‘A Better Deal’ Done Better

In our previous post we critiqued the messaging behind the “A Better Deal” campaign, the Democratic Party’s awkward first step toward populism. Though we awarded points for trying, we also criticized the messaging as wonky, muddled, overly complex, and way too timid in its attack on conservatives. And as always, Democrats failed to relate their policies to core American and moral values.

Of course it’s always easy to criticize. To put our money where our mouth is, we thought we’d take a crack at devising a better message. To illustrate what the campaign rollout should have been, we chose to rewrite Nancy Pelosi’s Washington Post op-ed introducing “A Better Deal.”

Here is Pelosi’s original op-ed. Our rewrite is below. We’ll let you decide if it’s better, worse, or just more of the same.

Americans deserve better than the GOP agenda, so we’re offering a better deal

America was founded on the principle that all of us are created equal. And yet in the 40 years since Ronald Reagan, conservative policies of rewarding the rich and punishing the poor have created the most unequal American society since the 1920s. America’s workers have been abandoned by conservatives, who want to destroy unions, want to take away health care for millions, refuse to raise the minimum wage, and promise a trickle-down effect from cutting taxes for the rich that never seems to come.

Democrats think American workers deserve a better deal. On Monday, House and Senate Democrats are traveling to the town of Berryville, Va., to announce “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” We’re proposing a bold package of policies aimed directly at America’s workers, not at the wealthy. It will help families who are seeing their costs of living rise but don’t see their wages keeping up. They see special interests getting special treatment while hard-working Americans are ignored.

“A Better Deal” will outline seven things Democrats want to do for American workers:

  • Tax cuts for the middle class, paid for by eliminating loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations
  • Creation of 15 million jobs by rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure
  • Paid family leave and sick pay for all Americans
  • More affordable child care
  • More affordable college tuition
  • A gradual raise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour
  • Rescinding anti-union laws so workers have a stronger voice in the workplace

These aren’t just vague ideas. We have specific details on how to implement—and pay for—all of them, which you can see on our website at Democrats.Senate.gov.

Taken together, these proposals will immediately improve the quality of life for millions of working families. Unlike conservative policies, they don’t ask Americans to wait until millionaires and billionaires pass down whatever money they don’t want to keep for themselves. “A Better Deal” puts money directly into the pocketbooks of America’s workers. Democrats know that America’s economy isn’t driven by the wealthy, it’s driven by consumers. Businesses thrive best with a strong and vibrant middle class.

With these proposals, the Democratic Party continues the fight we have been waging for American workers for nearly a hundred years. Democrats have given America Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the idea of a minimum wage and paid vacations, affordable health care, and so much more. All of our proposals to give workers “A Better Deal” are possible, but not without a Democratic Congress.

We live today in the greatest, richest, most powerful nation on earth—the world’s only superpower. Our country was founded on principles of equality and fairness. All of us have a right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You have a right to demand a decent life for you and your family. It’s time to stop listening to politicians who tell you all the things America can’t do and start electing leaders who will show you what America can do.

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