As print media fades, and broadcast becomes less and less relevant, more and more people are getting their information from the Internet. The more people who get their information from the Internet, the more people realize they’ve been lied to by their most trusted media outlets for their entire lives. Wash, rinse, repeat, for a more prosperous and better informed society.
Unfortunately, as you may have heard, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet either. This is not unique to any particular faction or ideology. It happens in libertarian leaning circles, particularly those who are very concerned with “conspiracy theories” or “natural health”, though I generally find those who want to demonize the State have no shortage of verifiable information with which to do so. Pro-government bloggers on the other hand, be they right, left, or centrist, well, it’s amazing some of the hoops you folks will jump through to justify theft, murder, and slavery.
Still, I want you to succeed. Not in accomplishing your political goals, your failure on that front is inevitable. I want your blog to be more popular. I want people to hear what you have to say. I want a real open dialogue. I want you to replace your polished State sanctioned TV propagandists. Most importantly, I get great satisfaction from watching you people lose your minds whenever somebody brings up the notion of you being responsible for yourselves, and of course, I want you to send more traffic here to put more money in my pocket.
So I figured I would put together this little list of helpful hints to help you get things rolling.
10. Stop Lying
I realize you’re going to get it wrong frequently, and we’ll discuss that in a moment. If you had any idea what you were talking about you wouldn’t be pro government in the first place. I also understand artistic license, exaggeration, and the urge to make claims others will not for the sake of getting more attention. However, if the source you link to confirms the statement you’re making is incorrect, the people intelligent enough to check the source will realize you are a liar and are terribly unlikely to take you seriously in the future.
Unless you want to pay for advertising that won’t bring a return on your investment, your content will be spread primarily through social media. The people on social media with the largest followings and greatest edgerank got those things by being smart. If they were dumb enough to post the ramblings of every obscure dishonest blogger, they wouldn’t have a following.
Making mistakes is one thing, everybody does that, and it can be fixed with a correction. Grossly miscategorizing an issue, taking things out of context, and drawing wildly unsupported conclusions won’t gain you credibility, and credibility is of paramount importance to building popularity.
9. Know What You’re Talking About
Again, I realize you’re going to make mistakes, but stop being lazy. Libertarianism is a well documented school of thought. There are lots of resources out there on the core underlying ideas that inform our commentary on current events. If for example we talk about defensive/retaliatory force, and you call it aggression, it shows that you’ve never taken so much as 15 minutes out of your miserable life to research the subject at hand. If you ask “Who will build the roads?” or say “The abolition of the State would legalize rape and murder” then it is obvious you’ve never even considered the market’s capacity to provide services which are in universal demand.
Addressing any particular issue you might have is beyond the scope of this article, but these questions have been answered over and over again in a thousand different ways. Whenever you say “Without government, XYZ terrible situation, because I have no concept of how to do this without taxes” you are actually saying “I’m a lazy pseudo intellectual who hasn’t even tried to come up with a peaceful solution to this problem”.
8. Talk About Other Things
If the title of your blog was “I Hate Freedom” nobody would read it. Calling your blog something else and then doing nothing other than hating freedom will have the same outcome.
Show some range, show some depth. Ultimately the reason people listen to me, or perhaps as better examples, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Rachel Maddow, and other media personalities, is because they are interesting. If your blog is nothing but contempt for some group or another, then this doesn’t make for an interesting media personality.
Tell a personal story or two, be a little vulnerable. Talk about some non political issue that you think people can relate to. Make your audience care about you, and they’ll keep coming back to you for information. If you’re just some miserable old twat who writes about how much she hates police accountability, nobody is going to give a shit if you live or die, much less what you wrote about today.
(and until you stop telling lies, Susan, that’s the last time I’m linking to you)
7. Don’t Deface Search Engines
Some of you think you’re very clever by using services that obscure what you’re linking to, in hopes this will avoid giving SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to your political rivals. In reality, this is costing you more than it is costing your rivals.
Firstly, I’ll never link back to anybody who uses these systems, and a link from me is worth a lot more to you, than a link from you is worth to me. The same goes for any blogger with even the slightest concept of how search engines work. If what your rival is saying is relevant enough for you to link to it, it’s relevant enough for the search engines to pick up. This is how search engines determine relevancy, and you are vandalizing search results by using these systems. I can’t stop you from doing it, but I’m not going to help you do it either.
Secondly, if the search engines haven’t already figured it out, they will at some point, and when they do, you will be punished. Google doesn’t appreciate vandals, and they frequently update their algorithms to discourage such behavior. When Google determines that you have been manipulating SEO, they will flush your SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position) down the toilet, and you can forget about being on the first 10 pages of search results.
6. Stop Moderating Comments
I know you like your controlled little environment, and hate the idea of anybody contradicting you, but this is making your blog very boring. The only comment moderation that happens on this blog are the Akismet spam filter, and I also trash comments that contain hyperlinks to avoid SEO spam.
I welcome comments from dissenters, people argue with each other, and as a result there are comment threads that go on for hundreds or even thousands of comments on many of the articles here. I use Disqus, which notifies users via email when their comment is replied to, even months or years down the road. This keeps the users engaged and coming back for more, and can even cause an article which has collected dust for the last 6 months to once again become a hot topic.
The best thing your blog can have is haters. Haters are some of the most energetic promoters of content on the Internet one could hope for, and they like to have a voice. If you silence them, they won’t come back. If there is no dissent on your blog, then all your comments will be “Hey! I agree with that! Go Team!” and nobody will give a crap. Even if you hold comments for moderation and approve dissenting comments, people will notice this and realize that you’re trying to censor the debate. It proves you’re dishonest and not interested in getting to the bottom of anything. Nobody is going to spend any time writing a well thought out comment if they realize you’ll delete it whenever it doesn’t suit your propagandist agenda.
Comments also help your search engine results. The more content on the page, the more the search engine has to go by when people are trying to find your content. Search engines recognize the difference between content and comments, if they see a lot of comments, they see the content as being more relevant. By moderating your comments, you are causing your more free flowing competitors to beat you in the search engine results.
5. Criticize Your Own Factions
This sorta goes back to number 8, but it deserves its own heading. We get it, you hate everyone who isn’t you. But who are you? What are your values?
If all you do is criticize libertarians and Republicans, but you never bother to address the rampant hypocrisy and inconsistency on the left, then you are valueless. Portraying yourself as an anti-war type, while unquestioningly supporting the Democratic party, makes you the worst type of hypocrite, and libertarians aren’t the only ones who notice.
Take it from me, I made my bones largely by fighting with other libertarians. If you don’t want to take it from me, then take it from conservative talk radio. Sure, they all toe the line when there’s an election coming, but before that, they fire up the conservative base by calling Republicans out for not living up to their standards.
Calling out your own people shows that you have some actual principles that you’re willing to stand by. It might make you some enemies in your own camp, but it will also build a more loyal following. When people understand that you’re standing up for something, they’ll care more about you and what you have to say. If they wanted to hear someone mindlessly parrot Democratic talking points, they would just watch MSNBC.
4. Admit You’re a Radical Ideologue
If you are screaming about rape culture, social justice, progressive taxation, and equality, intelligent people know you’re a leftist. If you’re belligerently rambling about “illegal aliens”, sodomites, and terrorists, intelligent people know you’re a neocon. If you do either of these things, then pretend you’re just some average citizen looking for common sense solutions, intelligent people know you’re a liar.
There’s nothing wrong with being a radical ideologue. There’s a lot wrong with being a dishonest hack who misleads their readers.
Follow your ideas through to their ultimate logical conclusions. If you think that everybody should be equal through force of the State, then just say so. If you think women should be able to lock men up by snapping their fingers, then just say so. If you want to invade every country that doesn’t pray the same way as you, then just say so.
Your goal should not be to appeal to everybody, that’s pointless. Appeal to your audience, and they will spread your ideas for you. Lie to them, and you will remain an obscure nobody until you give up or die.
3. Yes, I Have a Job
Now stop asking stupid questions and make your fucking point already.
2. Admit That You’re Advocating Violence
Violence is neither good nor bad. The question lies in the justification. I believe that force is justified in response to initiatory force or fraud. You believe that force is justified whenever most of the electorate agrees it is. I think that’s just awful, but at least if you admitted this, you would be an honest advocate of violence, and not a liar. Intelligent people know the difference between peace and coercion. You’re not fooling anybody.
My libertarian friends would also do well to take note here. I even went over this at the secession panel at Keenevention. The panelists kept on insisting that secession was perfectly peaceful, but everybody knows that’s not true. At best, secession is democracy in action, and democracy is government force by will of the majority. At its worst, secession means civil war, and we’ve already seen that once in the United States. Either outcome is preferable to remaining under the jurisdiction of the United States, but let’s call a spade a spade and have an honest discussion here.
Same thing for any government program. Don’t tell me you support taxation but oppose the violence of war. If you opposed violence, you would oppose threatening people with imprisonment and death for non payment of fictitious debts. If you oppose war but support taxation, it’s only because you think that stolen money could be better spent on domestic welfare programs than on bombs and bullets. That’s a perfectly legitimate position to take, so why all the deception?
This goes back to number 10, but this too, needed its own heading…
1. Propose Actual Solutions
It is not enough to oppose something, you have to stand for something. Sure it’s fine to rant about how horrible something is. People do enjoy that from time to time, but to be taken seriously, you have to be a problem solver.
There are a lot of problems in this world, and libertarians are hard at work trying to solve them. If all you can say is “I love government and hate libertarians” then not only will your blog be boring, but nobody is going to engage in any meaningful discussion with you.
If you oppose some sort of action, then explain not only the reasons for your opposition, but also the alternative to said action. Do so in a meaningful way. Allow people to respond to your proposal, and consider giving a meaningful response to their argument.
You may find that this even helps expand on your own understanding of an issue, which will make you better prepared to handle future arguments. That’s kind of important, because whether you realize it or not, you’re losing the argument right now. Don’t be encouraged by election results, all that means is that you were the less horrific alternative in a two party system. The fact of the matter is, voter turnout is declining. Election winners are not the majority, non voters are. People are losing faith in government at an ever increasing pace, and your desperate attempts to cling to legitimacy are becoming more obvious by the day. If you want people to believe that government force is the way to handle problems after thousands of years and hundreds of millions of deaths, you’re really going to have to step your game up.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like “The Top 10 Reasons Libertarians Aren’t Nice To You“.
Subscribe via email and never miss another post!