Affirmation only works if it is "constantly repeated, and so far as possible in the same terms." The power of repetition "is due to the fact that the repeated statement is embedded in the long run in those profound regions of our unconscious selves in which the motives or our actions are forged. At the end of a certain time we have forgotten who is the author of the repeated assertion, and we finish by believing it."
Short slogans endlessly repeated create a "current of opinion" allowing "the powerful mechanism of contagion" to operate. Ideas spread through the crowd as easily as microbes, Le Bon says, which explains the mass panics common to rock concerts, financial markets, street protests, and Dennis Kucinich rallies. "A panic that has seized only a few sheep," he observes, "will soon extend to the whole flock."
Liberals have it down to an art: The cacophonous method of yelling until conservatives shut up just because they just want to go home, the purblind assertions -- No WMDs in Iraq! Civilian Deaths! Violence at Tea Parties! Head On! Apply directly to the forehead! -- and overnight the entire mass of liberals is robotically repeating the same slogans.
It isn't only in their incessant street demonstrations that liberals talk in slogans. This is how liberals discuss serious policy matters with the public. It's as if they're speaking to a vast O.J. Simpson jury, mesmerized by a pair of gloves and a closing argument that rhymes ("If it doesn't fit, you must acquit").
Conservatives talk the same on TV as off TV -- unless they are inarticulate politicians using sound bites to avoid saying anything stupid. But regular conservatives talk on TV as if they're having a normal conversation with their friends or neighbors.
Liberals don't know how to do this because they don't have normal friends and neighbors -- only fellow demonstrators. Their self-image is as little Lenins, rousing the masses at the Finland Station, which is why they always sound as if they've gotten control of the PA system and are broadcasting from Big Brother, Inc. -- or if they're Al Gore, addressing a kindergarten class.
Here, for example, is Stephanie Bloomingdale, of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, being interviewed on MSNBC about the union's beef with Governor Scott Walker: "Well, America, we need all of you to help us with our fight. Because this is a fight to reclaim the values of the middle class. This is the movement of our time. And we need people all across America, working people, to stand up and say, this is the time we need to restore economic justice. And we know that the only -- that the union movement is the only thing that stands between unbridled corporate greed and a true economic democracy. And we -- what I would like to say is, America, stand with us, stand with us who are fighting for justice and economic justice in our society."
The next night, Katrina Vanden Huevel was engaging in the same sort of "Internationale" hectoring: "People are waking up. And they're in the streets. There are going to be fifty rallies around this country. Maybe a million people in the streets of this country. And what are they saying? Enough! You're giving our people's money away. Invest in our country, invest in jobs, invest in education. Keep cops on the street, keep teachers in the classrooms. Enough with these perks for corporations. There's a movement called U.S. uncut, which is inspired by an article in The Nation.