Needed: A Good Story

NEEDED: A GOOD STORY….Over at Mother Jones, Joshua Wolf Shenk writes that conservatives have a pretty compelling story to tell:

The right wing has an elemental and appealing narrative–the ideological equivalent of a Jerry Bruckheimer film or a Tom Clancy novel, the sort that?s hard to turn away from, even if you suspect you?re being suckered. Stories operate on our primitive, reptilian brains. ?We tell ourselves stories in order to live,? Joan Didion wrote. This isn?t just a pretty line but an artful statement of neuropsychological reality.

….It?s plain why this story works as well as it does. It presents a classic hero and a journey that reaches down through the brain into the gut. And Republicans can translate it into simple, clear lines of action: Wage war and don?t stop. Cut taxes. Put bad guys in jail, or to death.

I’ve had the same thought many a time. Unfortunately, although he correctly identifies the strength of the current Republican storyline and the weakness of the current Democratic one (“liberals have a lame story–and they don?t even believe it”), Shenk’s stab at a better narrative didn’t sound very convincing to me. Anybody else want to give it a try?

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