Its freedom not fairness that resonates with the American people.

Martin Luther King understood this and purposely framed the civil rights movement around the concept of freedom. He understood that even though fairness is a noble concept, it did not and does not move the American polity. So we have freedom marches and freedom riders etc.

The reason that Obamacare has never achieved widespread approval is also for this very reason. It was always about fairness instead of it being about freedom....freedom to get a better deal, to get insurance for your children, freedom to leave an employer...

Right now the argument against Bain and Wall Street is slowly moving towards this fairness narrative. Its not fair that some people make more than others, its not fair that the rich are getting richer and the middle class is disappearing...This is all true and is bad I grant you but it will not win over the majority of the country. What will resonate is the argument that your freedom is at stake. that private power is taking away your freedom to live, to raise a family , to make choices....that private power does not reside in the government but in the hands of the financial sector and they are taking away your freedom.

If Americans feel that their freedom is at stake they will rally around and fight. If they feel that somebody is saying its not fair, they will change the channel...

Originally posted to The Gracchi on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Political Language and Messaging.

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