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Reply #23: A "recitation of the facts" is the usual Democratic style, and it doesn't work. [View All]

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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-11-07 02:20 PM
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23. A "recitation of the facts" is the usual Democratic style, and it doesn't work.
Not when going against opponents who never hesitate to appeal to the emotions. They're not sticking to a merely factual approach, so we can't either, unless we want to keep losing elections.

From an interview with Drew Westen, the author of "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation"


The Democratic Party had an idea for years that if you just lay out the right policies and positions, with the facts and figures to back them up, people would be rational and will realize who is really supporting their self-interest -- essentially, present the numbers and they will come. If you think about how the brain actually works -- it don't work like that. Our rational sides and our emotional sides are intricately intertwined. We make more decisions based solely on reason, and we make a few decisions based solely on emotion. Most of the time, what we're doing is we're bringing those things together.


Right now, what we have is one side that can make people feel something. In every election, they pick out a group to hate. Or they claim that the other side is weak on national defense. The other side never calls them on their hate campaigns, and cowers in the corner much of the time when they're told that they're weak on national defense.

If they don't throw a strong right hook, and demonstrate that they can be strong, people get a very cool message about what the two parties stand for. For example, the Democratic Congress repeatedly subpoenas Alberto Gonzales, and then signs into law a wire-tapping bill that gives him the right to read their e-mails. If the American people come away with that believing that the Democrats are fearful in the face of aggression by a bully, I think they're drawing the correct conclusion. If and when the Democrats decide that they're going to start showing some guts in response to Republican hate appeals and terror appeals, then I think the American people will come along with them. But if they continue to respond by cowering in the corner any time the other side threatens them by saying you don't support our troops, or you're weak against terror -- if they cower in the corner, they're simply illustrating exactly what the Republicans are saying about them, and they deserve to lose.

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