I just watched Harold Schaitberger of the IAFF (fire fighter's union) on The Ed Show tell America (and more importantly Congress) that they are pausing their contributions and investments to Democrats at the national level. His reason, Democrats are not unified in their strategy and communication to stand up for middle class America. This in the wake of the Republican assault on workers' rights.
I like your idea of investing your time and money into local and state elections. If you want to end your (and my) frustrations about Democrats in Congress not being unified with a single voice, following a unified strategy and communicating our values then lets work to change the old saying "Republicans are afraid of their base while Democrats are embarrassed by their base."
Invest in the following:
Progressive Talk Radio -- This will help communicate a clear Progressive message so that America knows where we stand. No longer would 10 members of Congress be trying to come up with ten different ways to say the same thing. In time, they would use the standard Progressive talking points/language as Conservatives do today.
Develop State-Based think tanks -- Conservatives have been investing heavily into ideas and communicating those ideas for a generation. Its clear that Republican talking heads, elected officials and Conservative talk radio bring their talking points and values to people constantly but America does not see how Conservative think tanks lay the groundwork in a stealthy manner. A network of Progressive state-based think tanks would be able to regularly develop, articulate and communicate Progressive ideas and values in local/state media on a regular basis. Their (well framed) policy positions would be regularly read by elected officials and staffers. Many legislators are not experts, so when the experts (think tanks) provide them with a position, they will often sway that way.
Invest in a language think tank (ideally this would have been The Rockridge Institute). Words have a deeper meaning than most of us realize, a Progressive language think tank helps explore and define the best language to use. Using specific words to frame a position will change peoples' minds (literally rewire). Conservatives know this and have spend millions (if not billions) over a generation and have been aggressive at making sure Conservatives ALL stay on message. Conservative discipline with language is unparalleled and its time Progressives understand the value of staying on message for the greater good.
This is my advice not just to the IAFF but to all Progressives. Small donors, wealthy Progressives, unions, attorneys and organizations who wish to build a stronger Democratic Party who supports our values.
Lets invest in Progressive infrastructure today so that the Democratic Party will stand for our values.
Thank you for reading,
- Jim Amatucci, Progressive Strategist