The art of propaganda is to inculcate your ideas into the minds of citizens to advance your political cause, and, possibly, to hinder your opponents’ cause, and to bring your opponents over to your side as committed supporters. Or else render them impotent.
In the right hands and minds propaganda can be extremely effective. A recent Canadian example is very instructive.
Some weeks ago, some information was leaked to the media (by left-wing website Press Progress) that indicated that Derek Sloan, a Conservative MP, had received a donation (last August) from somebody who was supposed to be a “white supremacist” and a “bigot”, apparently not under his actual name (a Mr Fromm, I believe). The $131 donation went 90% to the Sloan campaign and 10% to Party Head Office. Did anyone know who the nefarious contributor was? Probably not.
“Upon learning about what happened, I immediately contacted the Executive Director of the Conservative Party, Janet Dorey, and requested this donation be returned” said Sloan, as reported by Radio Canada International [here]. (Shock, horror, I might be attacked by the CBC/Globe&Mail/NDP/Liberal/assorted pinko whiners—maybe, he mused).
OK, fair enough, you might think.
Anyway, the usual Fake News Media reaction, with lashings of Liberal and NDP humbug, demanded “action” by the Tory leader, Erin O’Toole. Is the Conservative Party the home of “bigots”, “racists”, “fascists”, “the far-right”, and all of Lucifer’s stormtroopers from the Ninth Level of Dante’s Inferno? (If only!)
So instead of standing firm and throwing the rabid insults back, and thanking Sloan for his prompt action, and then, perhaps, reminding folks that it was not the Conservative Party that paid millions of taxpayers’ dollars to a convicted Islamist murderer, there should follow, …that’s it, case closed, get back to your jobs.
But no—O’Toole’s response was a propaganda disaster for the Tories. Here’s why.
The first mistake that O’Toole made was accepting the terms, lies and insults of the Left. He rapidly got together a “statement”, as Radio Canada International reports:
In a statement issued Sunday, O’Toole said the Tories have “no place for the far right” in their caucus.
“The Conservatives are a moderate, pragmatic, mainstream party–as old as Confederation–that sits squarely in the centre of Canadian politics,” O’Toole said.
Of course, the “far-right” is anything that the Left doesn’t like. If you are anti-abortion, pro-free speech and free market, revere Western Civilization, are pro-Second Amendment, or anything else, you’re far-right. Even if you believe men and women are different sexes. Basically, if you are a normal person these days, that’s far-right with lefty Crackpot Central.
The thing is, the people who are castigated by the Left as being “far-right”, are, in fact, simply normal people. They are a large fraction of the core Tory vote. You may not like social conservatives, but they are just as much a part of Canada as are social liberals, even though they are less represented in the chattering classes. In a similar situation (not specifically related to the Sloan affair), O’Toole had refused to speak with Rebel News, because they had been classified as “far-right” by the usual Establishment toadies. Hardly a demonstration of “leadership”.
Essentially, by falling for the lefty lexicon, hook, line and sinker, O’Toole managed to call his own supporters by the names adopted by the Left and to alienate them at the same time.
The second mistake O’Toole made is displayed in his quote above. It cannot attract new support from the wavering center. The Liberal Party has always been the party to bend to any wind blowing over the political landscape because, lacking any firm principle, tacking to the lefty currents requires nothing so tedious as moral commitment. By saying that the …“ Conservatives are a moderate, pragmatic, mainstream party–as old as Confederation–that sits squarely in the centre of Canadian politics,” as did O’Toole (and everybody else), what makes him any different from the Liberals? If so, why would anyone want to vote for Liberal-lite in powder-blue knickers, someone who is totally flummoxed by a few pinko jibes, when they can get the real thing, full woke and blackface, in man-child Trudeau?
The third mistake O’Toole made was to assemble a firing squad for Sloan, consisting of the Tory caucus, to do the bidding of the Liberals by ditching him from caucus. Talk about sniveling before your enemies! What else could O’Toole do? Wear a sign on his back saying “Kick Me!”?
What this has done is to essentially neuter O’Toole. With any other minor event like this, all that is required is that some young lefty greasy pole-climber glom onto some obscure donation (wait and see how many “white supremacists” suddenly appear in the Tory donation list) and with a twitch upon the thread the Tory leader will come dancing, yet again, to disparage his own supporters.
Further, the whole caucus are now accomplices! Deep in the depraved nether-reaches of Liberal Propaganda Central, there are guys high-fiving over this. You’ve heard of circular firing squads; well, this is more like they’re all plugged into Old Sparky and O’Toole’s gonna flip the switch! You can’t make this stuff up.
Propaganda must be directed to securing the commitment of supporters and sowing the seed of doubt in opponents so as to make them more accepting of your message and vision. This the Left understands very well and the Right doesn’t. Throwing your core support under the bus is a pathway to disaster.
The Right must come to understand that, without a fundamental idea about the nature of the nation, society, and the state, to present to the people a face of mere re-action, instead of action, is a sign of weakness. The current display of the Tory leader shows a lack of backbone and a lack of belief in his cause. If the Right in Canada wants to achieve any form of success, it must approach propaganda seriously. The current approach seems to be to appreciate being kicked around by the Liberals and the tribe of pressitutes in their service. This will never gain the respect of wavering voters and only further alienate core Tory voters.
O’Toole has scored another propaganda victory for the Left without the Left having to raise a finger—and it wasn’t even their $131! This has to be one for the propaganda record books.
That’s why the Tories and O’Toole are toast.
That’s all for now, folks.