How the Political Narrative is Shifting

President_Barack_ObamaOver the course of the last couple of months, the Obama administration has run into some rough water. It has come to light that the administration has used its power to spy on AP reporters, and it has also used the IRS to target the tea party. Now it appears that they have been involved in a surveillance program called PRISM that allows the government to track phone calls, both domestic and foreign.

Of course, that is just in the last month. Other major scandals and controversies have surfaced as well, namely Benghazi and gun control.

As you can imagine, there are people that are not happy with this. To quote Obama in 2007, “This administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not.” Many today are thinking the same exact thoughts.

Although Obama was talking about Bush at the time, the quote applies today as well, if not more so. Nixon used the IRS to spy on one building. He was forced to resign. The current administration has bullied both the media and a political group, and there will be political repercussions.

First, by targeting the media, the administration has begun to lose the confidence of one of the groups most benevolent to its cause. What we now get to witness is a drastic shift in the political narrative. We get to see many left leaning media outlets turn against the president. This is rare.

Second, we get to see many of the fears and admonitions of the right wing and libertarians revealed as truth. Republicans and libertarians alike have long been decrying the growth of government and now they can see their claims that such growth leads to abuses proven. This is significant.

Right now the political narrative in our nation is shifting. For the last few years, Obama and his administration have been portrayed as progressive, transparent, forward thinking, and value centered political players. Now the story is being rewritten with the administration playing the part of the bad guy. The knight in shining armor has been shown to truly be the dragon.

The New York Times, for example, wrote that the administration has, “lost all credibility.” In fact, MSNBC, one of the most left-leaning media outlets in existence, has seen its ratings fall nearly twenty percent as they continue to deny governmental fault. However, they have not totally stuck with the administration in its downward spiral. They have admitted that the administration probably was “sloppy” with Benghazi and that it may have lied. The Daily Beast, another left-leaning media outlet, wrote that Obama’s second term has been “scandal haven.”

We have previously discussed why people make mistakes such as the ones that the administration has recently been making, but we haven’t really delved into the consequences of such scandals. To do so, we need to cover the theory of political narratives.

Politics is definitely shaped by ideologies, but what may be more important that philosophy in politics is the part that the politicians cast their parties in. For example, the Democratic party has tried to cast itself as the party for progress, for moving forward, for equality, and for the minorities. On the other hand, they have tried to cast the GOP as a bunch of old, rich, racist, white guys that are completely backward.

The GOP, however, has not been very successful at casting themselves, or the democrats, as anything in particular. The tea party and libertarian sects have been much more successful. They have been effective at defining their principles and working toward them.

In some ways, the narratives that these parties tell, and that are told about them, are more important than the actual actions of the parties. Regardless of whether your party effectively reaches its goals, if it is seen as the party that is for progress, equality, or liberty – whatever the case may be – then people that share those values will naturally be inclined to vote for that party.

For the last several years the democrats have controlled the narrative and have been effectively casting themselves as the progressive, modern party. The narrative is now shifting. Although public opinion has not necessarily changed, the media’s opinion has begun to sway. Once the media becomes convinced that the Obama administration is not all that it promised, then time will eventually turn the tide of public opinion.

As the narrative changes, the entire political landscape will evolve. These governmental abuses have begun that change. The next few months and years will undoubtedly be interesting because of the shifts in the political landscape that these events will bring about.

Discussion — No responses