One of my major concerns with politics has been our increasing obsession with political personalities rather than the legitimate debate of issues, and this last election has done little to dispel that uneasiness. In our soundbite media culture, personalities are far more interesting and entertaining than policy, and they more easily influence voters. Details in legislation are boring and too deep into the minutiae or legalese for the average American to even want to understand, and the abundance of policy issues and information overwhelms even the most dedicated activists amongst us.
Fortunately, there is an excellent online resource available from Prager University, an online conservative think tank, that drills down many of the complex issues that we face as a nation into logical but brief, issue-based videos that can be easily shared via social media. While PragerU is not a university per se and degrees aren’t offered, the information available pertaining to current issues is a valuable tool in our constant battle to inform and dispel lies regarding conservative principles. These animated videos are designed to help viewers rediscover the founding ideologies of our nation, and attempt to reverse the trend in education to demonize American traditions and values.
If you haven’t seen these videos appear in your social media feeds, I highly recommend that you visit the PragerU website, www.prageru.com, to view the topics they cover. The 5-minute (or less) videos are relevant to economics, foreign affairs, our nation’s history, environmental concerns, and religious liberty.
Online traffic to the site has experienced phenomenal growth over the last four years, and I imagine they had no idea that one of their videos produced in May 2015 would have garnered as much interest as it did after the presidential election. Have you struggled to explain to family and friends on the left why the Electoral College is still relevant today? Watch PragerU’s Electoral College video and you’ll be armed with the facts you need to dismiss the left’s emotional rhetoric we’ve witnessed since Election Day.
If we hope to engage in convincing conversations with those who do not share our conservative ideology, we must do so with cogent facts instead of emotional ranting which only creates more division. The creep of liberalism has filled our classrooms for decades, particularly at the college level, and we simply cannot expect that those ideas will be easy to eradicate. Competing talking points from FOX News and MSNBC do little to encourage serious dialogue, and as soon as you mention either source, battle lines are drawn and that’s why I’m of the belief that these short videos offer a far greater opportunity of sharing conservative values.
A friend recently posted on Facebook that whenever she suggests that we are in the midst of numerous “teachable moments,” she is met with scoffing from her fellow conservative friends who maintain that liberals can’t be taught because they don’t want to learn. She calls out that attitude as rude and essentially lazy “evangelism” because those of us on the right won’t survive by simply breeding and teaching our own children. We must constantly seek to convert those who have been fed the liberal doctrine by listening and consistently refuting their arguments, not by name-calling even as we are met with similar insults from the left. Do you think my friend is naïve? I might agree except for the fact that she was once a hard-core liberal who now embraces conservative principles from someone willing to take the time to teach instead of writing her off as a hopeless cause.
As we enter this New Year filled with our reflections on the past and our goals for 2017, let’s resolve to be more open to the increase of our knowledge instead of resorting to a litany of partisan talking points. The consistent use of that knowledge in discussing issues and countering with facts rather than ranting about personalities is surely more productive in our quest for a more limited government and increased liberty for all.
Marcia Chambliss serves on the leadership team of Smart Girl Politics, www.smartgirlpolitics.com, an online community for conservative women. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Girl Politics.