U Mad Bro? Convention Edition
After reading Twitter the past few nights, it seemed that Cecile Richards struck a nerve with those on the right. The organization she represents is adored on the left, making her a natural choice to stoke the pro-life fire with forceps. But for every Cecile Richards, there is a Wayne LaPierre. There is little power in being angry at the choices of your opponents. The right would be better served laughing at their enemies, instead of letting them get under their skin.
The left has figured out how to do this effectively. It comes in the from of SNL, The Nightly Show, and a constant focus on how ludicrous "the Republicans", which is collectivized term for anyone right of center. This categorization of the other via comedy makes it an acceptable form of critique to simply laugh. By not laughing and getting angry, the right does no service to itself. Instead, it reinforces the message that the "the Republicans" don't get it.
Conventions are designed as pep rallies. They are only about being inclusive to their target audience. If any of the Bernie Bros or #NeverTrump-ers expected anything different, then they don't get. Exclusivity is designed to marginalized difference, and that is a feature of a diametric political process.
Instead of getting mad, why not mock? Make the absurd apparent instead of absent. Turn anger into humor. The right knows that the left breaks out into hives over the 2nd amendment just as the left knows the right has palpitations over right to life. It's so easy to kick these causes in the stomach, and it's precisely the reason we shouldn't let anger around these issues become the dominating factor behind our opposition. There is a political detente, but the social element of the culture wars is an arena of ideas.
As a culture, social issues are far less of an issue than they are an exercise in virtue signaling. On the third night of the convention, the national anthem was sung by Sebastian Dela Cruz, dressed in traditional mariachi clothing. If this isn't the easiest way to get the Trump Train to act just like millennials on college campuses, then I don't know what is. But those who shout the loudest are heard the widest, and the #feelthebern, and #MAGA crews have certainly been exercising their vocal chords.
As political actors, we have a choice on how we handle the choices of our opponents. If people are screaming to be heard and you want to marginalized them, the best way is to not be fazed by the inflammation of their passions. By showing offense, you give your political opponents strength. By not getting mad, you show their lack of importance to your values. Instead, my friends on the right should try laughing it off and highlighting the ridiculous. After all, it's worked for the left for years.