Friday, January 18, 2008

Framing the Rising Sun Controversy

Dear George,

I find it awe inspiring that for the past seven years the Right has managed to keep the Democratic Party on the defensive. Bombarded by a barrage of buzz words and faux issues, they’ve barely been able to regain their balance and go on the offensive. The Right has them so cowed that they self-censor their every thought and comment less it unleashes a barrage of polemic.

It all gets down to the Right’s superb ability to frame any given issue in such a way that the Democrats can only react, and in their reaction come across as weak and uncertain. The key to framing an issue is to make an untrue assertion with such confidence and certainty that the public believes it can only be true. The assertion is repeated and repeated until the public accepts it as fact. The entire process is abetted by a supine press that parrots uncritically every turd tossed out by the Right.

For example, one of your cronies could express moral outrage over the Democratic Party’s belief that the sun rises in the east. Such a belief is eating away at the country’s moral fiber as surely as gay marriage and abortion, because studies have shown that people who favor abortion and gay marriage also believe in an east-rising sun.

And there you have your buzz word: the east-rising sun, that cancerous rot that is destroying all that America stands for. Loudly every Republican candidate expresses his abhorrence of an east-rising sun. Loudly, every candidate demands that he Democratic candidates repudiate this subversive heresy.

The Democrats are in disarray. The attack on the east-rising sun is so virulent they are too unnerved to point out that the sun actually does rise in the east. To assert this would leave them open to attack. At first, they try to ignore the issue. But the Right refuses to let them off the hook. Why, the Right demands to know are the Democrats silent? Is it possible that they believe the sun rises in the east? Finally, the Democrats in desperation issue a position paper that calls for further study of the rising sun issue.

The media, of course, laps this all up as they repeat every charge and every futile attempt by the Democrats to defuse the issue. Editorials accuse the Democrats of being weak on the rising-sun controversy. Pundits expound that there are two sides to every issue and that the Democrats are hurting themselves by their failure to take a strong position on the question.

Pressure builds at the local level for schools to teach both sides of the controversy. The whole concept of an easterly direction comes under attack. Democrats start losing elections over the issue. The party is reeling from the onslaught of the east-rising sun movement. Cable news rating soar as the controversy grows. Evangelicals join the fray as they condemn the east-rising sun doctrine as another example of the attack on Christianity.

It is amazing that after all these years the Democrats still haven’t figured out that they are being gamed. The party has spent so many years on the defensive it has forgotten how to mount an effective attack. They are a pathetic lot, and I have nothing but praise for the deftness with which you jerk them around.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones


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