WINNING ISSUE #2: Political and Financial Reform

(Second in a series on the Top 5 Winning Issues for Democrats)

Voters are clearly in a reformist mood. Everyone, no matter their political leanings, is fed up with the influence of money in politics. They’re tired of policies that grant huge favors to corporations and financial institutions at the expense of average Americans. Political and financial reform is the second winning message for Democrats. Candidates can make a strong case that we are the only party capable of changing business as usual.

Remember to link these bullet points to basic American values like fairness and equality, and to incorporate the 7 Winning Messages. Also be sure to contrast Democratic values with those of conservatives.

The messages:

  • Both parties say they want to reform government and take money out of politics, but which party has proven that it’s on the side of the people?
  • Democrats have been the party of change and innovation for a hundred years. We have always fought for the underdogs.
  • Democrats have pushed for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United, which allowed obscene amounts of money into politics.
  • When Congress voted on real campaign finance reform in 2002 (the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which Citizens United partly overturned), Democrats in Congress collectively voted 246-14 in favor of it. Republicans voted 52-214 against it.
  • Democrats support strict enforcement of Dodd-Frank Wall Street financial reforms, enacted after the financial crisis that caused the Great Recession.
  • The Founding Fathers built checks and balances into our system of government, but they couldn’t have imagined the modern influence of money in politics. We need to restore those checks and balances to keep the system fair.

The contrasts:

  • Conservatism by definition is a philosophy of the status quo. Conservatives are fundamentally against change. They either want to keep things the way they are or go back to the way things used to be. (See the essay The Case Against Conservatism.)
  • It was conservative Supreme Court justices that gave us Citizens United and opened the floodgates of campaign cash.
  • Conservatives have repeatedly tried to block any type of campaign finance reforms.
  • Conservatives are trying to weaken Dodd-Frank laws and return to business as usual for the finance industry.
  • The entire conservative agenda is about doing favors for those who are already wealthy. Republicans are not friends of working Americans and never have been.

Other posts in this series:

WINNING MESSAGE #1: The Republican Party

WINNING MESSAGE #3: Helping the American Worker

WINNING MESSAGE #4: The Growing Inequality Between the Rich and Everyone Else

WINNING MESSAGE #5: The Consequences of Conservatism

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