I have the answer to the question Meteor Blades asks on the Front Page about the disconnect between polls showing support for gun control laws and who people trust more, PBO or the NRA. The answer is simple. Our messaging sucks, if we even have messaging.
Se you on the other side of the fold to explain.
If you read DailyKos, or any other Progressive website you get good messaging. However, sadly, most people do not read blogs. They do watch TV. And who do you think is on TV with their messages? Hint, it ain't us.
An example is the issue of energy. If you watch any amount of TV, you will see tons of advertising from the Oil Companies, either directly or through their associations. They tell us all the good things oil and natural gas our doing for our lives, the environment, and the economy. I really get pissed off when I see these ads on MSNBC and its "liberal" shows, but I guess they have to keep the lights on. You will not see anything about the harmful effects of things like Fracking on ground water, or how it is causing earthquakes.
And you will not see is an ad from an alternative energy company or one of the associations that represent them. In fact, I see more advertising for wind energy on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow's ads than I do from Siemens or GE. And GE freakin owns MSNBC.
Want another example? There is an ad on cable with this kindly elderly doctor talking to the camera, and he is telling seniors a load of shit about all the bad things that Obamacare is going to do to them and Medicare. I have yet to see one ad that tells seniors all the good things that Obamacare has already done for them. I know the government is restricted from doing some things, but why isn't someone like OFA not doing it?
One last example. Remember Fred Thompson? He is making the big bucks telling seniors how to get by on their measly Social Security pensions. Just sign up for a Reverse Mortgage. I have not done any research into revers mortgages, but what I can tell you is that they have bad written all over them. And why are they "government backed" BTW? So, I don't see AARP on the air telling seniors there are proposals to increase the Social Security benefit, or anyone else for that fact.
So, the answer is simple. There will always be a disconnect between support for actual policies and who can actually deliver on them until such time as our message gets on TV, radio, and any other medium that reaches the majority of people. And we have to get away from "white paper" explanations of issues and get visceral, i.e. hit them with emotional arguments, not fact based bullet points. People can be moved, they just have to be given information in easy to understand and digestible formats. We also need sustained ad campaigns over long periods of time. MADD has shown it works, so it can work for gun control or any other issue if done correctly.
Hope this helps.