Friday, June 24, 2005

Left imitates Right

A BBC report today on the launch of The Christian Alliance for Progress highlights the interesting and on-going phenomena of the US political left trying to match the success of the right by mimicking what it perceives to be the source of that success. From the BBC:
A group of progressive Christians in the US have launched a new political movement to counter what they describe as the power of the religious right.
If this sounds familiar, it should. Last year a group of left-leaning financiers launched Air America, a talk-radio format aimed at countering the perceived influence of right-wing talk radio and the likes of Rush Limbaugh. One of its immediate goals, as the BBC reported at the time, was “regime change” in Washington, and we all know how that worked out. And, if the ratings are to be believed, AA hasn’t fared any better at capturing audience share. This failure is almost certainly a function of the left’s inability to understand the source of the right’s success. They seem to think they can get the ideas of the left to resonate with the public if they just wrap them up in a package that looks like a Rush Limbaugh show. They don’t get the fact that Limbaugh’s success derives from the fact that his ideas resonate with the public, not vice-versa.

My guess is that this new “religious-left” movement will prove to be as big a flop as Air America appears to be, and largely for the same reasons. Right-wing policies do not resonate with large swaths of Christians just because they have been sold using “Christian” language. They resonate because they actually do reflect values held by Christians. It seems to me that using religious sounding language to defend left-wing causes (unrestricted abortion, gay marriage, environmentalism) is unlikely to result in lots of religious converts to the left.

But it will certainly be interesting to see them try. First we had environtmentalists trying to ban SUV's by asking "What would Jesus Drive?". Will we next see NARAL asking us "What would Jesus choose?"?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who would Jesus bomb?

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Rob G said...

Hi, I agree. Good post.

Although I (I am a Christian) think that environmentalism is a Christian value, although not the most pressing of them. I certainly don't think that it deserves to be lumped with issues which the Bible deems as being wrong.

10:39 AM  

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