The Republics are fantabulous at framing. One reason is that they are authoritarians, and are thus much more given to groupthink than we rebellious liberal-progressives are. Another is that they still have the biggest microphone in the country. They own most of talk radio, several influential newspapers and this country’s Pravda, Fox “News” Channel. But we cannot discount the fact that our elected representatives do not seem to have a clue, in this day and age, as to how to sell their ideas…with which 70%-90% of Americans are in total agreement. Mon dieu!
Being a girl who has some marketing background, I’d love to give our team a little advice. Here goes:
1) Do not play the other team’s game. In this case, do not give their words power by leaving them unchallenged.
Case in point: We should not call our economic system the “free market,” since the last thing these criminals want is free and fair competition (which might keep them from getting billion-dollar no-bid contracts.) We shouldn’t call it privatization, since the word “private” has positive connotations to many Americans. We should call it by its true name: Cronyism. Doesn’t that just encapsulate the true nature of the Bushies, especially since yesterday’s discovery that the Inspector General who refused to investigate Blackwater has a brother on Blackwater’s Advisory Board?
2) Figure out how to phrase your ideas so they make sense to our infantilized populace.
Let’s face it. We Murkins have been treated like children so often that we have become children. When Bush told us to go shopping after 9/11, what did we do? Did we scream “What the fuck are you talking about? What kind of soulless monster are you?” No – most of us said, “What a wise and wonderful man he is!” and went about our business.
Democrats keep thinking that intelligence, good ideas and being Not Republican will get them elected. Because of the extraordinary horribleness of today’s Fascist party, that worked in 2006 and it will work in 2008. But what about when the new Democratic President and Congress get blamed for four years straight for the mess that Bush and his Cronies and Lackeys have left us? Seriously, Democrats, once you’re in power, are you really not expecting the press to cream you day after day, night after night, just for having D’s after your names? Where the hell have you been for the past 30 years?
What sells is emotion. What sells is simplicity. Give a little (taxes); get a lot (free education and health care for everyone). Stop the wars. Save the children. Save the earth. Support the troops. Stop Cronyism. Protect our economy. Protect our food. People power. Trickle-up economics. Jeebus fuck, is it that hard?!
If the Democrats don’t learn this lesson, and soon, they will risk the rebirth of the Fascists in 2012. And this time, they won’t go away without taking us all the way down the road to the Fourth Reich.