Friday, August 11, 2006

Counting your Chickens

It has been a good week for progressives. Lamont won in Connecticut, Ney dropped out in Ohio and the AP poll released today ties a low for President Bush in approval ratings. Great, we had some things to celebrate. ….

Ok done. Time to get back to work.

Those of us that are politically active are in the minority. Its easy to fall into the tendency to “preach to the choir,” or worse, convince ourselves that the facts are so obvious and we are so right, only a few neo-cons and religious extremists will disagree with us.


Do any of these sentences sound familiar to you?

“I don’t watch the news, I don’t want to hear it”

“We try to keep politics out of our discussions here.”

“Oh whatever, all politicians are liars.”

“I don’t vote party I vote for the person”

“I will worry about it in November”

Your truly lucky if that’s all you hear. What is much worse when they state beliefs that are either Rush-isms that have no basis in fact, or have the facts so twisted that you don’t even understand where that possibly came from.

There is a common axiom that goes “Never underestimate the stupidity of the average voter.” I would agree that some are indeed not blessed with a high IQ. But the majority is just uniformed and resists changing that fact. Whether it is lack of time availability, avoiding stress, not wanting to hear bad news, or they just find politics boring, many fall into this category.

A good number of these people don’t vote and that is a concern, but a bigger one may be many of them do.

So as activists that have a good message how do we get them to hear it? Look at the republicans; they have done it well for years.

1. Simplify the Message. We know the attention span is short keep it simple and repeat it often.
2. See the Message from their shoes. How does it affect them? Why should they care? Then express the message in those terms.
3. It’s not Red vs. Blue. They don’t care how many Republicans win or Democrats win. They care about one thing, will they be better off.
4. Listen! The issues they care about may be and probably are way different then the ones we write about every day. Hear them and address them.
5. Keep them talking, perhaps then you can explain why in this election party does matter.
6. All elections are local? Ok express why our candidate better then the other guy for that particular office.

I’m not a professional politician by any means. But I have been out knocking on doors for campaigns over the years and I have sat at the dinner table or stood at the water cooler listening and talking politics. I see eyes glaze over when I talk of privacy issues, bribery even the war in Iraq sometimes. Yet tell me one person that won’t talk about gas prices, or health care costs. They have checkbooks, they know how this economy is for them personally, they don’t give a damn what the Deficit is.

Meanwhile I have seen the republicans use their belief in the stupidity of the voter to achieve way too much success. Flag burners, or the attack on Christmas!! English is our national language! You can list dozens of them, but the fact is it works. Just watch Fox News Channel or listen to Rush for about 10 minutes and it is obvious.

They have to divert the debate because they do not have the message that we have. We have the facts; we have voters own experiences and checkbooks to prove our point. We have images from Iraq and terrorism alerts that continue day after day to prove it. Most of all we have the Question: “Are you, is the country and is the world better off then 6 years ago.”

This Campaign has just begun. Over the next 88 days it will be all about getting the message to the blissfully uninformed. The Republicans are good at it, so good that no lead in the polls is safe.

Time to get out of the choir loft and into the streets.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home