HABEEB: The fact is, it’s easier to sell a political narrative to America when it comports with the cultural narrative we see and hear every day.
“The universe is made up of stories, not atoms,” the poet Mariel Rukeyser once said. Stories, not facts, are the way people process information. Screenplays, plays, scripts, and stories are packed not with hard data but something more powerful and human: emotional data. That’s why we remember stories long after we’ve forgotten facts. Stories stir our souls.
We’ve invested billions in our great think tanks but little in the task of translating that work into stories the average American will care about. Yes, we have Fox News and political talk radio — important outlets, but outlets that narrowcast to the conservative base and are driven by politics and opinion, not storytelling.
What we don’t have is an alternative to NPR. Or The Daily Show. Or 60 Minutes. Or The Charlie Rose Show. Or Frontline. Or Ken Burns. Content that doesn’t scream its politics at the audience but that lures America in with great storylines, not lectures.
Conservatives have a profound storytelling deficit, yet all we do is whine and complain about it. It’s part of our DNA, our whining about the culture, as if we’re incapable of reverse-engineering the Left’s success.
Habeeb is right. I barely remember a single statistic "taught" (read: tested on and then forgotten) to me in high school, but I could regurgitate almost word-for-word my friends' stories that were told in our school hallways to a very captive and entertained audience.
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