Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Democrats Message

One problem we democrats have, I believe, is in simply marketing our message poorly. We often try to sell people with aspects of the liberal agenda that they find least attractive, when we can present the message in other ways that are much more attractive to the listener.

Take unemployment for example. There are nearly a million more people out of work than when Bush took office. We often talk about that only in terms of the suffering of those who are unemployed, invoking ideas of charity and sympathy. Now most folks are charitable enough, but many believe that there are strict limits as to what government can do. Also, folks are generally not that receptive to be lectured by others on how sympathetic or charitable they should be. But consider this, those million unemployed are also a million fewer people shopping in the small businesses that most people work at or run. If these people were working as they wish to, more small businesses would be more profitable, more people would be working there and the rest of us would have more people to sell our wares to. We would all be better off. We democrats could do a better job selling it to small business owners and the like.

Another area is the environment. We often sell it only as a general feel good issue. But I tried the following argument once with a winger and he was receptive. Consider this situation. I own property next to yours and I'm going to start up a business of some sort that will generate a great deal of waste. As it turns out to make it profitable my only option is to dump the waste on your property. No one would argue that I have some inherent right to just dump it there. I can either pay you for the right to dump or find some other way to make money. The same idea applies to industry dumping its pollution. If its toxic enough we can just say no, and otherwise some fee or fine can be paid. There is no inherent right to just dump whatever. As such this is a matter of industry being required to pay its own way.

We need to think about being able to present the rest of our message in these kinds of ways.

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