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Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:40 PM

Beyond opposing Trump, do Democrats have a message?

Beyond opposing Trump, Democrats keep searching for a message

by Dan Balz

The loss in last week’s special congressional election in Georgia produced predictable hand-wringing and finger-pointing inside the Democratic Party. It also raised anew a question that has troubled the party through a period in which they have lost ground political. Simply put: Do Democrats have a message?

Right now, the one discernible message is opposition to President Trump. That might be enough to get through next year’s midterm elections, though some savvy Democratic elected officials doubt it. What’s needed is a message that attracts voters beyond the blue-state base of the party.

The defeat in Georgia came in a district that was always extremely challenging. Nonetheless, the loss touched off a hunt for scapegoats. Some Democrats, predictably, blamed the candidate, Jon Ossoff, for failing to capitalize on a flood of money and energy among party activists motivated to send a message of opposition to the president. He may have had flaws, but he and the Democrats turned out lots of voters. There just weren’t enough of them.

Other critics went up the chain of command and leveled their criticism at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She has held her party together in the House through many difficult fights — ask veterans of the Obama administration — but she also has become a prime target for GOP ad makers as a symbol of the Democrats’ liberal and bicoastal leanings. Pelosi, a fighter, has brushed aside the criticism...


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/beyond-opposing-trump-democrats-keep-searching-for-a-message/2017/06/24/6bb05b54-5857-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.7d965864d

I think he is right on the money. We need to talk about Trump less, and we are going to do more.

On Edit: People don't seem to understand what I mean by messaging. For information on that, see the video of George Lakoff with Tavis Smiley or read some of Lakoff's work online. It's not enough to have a policy paper or a bunch of positions you talk about, it's about what you say most often and what aspects of a person's brain are being activitation. Conservatives activate the authoritarian brain. Liberals need to activate the nurturing brain, and we haven't down a very good job of it.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/professor-cognitive-science-george-lakoff/

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Reply Beyond opposing Trump, do Democrats have a message? (Original post)
marylandblue Jun 2017 OP
sharedvalues Jun 2017 #1
Gravitycollapse Jun 2017 #2
emulatorloo Jun 2017 #3
Gravitycollapse Jun 2017 #6
emulatorloo Jun 2017 #11
Gravitycollapse Jun 2017 #15
emulatorloo Jun 2017 #17
NurseJackie Jun 2017 #8
marylandblue Jun 2017 #10
emulatorloo Jun 2017 #13
loyalsister Jun 2017 #18
NurseJackie Jun 2017 #14
marylandblue Jun 2017 #19
betsuni Jun 2017 #20
Wounded Bear Jun 2017 #4
emulatorloo Jun 2017 #5
marylandblue Jun 2017 #12
emulatorloo Jun 2017 #16
nikibatts Jun 2017 #7
Buckeye_Democrat Jun 2017 #9

Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:45 PM

1. Beyond opposing Obama, did the Tea Party have a message?

The democrats need to find a message and a vision, there is no question.

But for now, opposing our would-be dictator is enough to unify most D constituencies. Let's do that for now.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:48 PM

2. It's almost impossible to have a message under the insanity of a Trump regime.

I think our lack of message is a combination of this insane overstimulation and a lack of empowered Democratic leadership. The entire American political system is in dire straights.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:51 PM

3. Yes we have a message. This is a continuation of the lie that HRC had no policy positions

in 2016 that addressed jobs and the economy.

It's a variation of the Frank Luntz focus tested lie during the Bush years:

"Democrats have no ideas."

It was bullshit then and it is bullshit now.

Sorry that poor Dan Balz is sad that Democrats are mean to Trump.

And another thing while I am at it. Ditch Pelosi?

I have zero interest in getting rid of Democrats just because Republican billionaires like the Koch Bros don't like them.

They demonized Bernie and Nancy in those dark money lie-ads because our good strong Dems stand in the way of the cruel and destructive Trump/Ryan/McConnell agenda.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:53 PM

6. There is a dearth of charismatic Democratic leadership right now.

The Democratic response to the Trump administration has simply not been as cohesive and forceful as it could be.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:03 PM

11. Interesting. Can you name the charismatic Republican leadership so I can get

what yr looking for?

I admit Trump has charisma (and I believe that is one of the reasons McConnell and Ryan are still clinging to him as a spokesperson who can sell the idea that tax cuts for the rich to working people)

But would love to hear about who you consider charismatic on the Republican side of the aisle. This is a totally serious question.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:12 PM

15. I never said Republicans have charismatic leadership. They're far worse than us.

That doesn't mean we don't have our own issues.

We need people like Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, etc. to take truly prominent roles in our party. We can't completely rely on Pelosi as a singular figure head. It's hard to describe because I think it's hard to really formulate charismatic leadership. But there is some way the Democratic party is operating that is not effectively conveying its message. I think, in part, it needs to do a better job of elevating party members who speak for marginalized communities.

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Response to Gravitycollapse (Reply #15)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:23 PM

17. Excellent examples. They are all great at explaining our values.



That being said I don't beleive we are relying solely on Pelosi. I'm wearing Pelosi as my avatar these days because of the misguided campaign to purge here from some here and the Tim Ryan types in the house.

Everyone of those Dems you listed are excellent and I would love to see them more.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:55 PM

8. "This is a continuation of the lie that HRC had no policy positions"

Thank you!

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:03 PM

10. Of course she had positions

But her main message was Donald Trump was unqualified. She wasn't necessarily wrong in emphasizing this, he is unqualified, but it wasn't enough to win where we needed to win.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:07 PM

13. Her speeches were full of policy. MSM only showed the anti-Trump soundbytes

Anti Trump was not her "main" message.

MSM went for the "dramatic"soundbytes. They had zero interest in showing her speeches about policy.

I will also note that at the debates Clinton talked policy way more than Trump did.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #13)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:37 PM

18. Policy wonks on this board are convincable

But there are a lot of people who are not interested in those details. They don't want a laundry list of policy proposals that the candidate might be able to implement. Particularly when politicians only show up at election time to talk about it without listening.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:10 PM

14. LOL!

So you're saying it was all her fault? And the fault of her campaign?

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 06:13 PM

19. No, this has been an issue with Democrats for years

Many of us get lost in policy and lose the big picture. I remember some years ago, rhere was talk about "values voters" as Republican voters, as if Democrats had no values. We have valuew, bur we have a hard time telling voters what they are, leaving us vulnerable to character attacks from the right.

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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 06:28 PM

20. +1

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:51 PM

4. Funny, I always thought we had a message...

It just gets lost because the media doesn't give a shit about "messages." Talking about message hurts their ratings. Boring, you know.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:53 PM

5. Yep. They don't wanna show policy discussion. They frame everything as a political cat fight.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:04 PM

12. The message gets garbled because we are not as good at selling it as the Republicans

Also, we have trouble speaking with one voice, we were always the more fractious party.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 05:17 PM

16. That's true. But Reps have a leg up w the caBle news MSM. I really don't know what to do about it.

We have to figure out a way around it. Writing letters to the editor is good. But really just a drop in the bucket.

In the past we thought bloggers might help, but we saw in 2016 how susceptible some blogs were to Russia's fake news campaign.

Facebook turned into lie about Democrats central.

DU during primary 2016 was a cesspool of uncritical citations of Fox, Breitbart.com, Washington Times, RT, and so on.

I am terribly frustrated right now. I'm frustrated because I don't know the way out of this mess.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:54 PM

7. Yes. It's the same message we have had since FDR. No one is listening to us. They would rather

 

hear bloviating, lies, and anything anti-Obama.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sat Jun 24, 2017, 04:57 PM

9. If people aren't hearing the message, perhaps it's the media's fault?

It's also pretty hard to stay on message when your opponent throws out wild accusations and the media treats them as legitimate issues to be addressed. All in the name of equal coverage, of course, like having a creationist to "balance" an interview with an evolutionist or a climate change denier with a consensus scientist.

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