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We suck at messaging that inflames and goes viral.

Why is that?  Why do we always take the high road?

My brother, who claims to be an "independent" (but I think he is a closet teabagger) had this as his facebook quote:  

"Look, it's an all volunteer force, nobody made these guys go to war. They had to have known and accepted the risks. Now they whine about bearing the costs of their choice? It doesn't compute. I thought these were people who were proud to sacrifice for their country I wasn't asking for blood, just money. With the country facing the worst financial crisis in its history, I'd have thought that the patriotic thing to do would be to try to help reduce the nation's deficit. I guess I underestimated the selfishness of some of my fellow Americans." Obama 2010 (Regarding veterans carry private health insurance)

Really?
I don't think so... Snopes.. that is not true.

I called him out on it and he has since changed it to a quote from Jefferson:  

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

I kinda think that is true as we have seen the biggest shift in wealth from the workers to the wealthy... it's happening before our eyes, yet I'm sure this is intended to continue the "Obama is a socialist" meme from the teabagger community.

He sent this email to me a few months ago... pasted and forwarded endlessly.  Lots of font changes, color changes, bolding, and falsehoods.  

The  Washington Post babbled again today about Obama inheriting a huge deficit from Bush. Amazingly enough, a lot of people swallow this nonsense.

So once more, a short civics lesson.  

Budgets do not come from the White House.  They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.

Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009 as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011.

In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.

For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.

And where was Barack Obama during this time?  He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.  Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period: (below)

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets.  That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending.  After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

In a nutshell,  what Obama is saying is I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

After seeing Countdown and the discussion around fear-based politics, I understand why the "other guys" are better at adding fear to politics...  I just don't understand why they can send this crap around and no one has a counterpoint, a comparable viral email that "refudiates" the claims and quotes...  

My dad, who never voted for a democrat anything, always registered as a democrat.  Being from Massachusetts I guess it was his way of staying connected to the northeast.  But he always said:  "I'm a democrat, not a 'dummy-crat' ".  But he always had Fox News on his TV.  Isn't that kinda like Jumbo-Shrimp?  If I listened to Faux, wouldn't that, by definition, make me a dummy-crat?

I guess I should just start making up $#!+ and sending it out as fact...
Faux does and it works...

Or take twisted facts and put them in many bolds and font changing and color changing emails and send them out as far as I can...

Or misquote Boehner and McConnell and put it on my facebook page...

I want to fight fire with fire, but it seems that they have the lock on lies and hyperbole.  Why can't we scare people to our side?  The republicans are way more scary and some of them are even orange!

The first act of 2011 from republicans was to add to the deficit and take benefits away from seniors.  

Why haven't we loaded lots of fear into the conversation regarding:

-the $250 that senior will have to pay back now that healthcare is repealed?

-the end of social security if republicans have their way?

-the spiraling deficit that has been created by republicans as they repeal healthcare?

- # of jobs that they destroyed in the repeal of healthcare?

But NO!  We have lots of nice diaries with lots of analysis and twelve-dollar words and logic... that will not work with these people.

We need viral emails full of color and bolds that instills fear into the hearts of seniors... Should we use bold or purple, arial or italics ?

Why aren't they afraid of the republicans?  

I think I can scare them to our side...

I can be as condescending as the next guy...
I think I can write that crap...
I use small words all the time...

I should start an email chain with lies and false quotes against the republicans.

I wonder how long it will take to get back to me.

Are you with me?

or maybe I'll take the high road...  meh...
American Idol is on tonight anyway...

Peace.

Originally posted to skip945 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 04:18 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Keep your viral e-mails. (7+ / 0-)

    I'll take twelve dollar words and logic every time.

    In fact, I'm happy with three dollar words and logic.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 04:24:39 PM PST

  •  They're Not Being Generated By Average People (5+ / 0-)

    The message machine of the right is thinktanks, behavioral scientists, poll testing and basically the entire corporate advertising machine.

    Then there's the huge evangelical population for an echo chamber to forward them around, people who operate on belief and faith in others like them more than reason and fact checking.

    And of course most of the corporate media benefits from conservative policy so there are many mainstream venues and voices to amplify ideas that are put out virally.

    I'm not sure there exists much of an overall progressive movement analogous to the conservative movement. We have a collection of progressive issue and identity orgranizations promoting their concerns but not much pushing overarching progressive views and messaging that I'm seeing.

    And the party has always had really meager messaging.

    This is something progressives definitely need to organize and do largely independent of the party.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 04:39:20 PM PST

    •  Now see? That's what I'm talking about... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, OHdog

      Too much logic...

      Analogous?  Really?  :-)

      Seriously, it can't be that hard...  Couldn't someone have a "viral email of the day" website?

      One that we could all copy and mass mail?  

      Gay Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

      by skip945 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 04:43:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, someone could do that (5+ / 0-)

        Sure, someone could post a viral email-of-the-day. And we could all copy and mass email it. I don't know how you actually get Democrats to do that. Have you seen the uproar people have had over "following" other users on DK4? And how they completely disregard that it's exactly the same as "subscribing" on DK3? Democrats seem to instinctively dislike following people even when it would benefit them, and the country, to do so. Even if it were Howard Dean sending out the viral email of the day, Democrats wouldn't do it. I don't know how you get around that or change it.

        Unemployed? See my Unemployment Chronicles for resources and advice.

        by tmo on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 04:51:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Jefferson quote is a fake (6+ / 0-)

    Right wingers are not in their right minds.  They are actually in their left minds.  It is the job of that part of the brain to construct reality.  To make sense out of the parts.  And then to defend it.

    With wingnuts, the more you show them they are wrong, the more they hang onto their beliefs.

    Face it - you can't fix stupid.

    Mrick

  •  Is there an echo in here? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, CS11, skip945

    There is something called the "echo chamber", this is basically people picking up an idea and with no thought, reason, or analysis repeating it. So you're wondering why people with some morals, at least basic education, and a smidgen of decency don't forward known lies and distortions?

    Really?

    A few days ago some pictures of "icebergs on Lake Michigan" started making the rounds. My teabagging mother and MIL BOTH forwarded them with comments like "We never had these when we were younger. See! global warming is a myth".

    20 seconds of checking the rumor on snopes and it's debunked. But that doesn't stop the echoes.

    I have a purpose in life, I am my cat's doorman.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 04:52:12 PM PST

    •  even simpler: think "ditto heads." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, ontheleftcoast

      Righties like to claim they're all for individualism but in fact they operate like a herd.  All this email forwarding is basically "ditto, ditto, ditto" behavior, per "ditto heads" (Rush's name for his audience/fans).  

      Lefties are stereotypically collectivists but in fact we're individualists: we like to discuss, bicker, argue, write our own comments, and we're far less likely to just forward stuff we receive.  

      WE're damn good at creating memes though.  And they would spread if we had access to mass media, which we generally don't.  That's the nexus of where the pressure has to be applied: FCC.

    •  what to do with denialist propaganda (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, ontheleftcoast

      Write back to them saying "And I usually forget to wash my hands after I have a poo, but I rarely get sick.  See!  The Germ Theory of Disease is a myth!"

      Just that and nothing else, and see what happens.  

  •  It's not just viral propaganda (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden

    It's any kind of messaging.  Of course, the reason  for ineffective progressive messaging is obvious.  To be in a position to message effectively in this society, one has to be on a pretty high social/economic rung to begin with.  Actual progressive messages and values aren't that useful to those up on the higher rungs.  At the very best upper-up folks have an intellectual predisposition toward progressive causes and values, but still underlying an awareness that it doesn't reflect their class self-interests.  The result of a rigidly hierarchical society is that those with the tools and access to advance ideas and causes are heavily advantaged by the status quo, and gain even greater advantage by upward redistribution of wealth and power.  The rest of us, well, there's just not much we can say, because without multi-millions of us organized, we have no sway.

    Hegemony is always electable.

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 04:54:00 PM PST

  •  Why? My answer below... (4+ / 0-)
    1.  It's easier to repeat a lie because lies don't have to resemble reality.  Democrats tend to be reality-based, while Republicans tend to be faith-based... which explains why Sarah Palin has been defended with an almost missionary zeal by the right.
    1.  Democrats aren't good dittoheads.
    1.  The Democratic Party has a much more diverse agenda when it comes to governing.  Corollary: It's much easier to tear down than to build up, to say no than to create consensus.

    Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen.

    by Benintn on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 05:02:06 PM PST

    •  that and EMOTIONALISM. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, skip945

      Progressives like to reason, and reason, and reason some more.  Dry rationality and lots of bickering.  

      What it takes to go viral is emotionalism.   Weeping and wailing, gnarling and gnashing, milking the tears and the pathos and the adrenaline and the endorphins for all they're worth.  The right is good at that, the MSM eats it up.  

  •  Because we are bad at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CS11, skip945

    LYING.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 05:08:05 PM PST

  •  In DK4 I want to start a group (5+ / 0-)

    That gathers right-wing emails, quickly debunks them (with links) and creates a finalized debunking version that we keep on site. That way, when any community member gets one of these, he or she can quickly copy, paste  .... and then hit Reply All to the whole list the originator sent it to.

    Even if it doesn't convince the originator, it might convince some of the less crazy of the fellow recipients.

    And I think it's good for the liberal community to keep track (and store) some of the more common crazy ones around.

  •  all you need is 1000 coordinated radio stations (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, neroden, FishOutofWater, CS11, skip945

    that's how they do it

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 05:18:46 PM PST

    •  the Mighty Wurlitzer. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      The fight-back against that is the return of the fairness doctrine.  

      •  how does that get done as long as they have (0+ / 0-)

        half the Left believing that would be free speech limitation (of a corporate propaganda machine)

        i stil think as long as the left is ignoring talk radio getting that passed is really tough - so i think the first step is to give it the attention/credit it deserves- make limbaugh the true king of the GOP and let them deal with that

        Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

        by certainot on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:29:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not that progressives suck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skip945

    But that most republicans are morons. I'll let people who choose a political belief based on font or bolding or color stay as they are.

    dean for america, hope not fear

    by herooftime on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 05:19:42 PM PST

    •  Their vote counts equally with mine. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Had Enough Right Wing BS

      and we're losing the right to never-ending bullshit just because we don't have a coordinated debunking effort...

      Its not that they choose their beliefs based on BOLD, its that they believe anything in emails... and most of the emails are from the other side...

      Gay Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See #1

      by skip945 on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 05:31:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  because progressives don't lie nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden
  •  Rebut the jackass. (2+ / 0-)

    Point out that Bush created massive deficits in 2001 with the Bush Tax Cuts For the Very Rich, and that they are the cause of pretty much all the deficits since then.

    It's a fact.  No number of lies he makes can counteract it.

    Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

    by neroden on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 06:31:36 PM PST

  •  Fear does not encourage rational thought. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Had Enough Right Wing BS

    That's why.  Remember, DK is intended to be a reality-based community.  Understanding requires rational logic, examination of evidence, keeping an open mind.  Fear inhibits all of those.
      Yes, it's hard.  But if we follow their lead, we become like them.  Then they win.

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