The art of community: Tom Coates has three good pieces of advice for community members (in forums or in blog comments).
That last one, about reasonableness, is the real one (not that the others aren’t real). I am convinced that a large part of the success of rightish ideas in recent years comes from seeming reasonableness, likability, humor, panache, joie de vivre– and a large part of the failure of leftish ideas in recent years comes from what a bunch of depressive, never-satisfied mopes they are (when they’re not frothing Bush=Hitler puke-in-throwing nutcases).
I suspect this has always been true– looking at fat, apoplectic Bull Connor next to handsome, dignified Martin Luther King Jr., who could have spent another second on the side of segregation? And that wasn’t just a matter of style but an utterly convincing visual demolition of the idea that one race was in any way innately inferior to the other. Style is as much your argument as substance, because you’re arguing that people should want to BE like your side of the argument.
Well, I think that Megan McArdle’s point about the party out of power always acting crazy and unreasonable applies. Certainly the Republicans had a lot of that when Clinton was president.
It is even worse for the left. Remember they control Congress for 50 years. They lost it because of Newt’s Contract with America. But they still had the Oval Office, albeit not much power because of the loss of Congress. And then in 2000, they lost the WH. They had not been in that position for 50 years. No WH, no Congress. Where, the Right had that happen during a good bit of the last 50 years.
All interesting when you think about it. So now as stupid as some of the crap directed at Clinton was, the crap being spewed now is just without reason.
Oh well, just my two cents.
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