Moving the Needle

Bill Whittle Rush Limbaugh

So what’s all this about anyway? And how did we get in this mess?

Well, we’re looking for subscribers because after a decade of being in the opinion business, it is my opinion – my professional opinion! – that our team doesn’t know how to make an argument to save our lives.

Let me go to the immediate exception to prove the rule. The mighty Rushbo, Lord of the Golden Microphone, can tell a story. On any issue – no matter how seemingly impenetrable -- Rush Limbaugh can find the story, and he can do it unerringly. Why?

Well, first of all, Rush has principles. Principles are the philosophical cement pilings you are supposed to pour before you tip over your rhetorical back yard swing set. Principles guide us, and they correct us when we are wrong. Rush understands conservative principles so well he is almost never wrong. He ought to know them that well – he wrote most of them himself. 

But that is only half the battle, and the weaker half. To have, to love, and to be able to defend principles requires practical intelligence. 

But the left doesn’t have principles, or philosophy – they have snark. Snark is not a substitute for principles; snark is the absence of principles. 

So why are we always losing to these thugs, malcontents, communists, agitators, race-hustlers, buffoons and idiots? 

My friend Evan Sayet has it nailed. In his remarkable book, the Kindergarden of Eden, Evan talks about two kinds of intelligence: practical intelligence – which military personnel, businessmen and engineers possess in abundance; and rhetorical intelligence – of which they usually have not a particle. 

Rhetorical intelligence is the ability to understand human emotions. It is the canny ability to find a personal angle, amplify it, turn up the contrast and saturation, and then sell it as a story. 

This is persuasion many orders of magnitude above facts and data. 

For example, prior to the implementation of Obamacare, 93% of Americans had the best health care in the world: private insurance. Of the remaining seven percent, another 3-4%, say, either could have gotten coverage but didn’t try, or simply elected not to pay for it. It is museum-grade lunacy to destroy something this effective. 

But we did. We did, because while Obama and the rest of Team Blue has virtually no practical intelligence, they have rhetorical intelligence galore. They could point to an elderly woman in the balcony of the House of Representatives during a State of the Union speech and say that without the Affordable Care Act that woman would have died. And that one human face has the power to erase reason, logic and skepticism. No one asked how many more millions of sweet, elderly women would die if we implemented this train wreck – we only know we did not want that to happen to her since statistics are numbers but this was a person.  

That is the power of rhetorical intelligence. 

And the left has so much of it: movie stars, comedians, late night talk show hosts, professors, singers, hip-hop artists – all of it. None of their ideas make sense, and they are not smart enough to know it. They do, however, know how to tell stories, and that is why we are in the mess we are in. 

I mentioned Rush Limbaugh because every day, for three hours, he tells a story. Unlike the entertainers on the left, and the policy wonks on the right, Rush has both practical and rhetorical intelligence, and no one can do what he does.

I wanted to be a fighter pilot. I have 1000 hours of flight time, and my glider and instrument ratings. I have been an astronomy teacher, a geochronology lab assistant, and I can change a tire. I have a strong background in practical intelligence.

But when I lost my chance to fly combat aircraft, I stumbled into the Theater Department. I have written, directed, produced and edited plays, movies, TV shows and a couple of political videos. I have rhetorical intelligence, too. I can tell a story. 

So that’s why we launched BillWhittle.com: to get more rhetorical intelligence deployed for the team that has practical intelligence in abundance. One way to do that is through making political points not only with statistics, logic, reason and facts, but with the essential element that trumps them all: story.  So with your help, we will be doing a lot of political work here for a long time to come. 

Consider that passing out ammunition in the trenches. Holding the line is critical: if the center does not hold, we will lose the country. But we have to do more than hold the line.

We have to get on offense, and that’s another reason why we are asking for you to become a member. Because films, webisodes, etc that tell our side of the story, that cast us as heroes and the statist control-freak mutants as villains, are in fact cultural Special Forces Operations: they blow up their ammo dumps and bridges, hit them in the rear where they least expect it, and boost Team Red morale as well. 

With your help, we’ll be doing that too. But we can’t do any of it without your help. 

I’ve been in this fight for ten years now. I can hit harder than this. If it’s within your means, can you click the BECOME A MEMBER button in the upper right hand corner and consider becoming a subscriber? Can you help give us the tools to fight to save this country that we all love so much, together? 

Published Oct 11, 2013