Narrative and Storytelling

Stereotypes are helpful. Sure, some aren’t reality, but others help us start our understanding of a situation, a community, or an individual. The Right in politics has long been seen as facts-driven, dry, and lacking empathy— after all, facts don’t care about your emotions. The Left, where they might lack facts, the raw emotion they employ to tell their story, to spin a narrative and to dissuade men and women from disagreeing is powerful.

Now, that isn’t to say that the Left fully lacks facts or the Right fully lacks creative artistry. But there sure is a dichotomy.

And here is something many on the Right have started to realize and rectify. On the Right, if we want media— art, music, movies, novels— we have to consume Leftist viewpoints and narratives all the time. There just isn’t much good stuff coming from our side. So we learn to cringe quietly to get past the pushing of this topic or that topic and we keep buying and nothing changes.

The Left doesn’t have the same problem. There is little reason for them to consume non-fiction books the Right writes on this political or that philosophical topic, there is little reason for them to listen to our Holy Hip Hop, our Christian Metal, or our worship music.

We want to watch a superhero movie with our kids and we get Leftist talking points pushed on us. They don’t want to read a non-fiction book from our perspective.

So two problems.

First, we have little to enjoy but that which the Left produces. We sing songs that go against our views— even our deeply held religious views—, we watch movies that insult Christians subtly and overtly, and we binge TV that hates us. Slowly these views start to seep in, because of course they do. You cannot consume hours of opposing views a week without changing. And that is as an adult. Children are targeted harder and are so much more susceptible to the teaching. The Left is winning hearts by speaking to hearts really well— not a good message, but good messaging.

Second, we have nothing the Left can enjoy to hear our viewpoints. This is where so much division has come from. Most on the Right intimately understand the positions of those on the Left because unless we have no TVs, no smart phones, no social media, we have their views being pumped into everything we consume. But the Left tends to only know what the Left tells them about us. Stereotypes, mockeries, and characterizations designed as easy-to-tear-down straw men. You could respond that the Right does the same thing, but how many on the Left are watching our terrible church movie nights? Even we know how terrible the characterizations are because we know the Left well enough, but the Left doesn’t.

We have to get better at telling our perspective through stories. Guys like Brian Sauvé are doing this well in music and podcasts. We have to tell stories that everyone needs— an innate, irresistible draw— to hear. And we see what happens when we do. In the last couple months two songs have dropped that have shook the industry. Try That in a Small Town wouldn’t have been a blip had the Left not tried to shut it down. Country music is not generally loved outside of country music fans. But the Left branded it “racist” and, instead of succeeding, the song rocketed to the top of the charts. Why? Because folks that wouldn’t have listened to it listened and heard a story they could unite around, we need to come together as a community and protect our own.

Then Oliver Anthony came out of no where with Rich Men North of Richmond. Viral hit, 26 million views as I’m writing this. This song is a focusing. It is not you vs. me, but us vs. them. Our government no longer represents us— Left or Right— and the number of hurting Americans is growing and groaning. The Left-wing media is trying to find a way to respond to this, largely attacking the Right for adopting it as an anthem, but they are failing again. Why? Because narrative and storytelling is how to speak to hearts. And 26 million views shows the impact it is having. Oliver hit a vain and struck a nerve.

Conservatives.discd We need to protect these men, feed them, train them, and let them do their thing. That is what the Left does, for better or worse. Storytelling is central to humanity. We need it, even the most intellectual, facts-driven of us. Just this week I watched Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers instead of the latest drivel for “modern audiences.” For the countless books, blog articles, podcasts, and more discussing the topics, Jason Aldean and Oliver Anthony in less than 5 minutes captured hearts and brought diverse people together to rally and unite. Go look up react videos for both of these. People that we have been told shouldn’t be enjoying these songs, shouldn’t be agree with this, are soaking it up because what we were told was stereotypical lies.

We do not need to control the narrative, but we do need to start using the narrative. So let’s march forth. Festina Lente.

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