Winning the Messaging War

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Submitted by: Catherine Baxter 6/2/2020

In my recent interview of Linda Richardson, a former Republican and current phone bank volunteer, she mentioned a book she had read. “The Little Blue Book”, By George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling is about how to frame our political dialogue.

We seem to be losing the messaging wars, and the book provides many useful insights as to why, and how to change this. It says that Republicans speak in moral terms, while Democrats speak in terms of policies. This would appeal to people on a more emotional, reactive level, which certainly seems to characterize many Trump supporters. Remember “The Moral Majority”?

We need to reclaim OUR moral values, and speak in terms that support them, not repeat language that is detrimental to our message and plays into the Republican’s messaging. First, we must speak of the common good, the public good, and the fact that without support for democratic institutions like public education, our democracy will weaken and die. It’s already happening!

“The Public is necessary for the Private – for decent private lives and for private enterprise that works. Private life and Private enterprise both require a robust Public: public roads and buildings, clean water and sewer systems, police and the courts, public education and public health”. As Elizabeth Warren put it “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.”

But that is NOT how true conservatives view things. They do not share our view that the government should benefit everyone. They want as little of it as possible – as little oversight, as little taxation. Fortunately, there are not that many true conservatives, so we CAN fight them if we can get this message out effectively, especially in this time of economic hardship.

Let’s start talking about how Democrats support robust unemployment programs and how this state government has undermined Florida’s system. Let’s pound on Greg Stuebe’s NO vote on the Hero’s act. Let’s stress how Republicans want to diminish and privatize Social Security and Medicare, and to reduce benefits. These are pocketbook issues. “It’s the economy stupid”, remember that? To be continued.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]