Thursday, November 04, 2004

Response to Paul...

First off, no whining allowed (not you, Paul). We lost. Get over it. We all put a lot of effort in. Didn't get there.

However, we nearly unseated a wartime president three years after the worst attack on American soil by a foreign entity. He should have swept; he nearly blew it.

Now, onto Paul's thesis. Paul, I basically agree, but with some differences. No one cares about deism. We'll be laughed out of court -- some 18th-Century high-level near-atheism? Puh-leeze! That ain't gonna get the 4-ish percent we need.

What we need is a "shell program." Yes, we need to "moralize" and "religicize," but not without selling out our core beliefs. Flip through the New Testament, find all the socially "liberal" parts (you know, the stuff Mel left out), and "wrap" our core socioeconomic issues in Christian terminology. Eye of the needle-type stuff.

No healthcare for 45m people? Immoral! Unchristian! Unemployment? Immoral! You get it.

Furthermore, recapture true conservatism. Got a problem with gays? Too bad! None of your business, and certainly not the government's. And so forth. Live and let live.

Abortion? Yeah, we want it to be a last resort -- let's unite to make it a rarity. That means birth control, abstinence, whatever.

Won't win over everyone. Just the 4% we need. We're very close!

We need a far more obviously "religious" candidate, and one who means it. This may be marketing (of which I've read a lot of late), but it doesn't matter. The "reality-based" vote isn't enough. We need someone who is truly religious and can communicate to the border states and the western states. We need better market segmentation. We need to find out, as Rove did, what drives our "customers" (voters) and adopt those issues/spins. We can all trade our ideas, but we're pissing in the wind without actual scientific data on voters -- Rove had better data. He had the votes. LBJ was a master of this; we need to get better. It's not about this post, or Rossi's, or anyone's. Let's go to the market and find out what will "sell." (Ironic, no, that the "anti-poll," anti-science Bushies beat us on empirical data, isn't it?)

And the secular, liberal core -- the Dean types like us who are supposedly so smart -- need to GET it and not decamp or not vote or get all pissy. Then we will win.

In addition to Lakoff, I say read Zyman, former head of Coca-Cola's marketing department. "Renovate, don't Innovate." Has a lot of resonance for us right now.

Finally, I'd just like to say that we need to keep the momentum going and even raise it a notch!

Let's go! 2006 is right next door. And 2008 just beyond...that race will begin in late 2006 -- two years from today.


PS: Give me the titles of the best Lakoff books; NOW I'll read them.

6 Thoughts:

Blogger pawlr said...


I hear you--obviously I don't advocate directly espousing Deism as a response to red state ideology.. merely a provocation, starting point for finding commonalities. I think my overall point is that we're going to have to dig deep into our past and our present to find out how to reach these people, or at least make a strong appeal to most of the more accessible Catholic and Jewish vote. (Catholics went 53% for Bush).

In general I totally agree with your point about New Testament appeals. I don't think we can scoot the gay issue though by pretending to be conservative on this because it leaves open too many contradictions (if the government shouldn't be involved in personal choices, why are they involved in big & small business?)

As far as Lakoff: Moral Politics is most comprehensive, and Don't think of an Elephant is a quicker read that has the essentials.

Lakoff teaches/researches cognitive linguistics, which is very different from the generative linguistics of Noam Chomsky and others.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Sorry, that generative linguistics link is here.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Also re: the left and ultra-left won't decamp because egalitarianism does have much in common with those New Testament values you mention. Marx, Che, Castro, et al were crusaders of those values as much as MLK, LBJ. That's the great thing about values and their ability to bridge contradictions about policy approaches, specific religious denominations, etc.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Paul that we need to dig deep into the past of the Democratic party to look for a rock on which we will found this new church. However, I think we also need to look the late sixties and early seventies to see what it was that pissed off so many of the faithful. The failure of our party came because of an arrogant disregard for beliefs of our supporters. We tried to move too quickly in changing their views. I might add that Bush is committing the very same offense and we should take him to task for it. Think of these four more year as just enough rope for him to hang himself.

Thursday, November 04, 2004 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug, I've been thinking, and although I think we agree on the approach, I can't agree with you that 4% is enough. We need more like 10% to get a real mandate big enough to shift the priorities of government at this point, towards collective investment in the future as opposed to wealth redistribution upwards for the rich. What this means is we have to go on the offensive on these values questions whole-hog in red state land.

Friday, November 05, 2004 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Those last two posts were from me, sorry they came out as anonymous.


Saturday, November 06, 2004 5:05:00 PM  

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