In my book, The Unraveling of We the People, I discuss how a tech savvy millennial generation led by liberal progressives is dominating the something I call the “viral loop.” The concept behind this is very simple: Display an image, meme, or short video with a teaser about more information if you “click on this link.” Clicking on the link takes you to a more in-depth article from a politically left-wing source. You are encouraged to share these sources so that your friends will repeat the process. This is the high-tech equivalent of “word of mouth marketing.” It is effective, and liberals have become quite good at it. The question is:
How do we on the conservative side compete when they seem to be so entrenched in the media culture? This is a question with which I’ve been wrestling for several years, as well as attempting to address on my website at www.wisejargon.com.
In thinking about the answer to this question, I’m drawn to how Jesus was fond of saying: “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” To me, that’s what leadership is all about:
- Knowing what to do,
- Doing it,
- Showing others what to do,
- And turning them loose to go do it and replicate the process.
In Old Testament times, the Philistines knew how to make weapons out of iron. The Israelites didn’t. They had to master of the “iron of the culture” in their day in order to compete, and so must we in our day.
It’s one thing to have a message. It’s another thing to communicate it in this ever changing world of social media, blogs, videos, etc. To quote I Chronicles 12:32, we need to be like “the sons of Issachar; men who understand the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.” To provide leadership born out of an understanding of the events that engulf us, I’d like to suggest following a process I simply call L.E.A.D:
Learn How to Master the Iron of the Culture
Without understanding, we cannot lead. Therefore, the first step in becoming modern day Sons of Issachar is to learn how to master the Iron of the Culture. There is an explosion in the development of online courses that you can take on any subject imaginable. Do you have a desire to share the knowledge and information you’ve gained from your own personal research, professional training, and life experiences? If so, consider taking an online course or two in subjects that can help you learn to communicate what you know using the technology of the twenty first century. I’d like to recommend my course, How to Teach with Technology Online.
Engage the Culture
We need to be like “the sons of Issachar; men who understand the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.”
Our culture has changed from focusing on education to focusing on edutainment. I teach economics at the college level. Now, economics is sometimes called “The Dismal Science.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with the topic. Barnyard Economics is a video series I have created in order to examine current economic policies using themes with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor. Borrowing from George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, I’ve created short, 3 – 4 minute videos that provide an entertaining look at selected issues of our day.
Each episode features a debate on how Napoleon’s policies are affecting life “down on the farm,” and then presents some data and quotes related to the real world. One of my favorite episodes examines the growth of the regulatory state, and calls for creating a Convention of the States as a way to go around Congress to restore America. You can see it at Barnyard Economics: Taming the Regulatory State. If this is a topic with which you are not familiar, I encourage you to read Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments, in which he lays out a case for using Article V of the Constitution to help break the logjam in Washington.
Associate with Other Cultural Conservatives
If we are to redeem the culture, we all need to pitch in where God has placed us. But how can we encourage one another if we never talk to each other? First, we need to connect with like-minded people locally. If you are not part of a local Tea Party or similar group, there is nothing preventing you from starting one. There are a variety of groups I’ve found online, as I’m sure you the reader have also done on your own. One I’ve recently become a member of is Tea Party Patriots. Another group which I am a member of is a group on Facebook called the Stars and Stripes Forever PAC. A third group I’d recommend is the Fredrick Douglass Foundation. The key is to actively look for and then plug into a group of like-minded people near you.
Disciple Others to Engage the Culture
I began this section with a conversation about Jesus’ approach to discipleship. To recap, I said the following about His approach to discipleship: Knowing what to do, doing it, showing others what to do, and turning them loose to go do it and replicate the process.
To disciple others, we need to start where THEY are, not where WE would like them to be. So, before asking you to consider stepping up to master the iron of our culture to engage in the Viral Loop, it makes sense to think about some “low tech” skills that we all as regular people need to apply. Something my wife calls “common sense and logic.” Let me tell you something I’ve done.
I’ve discovered that the best way to master the iron of the culture and try to make a difference in one’s circle of influence is to simply role up your sleeves and “Just Do It.” On my blog at The-Journey, I have created a series facebook live video posts I describe as “My High Tech Journey to a Linked In World.” I talk about my struggles to learn and apply a myriad of technology tools that didn’t even exist when I was going to school. This is not a series of disjointed “tech tips” that you can get anywhere. Instead, I want to take a step back, look at the story of my life, and see how I came to learn the things I’ve learned, how I’ve set goals for myself, and then applied the things I learned to help me achieve my goals.
By understanding yourself and having a clear vision for your personal life mission, you’ll be in a better position to disciple others. These are the sorts of things I talk about in my first episode of The-Journey, and also share a bible verse I memorized a long time ago, and fits well with the overall concept of how we disciple others: Isaiah 32:8: But the noble man devises noble plans, And by noble plans he stands.
When Rick Santeli stood up on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade on June 14, 1999 to address fellow stock market reporters on CNBC’s Business News Network program, he mad history with his “Tea Party Rant.” Today, after five election cycles (2010, 12, 14, 16 and 20,) we are at a tipping point. Much has changed in the world of technology. But make no mistake, the real battle is not about technology: At the heart of our “Info Wars” is an intra-generational fight over world view.
It’s not about the Millennials. It’s about the Boomers.
To understand the way in which this debate over world view is being waged, we need to take a look at what is happening within the baby boom generation. It’s a topic demographers predicted back in 1991 in a book titled “Generations: The Future History of America.” I’ll address that topic in a future post. Thanks, and God bless!