National- trembling in fear of the mainstream media
Sure, most of the country does not understand that the media is deeply corrupt. Maybe 20% of us know what a chronic problem this is within our democratic system. Perhaps another 20% thinks its a bit of a problem.
Leaving aside the few lunatics on the extreme left who think the media is biased to the right, then that leaves about 60% who are unaware of the problem.
Most pro-National sites are characterised by 1) a deep hatred of the MSM, and 2) a simultaneous overpowering fear of the MSM. They advise the Nats to pretend to be something else, to deny what they believe in, to lie, or the media will crucify them. This advice is wrong. It can’t go on this way. National has to break out, speak truth, and take on the media.
National need to go after the corrupt MSM in unison. They need to stick together in this strategy, and support each other, and not be cowed by that very media into backing down. They need to tell the unaware 60% of voters just how corrupt the NZ media is.
If media are suddenly confronted by a united and vigorous assault from National what can they do? They have two options. They can either straighten up, or they can turn even more against the Nats, therefore showing more of their bias and alerting more voters to their corruption. The Nats, if they do it right, can win this battle.
The mainstream news does not carry anything like the weight it once did. Politicians no longer need to tremble in fear of criticism from the Herald editorial writer, or some Labour flunky on TV or radio. Sure, they have some influence, but nowhere what they once had and they can be by-passed by alternative media.
Key to this battle is conviction. Labour is committed to socialism. When Keiran MacNulty stood up in parliament and boasted of being a socialist, he was cheered heartily by his comrades. Many other Labour MPs called out that they were too. Labour are not ashamed of what they believe in.
National needs this kind of conviction, and its founding principles give them the basics. They need to start believing in those principles again.
Glenn Youngkin, who came from far behind to win in the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election is an excellent example of a conviction politician. Starting with only 2% name recognition, he eventually won against well known Democrat Terry McCauliffe, who was heavily supported by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. After the win, Youngkin appeared on the Tucker Carlson show, where the following exchange took place:
CARLSON: I don’t know what your advisors thought of this, but you said flat out, we are all equal in the eyes of God. That’s the root of our equality. What did your advisors think when you said that?
YOUNGKIN: Well, Tucker, I don’t run everything by my advisors, it’s what I believe.
National’s weakness on conviction politics grew under John Key, who enthusiastically sucked up to Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the communist Chinese. In 8 years as PM, he did little if anything to divert NZ from its far left political trajectory.
Key was poll driven, and thanked pollster David Farrar during his victory speech in 2014. He then sold his party and his country down the lane by suddenly retiring in December 2016. Whereupon Ardern, with the help of the MMP system and an embittered Winston Peters, won the next election. Pretty much sealing NZ’s fate of falling into a Venezuelan style social and economic collapse.
Sure, its not easy to take on the media, and not everyone can do it. Nigel Farage knows how it is done. Donald Trump did it. Criticism of left biased media has played a big part in recent wins by right wing politicians in South America and Europe.
Media are a key part of the Labour party, if not the main part, and it is irrational and cowardly for the Nationals or anyone to pretend this political reality does not exist. National simply have to take the fight to the media and most importantly, expose their bias to the larger public. Continuing to cower won’t cut it.