WNYC radio's Brian Lehrer is doing brilliant coverage of the Democratic convention. During one interlude this morning he proposed that listeners participate in Senator Chuck Schumer's challenge: articulate the mission of the Democratic Party in seven words or less.
Democrats? In seven words or less -- -- what does the Democratic Party stand for?
? Crickets, crickets?
Hard... isn't it?
Let's get to work....
Republicans make much better use of every tool available for hammering their messages home. ... Not just professional marketing and sales techniques but also the latest brain science.
"FAMILY VALUES. LIMITED GOVERNMENT. STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE."
Democrats will bring Americans the opposite agenda....... Reject the family, want expensive/smothering government, and are wimps/coward/surrender monkeys. . . . . Destruction of everything America stands for. Libertines, Totalitarians, and Losers.
Illegitimate bastards, tax-and-spend over-regulators, degenerate singers of Kumbaya.
See how easy it is? Easy.... once you have a clear MISSION STATEMENT.
It would take several days to learn how to write Mission Statements, but I think you can do it.
I'm no wordsmith....more of a picture person and an encyclopedic researcher.......So.....I now spill my rough notes here in the hope that the Daily Kos community can create some useful material.
NOTE: To win over hearts and minds, you have to get to the heart (if not guts!) first. This is brain science. Messages must include strategic ideals in the form of touching, resonating archetypes, myths, visions. Our rational approach falls flat because rational thinking is the most fragile part of the human mind. Look inside yourself and you'll probably find some emotionally moving moment ....maybe something not even in words.....that motivates you to work with passion for Progressivism. Something you love....Some injustice that inflamed you.........
NOTE: Voters rarely study policies in detail, alas. Those of us who do can spot the slick maneuvers (bait and switch?) of the Republicans... which is why we need to work fast to make up for lost time... decades of lost time.
Examples how Republicans make it work for themselves:
"The Republican Study Committee is dedicated to:
* a limited and Constitutional role for the federal government,
* a strong national defense,
* the protection of individual and property rights,
* and the preservation of traditional family values.
"The group has played a major role in key policy areas including budget, appropriations, taxes, education, Social Security reform, defense, deregulation, and general government reform."
The RSC document lists as the Team's key issues the following:
* "Pro-family tax bills (marriage tax penalty relief, death tax elimination, education savings accounts, adoption tax credit, parent tax credit)
* "Life (abortion, assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research)
* "Education (school choice, local control, no national testing, dollars and decisions to the classroom)
* "Parental Rights (notification for Title X, parental freedom of information in schools)
* "Pornography (internet pornography, urging the prosecution of obscenity by DOJ)
* "Religious Liberty (Ten Commandments Defense Act, religious freedom amendment)"
Sample of Republican mastery of the technique:
President Coolidge, 1st Presidential Film (1924)
WNYC Brian Lehrer's listeners wrote on the online forum..... See how hard it is? Discussion on the radio found these all miss the mark, but it takes effort along these lines.........
"Max from Brooklyn" wrote:
I'm hearing and seeing a lot of policy lists (universal healthcare, etc.), a lot of abstractions, and a lot of big multisyllabic words.
This is unfortunate. We liberals always tend to talk about policies instead of values, and intellectual abstractions instead of concrete things.
I'm not anti-intellectual -- far from it -- but an intellectual case for the Democratic Party will not connect with the vast majority of non-intellectual voters.
I suggest these 6 words:
"A fair shot at the dream"
~~ other contributions were:
"bottom up not top down economics"
Universal health care, a good free education, protection of the environment
Uphold constitutional values, equality justice for all
progressive values, equal opportunity, smart government
Intelligent Defense, Fair Economy, Justice for all
Social equality. Educational equality. Legal equality.
Effective Government, Prosperity & Fairness for All
effective government, prosperity and fairness for all
I sez: Meh. Blech.
How the Democrats Can Win in 2008
by Senator Chuck Schumer
From the book review:
Mr. Schumer describes two tests for the prospects of any political campaign: "If you are able to talk about the things you want to talk about, and if the news coverage reflects those things, you’ll win. If the coverage is about other things — maybe an opponent’s attack, maybe a self-inflicted gaffe or maybe an unexpected event — you’ll probably lose."
Must be POSITIVE and not simply a negative response.
Mr. Schumer contends that the Republicans’ "ideological clock has run out," but adds that the Democrats need to stop playing defense and define what their own party stands for....
Democrats’ bruising losses in 2004 were a byproduct of the party’s failure to offer a "comparable alternative" to the Republicans’ clearly articulated vision of a strong interventionist foreign policy, lower taxes and a conservative social-cultural agenda. While Mr. Schumer’s party prevailed in ’06, he says its message was essentially the "negative image of the Republican message" — it was largely reactive.
~~ The American Dream?
Food for Thought: does this work any more?
Historian and writer James Truslow Adams coined the phrase "American Dream" in his 1931 book The Epic of America;
"The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."
~ Random notes collected from my magic CD-ROM,
Microsoft® Bookshelf® 1987 - 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Majority rule. social equality. respect for the individual.
government of the people, by the people, for the people
management and workers
Believing in or practicing social equality: "A proper democratic scorn for bloated dukes and lords" (George du Maurier)
On a personal note, two encounters with Eleanor Roosevelt when I was child.....my emotional touchstone for being a Democrat......She reminded me of my grandmother AND she gave me goosebumps of inspiration.
Best part starts around 2 minute mark.
Eleanor Roosevelt - High Hopes
FDR was already an icon when I was a child, but meeting Mrs. Roosevelt was awe-inspiring.
For 'trolls' who think the message of Hope is empty.......
Eleanor Roosevelt in wartime:
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote this narration:
WOMEN IN DEFENSE (1941)
More if you wish...