Why do Democrats keep letting Republicans frame every issue, every debate and even Democratic identity?
For thirty years, Republican think tanks have been making stuff up about everything from basic economics to climate change. They’ve proven that as long as you stick to your message and repeat it over and over, people will believe you – whether it’s the truth or not.
For example, Republicans consistently refer to Democrats as “Tax and Spend Liberals,” and to themselves as the fiscally prudent grownups. Truth is, the Bush Administration squandered a Clinton Administration surplus, started two wars while simultaneously lowering taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and presided over the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. Saint Ronald Reagan and Bush Senior each grew huge deficits. Democrats might tax and spend, but Republicans Borrow and Spend. Which is the more responsible path?
The Republican media machine – Fox “News” and Rush Limbaugh – has successfully painted Democrats as big-spending, tree-hugging, baby-killing, soft-on-crime elite sissies.
And how do Democrats respond? Usually like a bunch of sissies. They’re always on the defensive, trying to prove their Rambo chops by beating their chests and continuing down the same insane war path.
As Will Rogers famously said, “I don’t belong to any organized party. I’m a Democrat.”
Why can’t the Democrats frame a coherent message and then hammer it home? It should be easy because all they have to do is tell the truth: The Republican Party has become the Know Nothing Crackpot Party.
Republicans say they stand for low taxes, family values, small government and a strong military. That doesn’t sound unreasonable until you examine the difference between what they say and what they do.
Republicans don’t create smaller government; they just divide the money differently. They don’t “support the troops.” They send our troops into battle with inferior body armor and equipment. They support the corporations who profit from war.
Republicans will defend to the death your right to carry an Uzi under your raincoat, but sacrifice your right to privacy in the blink of an eye. They want to monitor your emails and your phone calls and your library records in the name of patriotism. Family values is code for “we want to decide who you can sleep with and whether you should have children.”
Republicans are union-busting, war-mongering, NRA-supporting religious extremists who pander to the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
What should the Democratic message be? It’s not that hard: Democrats are the party of equal opportunity, fair taxation, peace and preservation of the planet.
Moreover, it’s the truth. Now man up and get on the offensive.