Friday, October 26

Democrats Messaging Heartless

Noted linguist, philosopher, and all-around thinking man, Noam Chomsky said, "If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion." Nobody helps us do that better than the Republican party. With "Healthy Forests" that involve clearcutting miles of acres of trees and "Clear Skies" that increase the levels of carbon dioxide emissions leading to faster global warming, the "Way Forward" is well-- "Mission Accomplished." The turn of a phrase has won the hearts and minds of the masses, at least until the 2006 mid-term elections. But, as it turns out, some jackass Democrats want to tear a page out their playbook and get a leg up on their peanut consuming, never forgetting elephant counterparts.

According to The Hill

Democrats are losing the battle for voters’ hearts because the party’s message lacks emotional appeal, according to a widely circulated critique of House Democratic communications strategy.

“Our message sounds like an audit report on defense logistics,” wrote Dave Helfert, a former Appropriations spokesman who now works for Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii). “Why are we defending [the State Children’s Health Insurance Program] instead of advocating a ‘Healthy Kids’ plan?”

Helfert sent the memo this week to an e-mail list of all Democratic press secretaries and communications directors after staffers met on Monday to discuss rolling out the Democrats’ latest message.

He said the meeting left him cold because it focused on what polling shows voters want rather than how to present persuasive messages. Republicans have done a better job by developing poll data into focus group-tested messages like “culture of life” and “defending marriage,” along with attacks like “cut and run” and “plan for surrender” in Iraq, he argued.

In particular, Helfert points to Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who helped develop the 1994 “Contract with America” and is credited with helping Republicans come up with terms for polices like “Healthy Forests” and “Death Tax.”

“Republicans have been kicking our rhetorical butt since about 1995,” Helfert wrote.
Democratic leadership aides were not impressed, and indicated that the memo did not have a vast and immediate impact.

So, if I understand this, Dems, like the Repubs, want to find better catchphrases to help the rest of us "get with the program." I know words are powerful, but there is something to be said for telling people the truth. As I recall -- actions speak louder than words. Try speaking plainly.

We are waiting for leadership--actions, not just words. You want to appeal to our emotions, show us that you will end the war, take care of our children's health, and keep us safe and employed. As the late Paul Wellstone said, "A politics that is not sensitive to the concerns and circumstances of people's lives, a politics that does not speak to and include people, is an intellectually arrogant politics that deserves to fail.”

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