Quick, what is the GOP message? No snark, for real, what do they say they are for? Lower taxes and less government. Less regulation. Traditional values.
OK. I get it. It is more complex than that. But this is the message, the very same exact message they have been pushing since the 80s. No variation. No equivocation. They don't bother to explain, to put forth solutions, to act on anything. But their message is startlingly clear. And this is the important part: people believe them.
Quick what is the Democratic message? Income inequality? GOP is crazy. GOP is regressive. Why do people listen to Fox? We are better. Tolerance. Umm.
Here is what President Obama said in May:
"We believe in pay equity; they say, no. We believe in a higher minimum wage; they say, no. We believe in making sure that we’re investing in our infrastructure and putting people back to work, and investing in innovation and basic research that can unlock cures for things like Alzheimer’s; their budget takes us in the opposite direction. We believe in early childhood education to make sure that opportunity for all actually means something, that it’s not just a slogan; they say, no. We think climate change is real. Some of them say it’s a hoax, that we’re fabricating it. And the biggest challenge we have is not just that there’s a fundamental difference in vision and where we want to take the country, not just the fact that they continue to subscribe to a top-down approach to economic growth and opportunity and we believe that the economy works better when it works for everybody and that real growth happens from the bottom up and the middle out."'Pretty catchy, eh? We are blaming voters, the Koch brothers, voter disenfranchisement, GOP negativity, ad nauseum. What we need is five words. Five things we stand for. And then we need to recite those 5 things as the answer to every question. In every interview, in every press conference, in every ad buy.
Our voters are not lazy and unmotivated. They are overwhelmed. Life is loud and noisy and complex. Five words. Not paragraphs. Not exegesis. Not 15 point policies. Five words. First get people's attention. First get their affirmation. Then we can be wonks again.