I was contacted Monday, for the second time in a week, by an organization that wanted to have a representative come on my Christian talk show to discuss just how we can keep pornography away from small children. Sounds like a match, right? That is, until you do a bit of research on just what that organization is all about.
They're known as "Third Way," and when you visit their website, you understand exactly what they are up to. "Third Way" is touted as a "strategy center for progressives" that "develops policy and communications products to help senators and other progressive leaders better advance their values in red states and counties where progressive ideas have lost resonance." The strategy they attempted to work with me: "The Porn Standard: Children and Pornography on the Internet." It's described on the website as "[an]...effective way for progressives to handle hot-button issues...as well as methods with which to put the right on the defensive." So conservatives, be on alert: the "progressives" are already working on the serious slight-of-hand necessary to create the illusion that they're moving toward the "center"--just in time for the run-up to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
But the other strategy of "Third Way," and the "progressives" they represent, is re-branding. They've already accomplished it with some of the news media, who now use the word "progressive" instead of the word "liberal." They've already done it with the name of their organization; "Third Way," as we know, used to mean (among other things) that your economic ideology rested somewhere between communism and capitalism. Now--apparently--"Third Way" means "liberal, by any other name!"
With these two re-branding achievements under its belt, "Third Way" is now determined to "re-brand" conservatism! And this is no "stealth campaign"--it's right there, on the homepage. Allow me to quote from the website itself:
"...progressives have never constructed a durable and effective narrative about conservative ideas. Indeed, our language is all over the map; progressives may label opposing ideas as "radical" or "extremist," but there is no underlying national understanding of what those terms mean, or why they should matter to mainstream Americans.
The Conservative Re-Branding Project will begin to reverse this historic inequity --it will create a set of message points for progressives that constitute a coherent and compelling narrative about the conservative movement. This framing exercise will drive down the value of the term "conservative"(as they have done to the term "liberal") and re-brand conservatism with a broad and potent narrative that undermines their claim to represent the views of "mainstream America."
Still, they don't "get it." Conservatism is a lifestyle, a frame of reference; you can't just "redefine the term," and transform the thought process of a majority of Americans. But alas...the depth and breadth of misunderstanding suffered by those of the "Third Way" is evidenced right on their homepage, for all to see. For indeed, "progressive ideas" haven't merely "lost resonance" with Americans. Whatever ideas "progressives" may have engendered are drowned out by the noisy clamor of their daily indignations. Or, perhaps those "ideas" simply passed into antiquity with the collapse of the Berlin Wall.