Sent to you by Karl via Google Reader:
Yesterday, I had a sudden inspiration into the modi operandi of Left and Right, and why it's so difficult to bridge that rhetorical gap:
- Conservatives and other anti-liberals tend to use, as our model for conflict resolution, trade negotiation, as if bargaining over the price of a used car: offer followed by counteroffer, give and take, introducing sweeteners, with agreed-upon penalties for intransigence. In the end, the issue is settled, and both parties move on to other issues, other negotiations, other agreements.
- Progressivists and other liberals use a very different strategic/tactical model to resolve disputes: the general strike, or nationwide protest. That is, those on the Left present demands and threaten disruption; the longer the strike goes on without "management" caving, the more strident and ridiculous the demands become. Eventually, one side or the other must surrender. But any such resolution is only temporary, for nothing is truely settled "for all time." Rather, every dispute ends in a cease-fire, which lasts just long enough to lick wounds and reload for the next strike.
That's why it's so difficult for conservatives to resolve disputes with liberals, and vice versa: We offer compromises, while they respond with threats to sever all relations and go to the mattresses. They make non-negotiable demands, which we counter with split-the-difference counteroffers. Neither side can make heads nor teakettles out of the other's response.
The core communications breakdown is that A does not use the same conflict-resolution model as B: A musters evidence, precedent, and offers extra inducements to B to come to an agreement; while B recruits allies, forms coalitions, and offers extra inducements to government or corresponding authority (judge, teacher, Mom) to wade in on B's side.
A might offer a lower price, thinking that will increase B's interest; while B tries to grab a seat on the BoD, so he can fire A and impose his will by executive fiat. It's as if A is bargaining in Latin while B is sloganeering and demonstrating in Chinese!
Yes, I realize I'm privileging my own model in dicta; nevertheness, I believe I have identified the two underlying models: striking a deal versus going on strike. In the end, since A and B cannot communicate even long enough to craft a cease-fire, both ultimately leap to the conclusion that the only solution is to utterly crush the opposition.
The Left has followed this model all the way back the French Revolution; that's because "destroying the opposition" is a normal part of the Left's operating model. By contrast, the Right is still stuck in the paradigm that if we demonstrate that we're making a good-faith offer that would leave both sides substantially improved, that will be enough. We don't yet understand that many on the left would rather pull the whole world down upon our ears (and their own!) than give up even the least and most preposterous of their demands.
Now we know. For future elections, we have only two options:
- Use the destructive tactics of the Left -- but in service to the constructive principles of the Right. If you've seen the movie Lincoln, that is the modus I mean: Abraham Lincoln used the same corrupt tactics (buying votes) as the barbaric, slavery-supporting Democrats, but in service to the Godly goal of abolishing slavery.
- Or else we must lose every election from now until the day after forever.
In terms supplied by radical Islamists (who share the dispute-resolution model used by lefties), we first must establish ourselves as the "strong horse" and threaten a Left-Right war that will destroy everyone. Only when the Left faces annihilation will enough of its adherents abandon the tactics of the "general strike" and finally begin bargaining.
The key is to chop their man down, early and often, as Barack Obama's minions chopped down Mitt Romney. We must demonstrate that we can play just as rough and dirty as they; we threaten the war of all again all, in which everybody loses. Out of sheer desperation, Progressivists will be driven to the unnatural course of actually negotiating a real contract.
But remember, such agreements are only fleeting cease-fires; we must be prepared to refight the same battles over and over again. We're now "on notice," so never again should we be taken by surprise.