However, conservatives have done a better job at combining the right-wing brand with what I consider to be the American brand. In other words, conservatives have co-opted patriotism, tenacity, independence and unwavering strength and made it their own. Of course none of that has anything to do with conservatism. Liberals could ostensibly be strong, tenacious, patriotic and independent. But we’ve given up and conceded those traits to conservatives because we’re too hip and ironic and smart to hang a flag next to our front doors or to to not back down in face of a political enemy during a debate. We’d be more successful if we could reclaim those things.
People who happen to hate liberals might hate them less if they/we were more like Sorkin and his characters: forceful, self-confident, lightning fast with a brutally salient point and occasionally gregarious (see President Bartlet). Instead of standing our ground and seizing the initiative by constructing killer frames and message discipline, we navel-gaze and wonder why people hate liberals. We worry that being Sorkin-ish might be too over-the-top or unfair or smug instead of just selling what we believe with laser precision and without letting up no matter how much the opposition screeches and pees their big-boy pants.
Even though they’re wrong on just about everything, conservatives know how to frame an issue and they know how to retain message discipline, and so they win debate after debate.