Kos invoked questions about the nature of the electorate and why Democrats lose elections in this FP post, which TrueBlueMajority answered with this thoughtful post, making the main point that the electorate is an emotional creature, not a logical one. The GOP's powerful emotional themes trump Democrats who attempt instead to appeal to reason.
An emotional pitch, even one that is based on a lie, will win out over a thoughtful pitch based on evidentiary analysis...In this comment thread, Kos himself said this about TBM's post: "You're the reason I've been pacing back and forth mumbling to myself."
...because more people are capable of absorbing and understanding and responding to an emotional pitch than an analytical pitch.
It was Kos's comment that made me read both posts, at which point I smacked my forehead and muttered, Eureka. The point is unassailable because, after all, voters, like all other humans, are basically chimpanzees, talkative and sometimes particularly clever ones, but still just chimpanzees, most particularly, emotionally.
In America, we're just chimps that vote. More on that out in the tall grass if you are interested.
TBM's post discusses important ways for Democrats to reach out to those most susceptible to emotional appeals: the intellectually challenged and intellectually lazy, you know, everybody. Just kidding. I remembered, though, the very same thoughts imparted to me by my mentor as a trial lawyer, helping me understand the art of presenting cases to juries, that is, pools of registered voters and bad drivers (aren't most of the drivers in your area terrible?).
Carl Sagan's book The Dragons of Eden pursues the thesis that "the mind... [is] a consequence of its anatomy and physiology and nothing more". Moreover, the "anatomy and physiology" of the human brain did not, as some in the GOP would have it, come from nowhere, or as they might say, the mind of God. It came from human ancestors, across the millenniums, dating back to the ancestor that modern humans share with chimpanzees, humanity's closest living relative in the Animal Kingdom.
I'm not going to be good at the message framing for the nonintellectuals, am I?
Hence, humans and chimpanzees share 99% of their DNA. Moreover, as noted in the above mentioned Carl Sagan book, the most recently-evolved areas of the human brain are the larger cerebral cortices. In layers below these lobes lie the more ancient parts of our brains, where emotion, anger and fear reside. We come by our feelings naturally, from our own evolution. But while our frontal lobes let most of us excel over chimpanzees' ability at abstract reasoning, language and other cognitive measures, our emotions, though also evolved, no doubt, still seem remarkably chimp like.
So, the way to win an electorate is to create a strategy to reach and motivate and appeal to chimps that vote. If you still doubt that, watch this:
Chimpanzees and similar primates display a natural grasp of common human facial displays of emotion. Other research has suggest that "Young apes manage emotions like humans do", based upon research with bonobo's, a smaller relative of the chimpanzee. Human emotions seem to be in part, at least, locked in by tens of thousands of generations of ancient, evolved, hard wired, brain based emotional responses that are built into humans at a very fundamental level.
Anyone seeking to appeal to a jury, or an electorate, should always bear in mind that we're just chimps that vote. Forget what people say. Chimpanzees can use word signs but can't really talk, probably. What matters is, how do the people feel? For generations, Republicans have prospered by providing plenty of targets for voters to hate, gays, them the Other, etc. It's time for Democrats to give voters new ones. Given our ape-like natures, success requires it.