. the second part of the critique, which i've posted below, seems to apply to both groups also:
"But it's borderline catastrophic when it comes to new media, which emphasizes networked interactivity -- which is where the left, online or off, seems to shine. Part of this is the way the right appeals to authority while the left appeals to community. The left's infrastructure has always (and unremarkably) emphasized communal action -- whether in 60s and 70s anti-war protests or in Alinsky-style community organizing . It also has a lot to do with modern conservatism's trouble with doubt: For decades, the right has had trouble with ambiguity (Postmodern Conservatism doesn't seem strange for no reason), and systems without authority and hierarchy -- systems like the web -- are inherently ambiguous."
i'm not trying to throw bombs here. i just think that suderman's critiques are worth considering.
ht: rod dreher