Gary Sasse has an essay published with the Ripon Society that raises a point one hears more and more on the right side of the aisle:
Political success will require many things. Rather than talking about the economy in broad terms, for example, GOP governors must be ready to focus on specifics that place state government on the side of both working families and small business. Rather than being critical of social programs, Republican governors must lead and promote those that foster work, opportunity and self-sufficiency. Rather than imposing state mandates, Republican governors must deliver services based on the principles of choice and devolving responsibilities to communities. Finally, New England’s GOP governors must contrast their “fix it” solutions for failing schools, unsafe streets, economic stagnation, over-taxation, costly regulation and cronyism to the Democrat’s identity politics and liberal overreach.
Through the turmoil of the last half century, conservatives have had difficulty adjusting to the new demands of the Left’s “narrative” approach to public discourse. First, the Right condemned; then, we relied on a common sense and a nostalgia for the good days that the Left was working to undermine. We’re finally realizing that we have to do the work of explaining why our approach is really the one that puts people, not ideology, first.
We’ll win, ultimately, because we’re both correct and more respectful of humanity, but progressives have had an unchallenged pop-cultural and academic field for decades to imbue into our society the sub-rational sense that we’re the bad guys. It’s so thoroughly become a staple of movie plot twists, for example, that the bad guy will turn out to be the person whom 1950s America would have naturally seen as the good guy that plot twists don’t work anymore.
Well, just like the villain in such stories must do something decisive to prove to the hero and the audience that he’s really bad, it’s going to take a lot of absurdity, anger, and probably actual violence from the Left before a critical mass of Americans begins rooting them out of our institutions.