For liberals, the biggest, teeth-grinding frustration of modern politics is that while a majority of Americans agree with us on most major issues, they are voting a lot more for Republicans than Democrats.
How can that be?
The short answer is that liberals-and Democrats in general-have done a sorry-ass job of making their case to the American public. They just haven’t been able to connect emotionally or viscerally with many voters. They can’t seem to find their voice when it comes to establishing a unified, coherent, populist message about what they stand for-and how their beliefs reflect traditional American values.
Then when their disjointed messaging doesn’t connect with voters, desperate Democratic candidates (we mean you, Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mark Udall) start waffling on issues and trying to sound as Republican as they can, which doesn’t fool anyone. That weaselly dissembling is a suicidal mistake, and one conservatives never make.
So what can liberals and Democrats do to better connect with voters? How can they attract more support in swing states and even in the reddish-purple enclaves of the South, Midwest, and rural West? For starters, they should internalize the 7 Winning Messages. Then they need to follow the four unbreakable rules of Democratic political campaigning:
- Never discuss issues without discussing values.
- Don’t just run against Republicans, run against conservatism.
- Be a proud Democrat.
- Fight for your beliefs.
In the next four posts, we’ll discuss each of these in detail.