Wouldn’t it be nice if the best idea always won the day? Unfortunately, it often doesn’t. The best idea, poorly presented, is easily passed over.
Conservatives aren’t known for our presentation. We’re still talking about Ronald Reagan, and looking for the next Great Communicator. But even if we find him or her, that means we’re averaging one every thirty or forty years. That’s not a winning track record.
We must each become great communicators in our own right. The way to do so is to set aside our great ideas for a moment, and start focusing on telling better stories. Reagan excelled at this because of his background in Hollywood, where tales are spun with a focus upon building an audience.
PJTV’s Bill Whittle and Andrew Klavan share that background. They also share the sound conservative ideals which must be transmuted through effective presentation. We caught up with them and Joe Hicks after the three delivered a powerful symposium at the Tea Party Patriots American Policy Summit.
NRB: We have to direct our energy toward the culture. Politics spawns from what we think, what we believe, what we talk about. The Left is every good at the human interest story. They’re very good at crafting the narrative of the person who’s down and out.
I’m talking to the choir. You guys are responding to that. You are countering that right now. How would you advise, not just the Tea Party, but conservatives in general to ease away from all the analysis we’re constantly doing, the fact-talking, and start getting more into telling the stories that change people’s minds.
Andrew Klavan: I think the only way to do it is to do it –
Bill Whittle: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly what I was going to say.
Klavan: I’ve had this conversation with Andrew Breitbart who was always telling people to infiltrate Hollywood. And I just thought, don’t infiltrate Hollywood. Write your own screenplays –
Whittle: Start to build a parallel Hollywood –
Klavan: And be fearless. The thing is, I think, if you’re trying to duck under the radar, you’re gonna get shot down. I think you just walk in and just say who you are –
Whittle: And construct your own narratives. We did a piece called Iconography about how the Left uses lighting and stagecraft and graphics so beautifully, and the Republicans are just so awful at it.
I had a chance to talk with [House Speaker John] Boehner in L.A. a couple weeks ago. I said, “Listen, Paul Ryan’s rebuttal to the State of the Union speech was brilliant. But he was in a dark room surrounded by empty chairs. He looked like he was in a bunker and he was last man on Earth who believed this stuff.” I said, “You have to do better than that, sir. You have to…”