I have hopes of influencing the opinions of others, which is why I blog in the first place. My first hope is to influence people to consider Christian ideas. Others are better at this than I, so I usually keep my focus on influencing others to think clearly. Clearing out debris does not lead to conversion - the debris is often carefully-assembled rationalization, replaced by more debris when removed - but illogic is especially uncongenial to pressing through to the truth.
Liberalism gets my especial attention not because it is necessarily worse, but because it is the unweeded garden I myself occupied for so long. I have learned which plants are inedible there. As I have been a near observer of fundamentalist Christians as well, I can offer some words of caution there also. Different weeds, but still some nutritional lack there. Both have the common failing that they borrow some things from Christianity, but elevate the parts over the whole. It is likely that such is the weakness of any lesser truth, and why half-truths are the more dangerous.
Down the list is my hope to influence folks toward conservatism, as much for practical as for spiritual reasons, and even more, to nudge conservatives in libertarian directions. But above all is the general search for weeds - any weeds - in the garden.
So it is with some sympathy that I read Republicans getting all worked up about how they are losing the PR battle among young people, or minorities, or single women, or whatever. Their cause is not fully mine, but I recognise many elements.
One main difficulty is believing that it is only a PR problem. But in all the instances above, it is not just marketing at issue. We are advertising groceries, our opponents advertising drugs. People do not just believe in progressivism because the liberals are cooler and control many persuasive outlets. People also want to believe those ideas, the easier reality where good things come just by wishing. We battle not only against the external competitors for their ears, but their inner voices as well. It is a disadvantage that will not go away.
Those who doubt that this is the case should look at the groups as they are divided up in this country. What groups might we think are most vulnerable to being persuaded by wishes rather than hard choices? The young? 18-25 year olds are a liberal stronghold. Those who didn't finish highschool? A big democratic block. New immigrants, ditto (except those from previously communist countries).
Minorities - blacks, gays, latinos - have this susceptibility for an entirely different reason. As I mentioned in my post about the alliance of Jews with progressivism, those who have been put down grow weary of being always suspicious. They yearn for a place where they can let down their guard and be on equal footing. The Democrats promise this but never deliver. The best one can hope for is to be a coalition ally. The newer rhetoric about Rainbow Coalitions or being a mosaic instead of a melting pot illustrates this more accurately than its users know. The rainbow colors are always kept distinct, each mosaic piece exists as an easily replaceable non-unique part.
Such aversions to hard truth become even more pronounced in spiritual matters. Whole separate post sometime soon.