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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:51 PM
Original message
mapping a Democratic strategy
i received the following in an email today ... its focus was on mapping a strategy to win back the governorship in Massachusetts ... but i thought its themes were applicable nationally:


Another problem for the Democrats lies in their inability to provide voters with a clear definition of who they are, the report says. There are two factions of the Democratic Party: those who believe the party should move closer to the center, and those who believe in more "progressive" values. Those two ideas are not necessarily conflicting, if leaders can tackle the challenge of defining and communicating the party's core values.

"My belief as one of the authors of this report is that Democrats must do a better job linking values to the issues so we can define ourselves, and not be defined by our Republican opposition," said co-author Sen. Jarrett Barrios. "Our values right now are not understood by or communicated to voters."

To give voters a clear sense of what it means to be or vote for a Democrat, the party must "brand" itself, declaring what it believes in, whom it represents, and what it is fighting for. "The problem," according to the report, "is not that Democrats lack a coherent moral framework - it is that Democrats tend to communicate in terms of specific policies rather than core values and visionary goals."


"The failure of some Democrats to define themselves as economic populists who care about the economic conditions of the middle class has hurt us," he said. "We can learn a lot from Democrats who have succeeded going back to Franklin Roosevelt. The voters were very clear that he was on their side, the side of the little guy."


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melissinha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:10 PM
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1. Ok then... how about looking at his strategy?
As our most revered presidents.... who was a Democrat and whose legacy we fight to maintain....

we like recycling, FDR was ours... there's no shame.

Some of his policies will eb necessary to restore the country to what he created, but not all will be necessary. I mean yes he was anti free enterprise.... well we need a good dose of that to even out the score against the worker.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. Attack Them Specifically, Not Generally
I think what Democrats need to do is get off this kick of thinking that it was "moving to the center" ("like Republicans!"--? ) or "not being clear" that was the problem, and notice the fact that people are ignorant of a lot of things--what the country is, what government is, why you pay taxes, what it means to respect other people's rights, finding countries on a map, and everything else you can think of, and that they are because an anti-civic, corporate media wants them that way. A larger issue has to be faced, and it is the total, shocking ignorance of a lot of things, and not because of us.

People do not know what we are and how our policies work, not because we don't know how to talk, but because a hostile media made up of our opponents and corporate buttfucks who will do anything the sponsor wants, just to protect themselves, shortchange us every time, and do not present our side clearly. When even Democrats sometimes refer to it as the "Democrat Party," and do not understand that Social Security is an insurance program and not a retirement account, then you know these people are totally propagandized by a media that does not want anything good for us.

After all these years and years of corporate monopoly of the "public" airwaves and etc., you have a whole generation of people so corporate that they have no common sense anymore--who do not know why farmers should be paid not to grow crops on a part of their land to keep the prices slightly up and stable, so they will get a fair price, and so of course that wise program was killed, and all family farms are in peril, slashed to death by agribusiness. People mindlessly repeat slogans about how "regulations" are killing business, or the right to sue is killing business, or employees having unions is killing business--and we have to try to fight it, and get them to relearn what they once knew, but had drummed out of them. You have to explain things on a really basic level because you are actually undoing the crap they have "learned" (like all these studies that show that the more people listen to Fox "News" for their information, the more stupid they are). People often don't even know anymore that helping poor people helps the whole economy--because they spend it, duh--and that it is never a cause of a government's deficit. The danger is that people who don't understand an issue will be duped by "cutting taxes puts more money in your pocket" and other tricks like that, every time. Listen to how Sen. Tom Harkin explains the Farm Bill, (slashed) subsidies to farm families, etc. Learn these people's arguments if you don't understand an issue yourself. Ted Kennedy, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Boxer, Bobby Scott on Medicare and medical issues, Robert Byrd, etc.--listen to the great ones who really know how to explain. Get rid of the DLC-style jingly slogan, which does not convince anyone if they don't understand the reasons why things work.

Apart from that, there is the situation that may finally be changing, where if we do anything Repubs don't like, they attack, ridicule, slash your throat, etc., etc., as a group. If they lie, commit crimes, all else that they do, we have not been attacking and pinning it on them--so it seems to the casual observer who doesn't really follow news, that only we were guilty of anything. Imagine being led on this pseudo-Christian "moral" crusade by the cokehead drunk draft-dodger Bush, Laura "I Just Plow 'Em Under and Keep Driving" Bush, and the Alcohol Twins--and nobody says anything! Republicans shut Democrats out of meetings in Congress so they can't discuss bills about to be introduced--and nobody says anything! I would've belted the fucking bastards right in the mouth! They should learn that they will suffer consequences for these things, and not just go on attacking us while they suffer nothing. With all the recent Bush-Repub scandal/crime threads on DU, this should be a great start. All these things should be referred to, brought up, questioned, mentioned, over and over and over. These people have suffered nothing after the worst trail of impeachable events ever, and why Democrats were so compliant before is a shame and disgrace we should put behind us. Nail these people! Bush is a never-ending treasure-trove of crime and corruption, not to mention total asinine stupidity--use it! Otherwise, they actually keep up the lie that they have done nothing wrong and we are just "whining"--incredible!

Finally, it is not a matter of "branding"--God, not MORE corporate influence!--but just a matter of actually having candidates who are like Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, and the rest of the great ones, and for God's sake at least describing them correctly.
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moggie12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Great post - communication is key
Our greatest problem now, like this guy says, is that we are being defined by the Republicans. I think "branding" ourselves is key -- we have to be able to communicate in this new, terrible 24/7 news cycle we now live in.

This is a recent post I found very interesting -- I thought it was a good slant on the challenges we face in "branding" ourselves:

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