One Democrat Who Understands How to be On Message
A Democratic Congressional staffer wrote a piercing and widely circulated memo showing that the Republicans know how to frame things, while the Dems gather ’round the policy-wonk water cooler and talk to themselves in dull messages.
This of course is nothing new. Back in the ’90’s, Newt Gingrich unleashed the “Contract With America” (which many progressives quickly dubbed “Contract On America”, as indeed, it turned out to be).
The last really powerful Dem to be able to sound-bite a key message so it becomes a rallying cry was probably Lyndon Johnson, with his Great Society, War on Poverty, etc.
Yeah, so read the article. And read books like George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant, or other books on persuasion. While social change takes more than sloganeering, it definitely helps if you can frame the discourse. Failure to do so is why both Kerry and Gore were close enough to defeat that the election could actually be stolen from them, and why their weak and ineffectual attempts and keeping their victories fell flat.
I think it’s also interesting that what led me to this article was a blog post by copywriter Ben Settle (I read a lot of copywriting newsletters called Democrats Suck at Copywriting? Didn’t hear about this one from any of my progressive pen-pals.