I need to add one level to the BOTTOM of the persuasion stack. That level involves arguing about the definition of a word.
Analogy (okay, not great)
You’ll see a lot of debate on whether Trump is a true conservative or not. That is argument by definition. It is the linguistic equivalent of throwing your gun at a monster because the magazine* is empty.
National Review’s cover story, in which the big question comes down to whether Trump is a true conservative or not, is your tell for capitulation on the right.
The left is still in the fight, but the right just capitulated to Trump.
In the 2D world, it might seem that National Review’s organized resistance of “thought leaders” opposed to Trump is a big deal. But that incorrectly assumes “thought” was ever important. In the 3D world of persuasion, National Review’s move is nothing but throwing the gun at the monster.
On some level, people can feel that.
Update: Some of you asked why “conservative” is not a valid identity play. It is an identify of sorts, but one that is cobbled together from ideas. It is not the same level as gender, race, or nation. People can stop being conservative in ten minutes, if they choose.
The persuasion stack is an approximation. Assume there is always some reason and some identity in all the levels.
*Edited from “clip” to “magazine” by popular demand.