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The Great Low Information Voter War

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 17, 2013 @ 7:57 pm In The Point | 14 Comments

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a column discussing how the left makes its messages go viral targeting low information voters.

I previously wrote about how BuzzFeed Politics has combined “the culture” and savvy crafting into a highly effective tool for undermining Republicans with subtle and not-so-subtle mockery.  “Look at the goofy cat, look at the goofy celeb, look at the goofy Republican” is more dangerous to us than a 5000-word article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Ace adds, “And by presenting this idea in a user-friendly form for dumb people (a CHEEZBURGER cat and an LOL) is going to probably have more sway that a dozen Thomas Sowell columns.”

And of course that’s true, but it’s always been this way. Political arguments aren’t just the high brow deep arguments. They’re also the low brow stuff.

Is the conservative blogsphere incapable of producing mockery or user-friendly memes? It is and does on a regular basis. What it does not have is a way to integrate the political content with a primarily pop culture site like HuffPo or BuzzFeed.

On the right, sites are primarily political. DailyCaller and Blaze have that sort of pop culture, but it’s a sidebar. And if you want to target low information voters, you don’t need more political sites, you need more apolitical sites that also cram in some politics in between all the other stuff.

It’s a myth that we can’t do this. We do it. Ace turns out his own memes on a regular basis. What we don’t have is an apolitical frame for those memes. A site that people who don’t care much about politics would go to.

Professor Jacobson says, “We are losing the fight to the lowest of low information voters, who are pushed toward a liberal agenda by very smart and talented people who understand the power of social media in a way we don’t.”

I think we do understand it. We just don’t have complete parity. Design wise we tend to lag behind, but organizationally we do pretty well on social media. Where we really lag is the ability to integrate all that into a framework that targets apolitical voters. Part of that is the existing media structure which integrates with sites like BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post rather than with anything on the right.

But that’s just part of it. The other part is that conservatives sites tend to focus on our own base. They don’t look beyond it. The left thinks bigger than we do. It monetizes its propaganda and finds more sophisticated ways of passing it around.

We don’t lack the people or the ideas or the social media savvy. We’re not crippled by some inability to talk to low information voters or find 600 ways of making fun of Obama and Warren. What we lack are ways of breaking out beyond the base because we mainly operate political sites that are oriented toward conservatives.


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