A longtime friend–a moderate Democrat–recently sent me the following email (I am pasting it in verbatim.)

A recent headline, “The brand is so toxic Dems fear extinction in rural US” jumped off the page. The article by AP writer Steve Peoples repeated and articulated well what so many of us have thought for several years. Ds do a terrible job of creating a desirable brand. Here, in southern Indiana, where less than 10% of the population has a college degree, Ds use terms like metric tons of CO2, while Rs talk about outrageous price per gallon at the pump. Ds read and quote the NYT and US News and condemn the idea of book police. Rs text why Coach Woodson’s player rotation is wrong. Ds promote the statistical benefits of vaccinations. Rs simply demand that the school kids not have to wear a damn mask.

I am proud to be among the 10% who read the NYT, see benefit in exposure to ideas, think the liberal arts professors are underpaid and still wear my mask into ACE Hardware. But Mr. Peoples is correct. One need only look at Indiana’s 9th congressional district to see clear and irrefutable evidence. We Ds are terrible at branding. We seem doomed to take a licking, and maybe soon stop ticking, to paraphrase John Cameron Swayze.

It’s hard to disagree with the essential point, which is that Democratic “talking points” aren’t connecting to those we think of as “average Americans.” I would also agree with the rather obvious implication of that observation, to wit: Democrats need to fashion messages that would be likely to resonate with the inhabitants of southern Indiana and the country’s rural precincts.


It’s easy enough to cringe at slogans like “Defund the Police” –which not only repelled large numbers of voters, but utterly failed to describe the policy change that was  being proposed.  The persistent complaints about messaging, however, aren’t limited to such examples.

It may be worth taking a step back and examining the roots of that perceived messaging problem–and the extent to which it is and is not about messaging.

As I have previously noted, today’s Democratic Party is not only a far bigger “tent” than the GOP, it is a far bigger tent than it has previously been, thanks to a massive exodus of sane people from what the Republican Party has become. Devising messages that will appeal to all parts of the Democrats’ ideological spectrum–a spectum that spans from relatively conservative GOP refugees all the way to the Democrats who think AOC and Bernie Sanders are insufficiently liberal–isn’t a simple exercise in clever PR.

There is another challenge to the strategists trying to devise messaging that will appeal to “ordinary Americans” who don’t read the New York Times or accept the scientific consensus on climate change or COVID. As those of us who count ourselves among those refugees (in my case, a long-time defector) can attest, there is no messaging that will penetrate the faith-based  cult that is  today’s GOP. Today’s Republican Party is owned by White Christian Nationalists who cheered for Trump and Putin because they were champions for their version of Christianity–pro-patriarchy, anti-LGBTQ, anti-“woke,” etc. They aren’t going to respond to messages from a point of view that is entirely inconsistent with their  hysterical effort to reinstate cultural dominance.

That leaves “messaging” directed to the dwindling numbers of “persuadable.”  I agree that it would be worthwhile to find an approach that would  appeal to those individuals–but I will also point out that any effort to craft such messages should be preceded by research into the reason(s) for their current status. Are they disconnected and disinterested? Disgusted by today’s political reality and loss of civility? Uninformed? All of the above?

I am by no means intending to diminish the importance of messaging. Words matter, and they matter a lot. But given where we are right now–given the substitution of a semi-religious cult for one of our only two major parties–I’d suggest putting all of our resources into  messages and volunteer efforts focused on turning out the substantial majority of voters who already are in broad agreement with Democratic priorities. Polling consistently shows that the elements of Biden’s Build Back Better, for example, are widely popular.

We just have to remember that–given the multiple political and psychological barriers to casting a ballot–messages alone will not get voters to the polls.

And as Paul Ogden periodically reminds us, we also need to make sure that the people counting the votes of those we do turn out are counting them accurately.


  1. speaking of messaging…
    Woke ? Anti Woke? Catfish ? Gas Light?
    In serious discussions, I see a lot of these nonsense words that convey nothing.
    Using Standard English words would be a GREAT START. Drop the slang, if that is what it is. And for the D’s : Please stop saying WE when describing some crazy crap that the R’s are doing. THEY are doing crazy not WE are.

  2. A good place to start for the D’s would be a bit of self examination. Ask yourself “Am I trying to impress others with who I am, or am I trying to get an idea across?” And this applies to the R’s too. Most people see through the Mitt Romney politicians who show up at a county fair wearing spanking new blue jeans, a checkered shirt and dress shoes trying to pass themselves off as hard working common folk.
    It’s one thing to just be yourself; it’s another thing to try to convince others that you are just like them when in fact you are not.

  3. With Democrats like Manchin in the U.S. Senate, who is obstructing progress where it is most needed today, his messages are making a political name for himself in the process. He is probably looking ahead to making a run for the presidency; but for which party?

    Finding names and campaign foundations for Democratic candidates in Indiana is hunting for the proverbial needle in the haystack. The dastardly result for our last Democratic Gubernatorial candidate was John Gregg, our ghost candidate who barely bothered to campaign with any message.

    I still have my “PENCE MUST GO” yard sign in case he decides to run for any office anywhere; my message to my Trumpist neighbors that I don’t miss their former neighborlyness and stand strong for the Democratic party. During Rep. Andre Carson’s last election, his yard sign disappeared from among all of the Democratic yard signs I had posted…that message was loud and clear.

  4. George Lakoff was one of the earliest to make the case about language/rhetoric used by R’s and D’s in his book Don’t Think of an Elephant” ( published in 2004 I think).
    Since his analysis D’s have gotten even more inept and R’s own the field.

  5. Democrats always seem to complicate the messaging as if we want to impress with our elitist intellect and not get our intended message to our intended audience. Republicans dumb it down to a slogan that can be chanted at rallies.

    In the Democrats’ hands, “Make America Great Again!” would be “Increase the GDP with an eye towards equitable distribution of global wealth while increasing the public safety net for those earning under the median income.” It doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as “Lock her up!”

    While policy substance is important, overwrought and overly complicated messaging won’t fit on a bumper sticker. Maybe Democrats need to take a page from the Republican playbook and – as my marketing professor always told us – “keep it simple, stupid”.

  6. I’m probably proving JoAnn Green’s point when I remind her that our last Democratic candidate for governor was Woody Myers. Not much penetration into rural Indiana. I agree with Sheila’s friend that Democratic messaging can be off-putting and with Sheila that before we change our messaging we should understand why it isn’t working. I submit that besides making policy clear and relevant we should know our audience. The state party has offered video training this year making the point (among others) that in proposing our solutions we must illustrate why they’ll improve the lives of folks in the district, using familiar names and familiar places. So let’s research policy and at the same time research the people and places we want to serve. However entrenched the Republican core may be, the failures of its office-holders may grow the pool of persuadables.

  7. I’m inclined to agree that D messaging has traditionally been off, and especially at the national level. Calling your opponent’s supporters “mostly a basket of deplorables”, even if it was an understatement, did far more damage to a party and nation than Defund The Police ever did.

    But I invite you to follow the Indiana Democratic Party and its comms director Drew Anderson on social media. I think you’ll find that he and his bosses Mike Schmuhl and Lauren Ganapini have introduced a refreshingly simplified and very consistent set of messages. For example, pointing out the MANY programs and projects being funded locally by the American Rescue Plan and calling out the GOP hypocrites for showing up at ribbon-cutting ceremonies after they voted NO on the legislation.

    Also, they have consistently hammered Indiana Republicans for doing nothing helpful for Hoosiers – instead pushing one culture war issue after the other in the legislature. I have to believe some of that had the effect of throwing “R’s in disarray” in that a number of noxious bills died because of GQP infighting. It wasn’t all their own doing. Killing SB167/HB1134 was a major victory for Dems and should be cause for some celebration. They helped Indiana remain every so slightly a shade of purple relative to Florida and Texas. But guaranteed that bill or something like it will emerge again in next years biennial session, along with Gov. Holcomb’s pet bill to reduce property taxes on business equipment, and shifting that burden to homeowners and workers. He is singularly OBSESSED with reducing taxes on manufacturers despite the fact than manufacturing employment in Indiana continues its long decline and still doesn’t produce high-paying jobs.

  8. Andy has just nailed it. If you can’t make it into a sound bite, don’t use it. I would say, “Protect Social Security, vote Democratic!” Short, sweet, and to the point. It’s not hard, it’s marketing!

  9. On one side, you combine zealotry and punditry, then you have quite a formidable and often impenetrable informational bubble. Any ideas, including conspiracies, are absolutely a result of the same drivel bouncing around inside that bubble.

    You can kind of look at it as first cousins marrying first cousins. All that inbreeding existentially magnifies specific genetic flaws in that group. Eventually it will lead to an unsustainable and unfunctional future.

    On the other side, you have the intellectual know-it-alls. The big tent as they claim, can actually make one blind to the road that must be traveled. Instead of promoting equality, you can see those promoting themselves. Instead of racial and ethnic equality, you have those trying to promote 9 or 10 different genders! Really? What’s the point in that except to separate yourself and self idolize. Another example is “Black Lives Matter,” they gave rise to the phrase of being “Woke” and “Defund The Police.” They’ve actually raised quite a bit of money off of that, but they refuse to go beyond fussing about the police. They refuse to enter areas that are considered a war zone, as all of the shootings in Chicago can testify to. They say it’s not their job, that there are organizations out there to prevent the shootings! Like the police?

    How is it any different when you have 60 or 70 shootings on a Chicago weekend, several children killed, people gunned down sitting in their cars, people carjacked, drive by shootings, and claim it really is acceptable?

    Language matters, so therefore talking is important. But talk is cheap! I hate hearing the “thoughts and prayers” statement. All sides use it, but what does it really mean? Thoughts and prayers for family members gun down in the streets, thoughts and prayers for the homeless? Thoughts and prayers for the Ukrainians? Language / talk is only as good as those using it! You can use it as an understanding, you can use it as a teaching tool, you can use it to build up, or you can use it to destroy and tear down! You can use it as an attempt to pacify, you can use it to inflame, you can use it to lie, you can use it to tell the truth, or you can use it to postulate your own chosen echo chamber or bubble.

    Love your neighbor? Love your enemy? Man oh man, those bubbles really are impenetrable and loved on both sides.

  10. It might be helpful if Democrats followed through on their campaign promises, but that is a challenge for them when they are owned by oligarchs who won’t let them. I mean, 40 years of breaking their word have caused trust issues. 😉

    What are Dems going to offer to Hoosiers in Southern Indiana?

    How about clean air and water?

    That would require air monitoring equipment, collection of water and land samples, and a press not owned by the oligarchy benefiting from polluting the air and water.

    Gambling boats don’t need clean water, and they bring lots of jobs to kinfolk. So do those coal-burning plants.

    Producing energy from sun and wind costs jobs, so even if their jobs are killing them and causing cancer, at least the Republicans are bringing them jobs.

    Those cancer centers require MDs and RN degrees.

  11. Good Morning Todd!

    You do make a good point about the cancer issue. How many of these rural folks smoke a pack or two a day? And, lol, how many believe the Earth is flat? The echo chamber is quite impenetrable. That bubble is warm and nurturing to an obvious far flung psyche, until it isn’t!

    An unstoppable reality will usually correct that problem, but by then, it’s probably too late!

    Don’t Look Up!?!?!? 🤔😵

  12. Chain Putin to Volgograd!

    Ask any Russian where is the absolute worst place to be in all of Russia. Let them take care of Putin. Nothing like MOST WANTED posters to unite our nation. No other platform needed except a few (no more than three) populist issues WHAT YOU ARE FOR.

  13. David Dawson; mea culpa, and I voted for Woody after donating to his campaign. Proves human nature; we remember the bad more often than the good. Thanks for pointing out my egregious error and my apologies to Dr. Woody Meyers.

  14. JoAnn, if there were more Ds like Joe Manchin out there, the Ds would be doing very well going into the mid-terms. Sen. Manchin is a thoughtful moderate Democrat who has extraordinary general election appeal. That’s why he is winning elections in West Virginia as a Democrat, one of the most Republican states in the country. Without Manchin, you’d have a Josh Hawley time as Senator from WV and McConnell would be speaker. Ds should be grateful Manchin is there.

    No doubt Ds have a messaging problem. They are terrible at it. “Build Back Better?” All they did was talk about the price tag of what was in it, not what was in it. They should have divided it up into its parts and pushed them individually. Manchin supported several of those things.

    But Ds also need to be better at issues. I’m not a fan of the minimum wage (which has been rendered irrelevant by the marketplace), but Ds would be smart to take $12 or $13 minimum wage instead of insisting on a $15 minimum wage or no increase at all. They have the votes right now for $12 and they could claim a win and campaign on that. (Then they could try to increase it later on when they have more votes.) But Ds won’t take the win. Just like on the infrastructure bill, Biden’s No. 1 accomplishment, the progressive Ds stepped all over it by the nonsense of trying to tie it to the much less popular Build Back Better bill.

    Of course, that more of a messaging thing. I could tick off some more issues that the Ds are missing the boat on, but this is already too long.

  15. “Nonsense words that convey nothing,” are a bane. Even “Gas Light” is useless, as the odds are that the vast percent of those who
    the D’s are not reaching, and maybe many others, do not have any idea what that refers to…the movie called “Gaslight,” from 1944. In
    this movie the Charles Boyer character works studiously to convince the Ingrid Bergman character, that she is crazy, by feeding her a
    twisted reality. That,of course, is what the GQP tries to do.
    But the “ordinary folk” have no idea about that, which I can tell you was very frustrating for me in trying to convey the idea to an acquaintance
    But, yes, simple just could grab some traction.

  16. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  17. Republicans seem to have mastered the use of Fear and focusing on negative campaigning. Unfortunately it works and we will continue to see more of it. I believe that positive messaging and appealing to the best in people is what the Democrats can bring to the table as they embrace the bigger tent. Obama brought out the optimism and the whole world applauded. I don’t think the democrats should change. Republicans present a world of winners and losers, and not a world where everyone can be help improve their lives. The media (social media as well) does a poor job when they look for a negative or controversial position to attract views. These ethical dilemmas are at the core of present messaging.

    As far as the Urban and Rural divide, the democrats need to proactively show how they improve the lives of those in rural communities. Access to internet is a good start, improving education, good access to healthcare, and supporting economics of small communities and job creation are vital. Taking credit for funding these and implementing them is crucial as the Republicans cut State revenues and programs and undermine the role of essential government.

  18. Paul – YES! The Infrastructure bill was a transformative piece of legislation – one the Democrats could have run with over and over – but it totally got lost in the shuffle with all the infighting. The US is not a progressive country, much as we/I would like it to be – you have to drag people slowly to new ideals. Point in case Obamacare – now it is very popular but it took a while. Take some small wins one at a time, give people time to see they work and keep moving forward to bigger goals. And highlight those wins. Get on Fox news and explain. On a different note, Trump promised the coal miners the world and then legislated coal ash into the streams….crickets from the left..

  19. Come on folks…forget messaging on goals. We at CommonGoodGoverning are doing opposition research for DEMs running for the House. These messages are NOT about policies, they are about values: Candidate X voted against the Anti-Lynching Bill – do you want to tell your kids you voted for them? Candidate Y voted against improving veterans’ access to healthcare…

    What did the candidate say about this? What did they not say about that? FACTS. You can find most on + any candidate’s Facebook/Twitter….

  20. Andy Austin
    What is elitist about “Build Back Better”??
    Paul Ogden
    Joe Manchin is a Dino.

  21. Paul, a conservative, thinks the Dems need more candidates like Joe Manchin, a Koch puppet. That’s hilarious since Hoosiers down south already have Koch puppets which is why they are choking on the cancer-spewing coal stacks.

    I wonder if those same Hoosiers know Charles Koch is one of the most heavily invested oligarchs in Russia as well. So do they like Putin but hate socialism?

    I have read so much propaganda coming from the top corporate media outlets lately that I can only imagine what’s floating around on TV stations like MSNBC, CNN, and Fox.

    Until the media is committed to telling the truth and resembling a Fourth Estate, and money has been taken out of politics (in all its forms of corruption, including insider trading), there is no point in worrying about messaging and values.

    Sociopathic liars have the advantage in the current societal construct. Those advocating for morality or values are wasting their time. It’s like tossing a white wedding dress into a pigsty, hoping it doesn’t get dirty.

  22. The problem isn’t so much as messaging as it is the tangible role of Lucy played by the DNC and DLC.

    Speaking of messaging…

    Messaging such as ; If You Don’t Vote For The Democratic Party you’re STUPID!

  23. people are lazy,people are biting the silver spoon,and they dont care,or, they are persuaded by peers to listen to the constant grind that is booming loud and clear by media and gosip like themes. i realize that people read, read what? in nodak seems if they are educated readers,and they dont read,they rely on fox and freinds. (lazy)every cafe here,and mind you,in this rural life,the cafe is where its all said,and done. with fox blaring away with what they want to hear. being many grew up dirt poor,and from the gens passed since the dust bowl era,that style of conservatism has remain. its just a new gen being tought to listen to us,and not that goverment paid for not a wordmonger,obviously,but ive read abit. never fiction beyond maybe orwell, and that was a few. journalism is my bite, i have scanned the economist down to the nation and inbetween. picking a few subjects and glossing over a few others. seems my reading in politics and labor,and democracy was alway in my blood. moving here after being a big city guy,was a total eye opener.
    i respect life and people who work and have gained the so-called Amerrican dream. but over 30+ years in nodak,ive watched the changes in theses people. its like in a few years they dropped off the world and are drowning in outter space. you cant even have a decent conversation in any subject,its all been filled with ignornace. im no statue to smarts,but i do have a firm belief if your gonna vote,vote for people who support your entire interests(well at least your democracy). that said, few can even figure out why the rich now run this nation..conversation whereas i point out a few whys,are daunting to those who have filled thier lives up with falsehoods and clear thinking. they would rather be told how minorities and the like are ruining America, they want to believe that. if you point out how bezoz has umpteen billions,they havent a real clue how much that is,or,how that ties up capital that should be in the working economy,and in thier pockets. instead they feel a few bucks off at amazon is better than main street.but then again,if you dont have aliving wage,and a i phone,its called deliberate disregard to this sure many a lawyer knows the term.. they have become the reason why we have this discussion here, and why,they dont partcipate. i work for a living at 67,full time,and its manual labor and then some. as i filter thru conversations with the younger ones, they seem to grasp the concept of liberal. but a label doesnt make the person. making headways,i try and pass on whys and whos are supprting thier future,and making sure our democracy comes first. talking and making sense of why the idea of a living wage isnt a dream,but why it doesnt happen..who, makes the decisions,who makes the laws, and what,suppport it.. its all face to face,remember that one?

  24. When I can shout Woke, CRT, or any other number of loaded culture war words, I will say that Republicans are the master of branding. They are masterful because the people they target don’t want to take time to understand or dismiss the complex issues behind most of those loaded words. Heck, I don’t think I understood some of the propaganda and it’s results until I was in my 50’s.

    I think a lot of people see the world in black in white and don’t want things to change. Sometime the one side comes up with some thing like “don’t say gay” to counter the other side, but I still think the other side believes that if you just ignore the reason this is even a political topic, then it will just go away and those evil queer people should just stay in closet where we don’t have to think about them.

    Yeah it’s hard to convey complex ideas when the other side does not even want to listen.

    I still think “We all do better when we all do better” is a simple and effective, but it can be won’t fit on a billboard, or shirks down to small letters in a Facebook Meme, or can’t be shouted like “Woke” or “CRT” at a school board meeting.

  25. Jack,

    You’re absolutely right about people wanting to be told what to believe. Sometimes you have to wonder if people can read at all. I mean, this younger generation can’t even write cursive. I suppose, if you can talk to text why learn how to write?

    You really don’t see any trust but verify anymore, you see individuals trust or sort of trust and then like you said, fall off the Earth and drown in outer space lol!

    The entire system is rotten. If there are individuals trying to change things, they get run out of Dodge, so, more often than not, they capitulate their viewpoints and ideals.

    Personally, I will staunchly refuse to capitulate my ideals and beliefs. But, I will do copious amounts of research and plenty of reading is included in that. I don’t think anyone should be swayed by a unilateral opinion. That’s where trust but verify comes in, but laziness and lithargy actually supplant the verify portion.

  26. I find the fact that wildly popular policies have zero chance to pass intensely frustrating. The Republicans have turned politics into a zero-sum game; for them to win, the Democrats must lose, and vice versa. They will not allow policies to pass when Democrats are in power, even if they agree with them, to the detriment of all. To this end, they find ludicrous post-hoc reasons for why they are against said policies. The part that makes me insane is that the “reasons” are generally laughable, sometimes complete non sequiturs, but a large portion of the public adopts them as gospel without any thought or question. This is how _children_ approach the offering of arguments before they are able to employ skeptical critical analysis–blind trust, and a complete lack of consideration for the possibility the argument might be bad. They have abdicated from reasoning in favour of submission to an authority they like.

    It’s arguing with 2-year-olds.

  27. I have to agree with John H. The GQP is a cult. They thrive on low information because many are intellectually lazy and not interested in questioning anything they believe.

    You can’t argue with them, as it is like wrestling with a pig, you get muddy and the pig enjoys it. I live super rural. 20% of my proximate neighbors are Amish. They love Trump. I find not arguing and talking simply is the best way to get along. I ask them what they like about Trump. I do NOT point out his obvious flaws as it is an exercise in futility.

    I believe in the adage “seek to understand then to be understood” which is largely assumed to be a concept attributed to Stephen Covey, it was actually Lao-Tzu over 2500 years ago. Expanded this is the best explanation of my neighbors and rural Rs in general.

    “Things grow and grow,
    But each goes back to its root.
    Going back to the root is stillness.
    This means returning to what is.
    Returning to what is
    Means going back to the ordinary.”

    This is the Amish and rural attitude. They as a group are ordinary, simple, human, and very kind. They are not very open to argumentative discussion. You will reach more rural folks by simplifying the discussion and asking questions. I was in Sales for over two decades. Long-term, high-dollar commitment sales were based on relationships and trust, not persuasion. We need to understand and look at the implications of our messaging.

    The Dems, from my view as a long-time Republican, need to go back to the ordinary. If the Dems can’t grasp that we need another party that does. Personally, I believe in multiple parties and ranked-choice voting. Our current system creates an Us Vs Them mentality. We must focus on us, all of us. Calling it a big tent party does not make it one, consequently, our system is bi-polar. It promotes separation and antagonism against “the others”. We swing wildly from one extreme to another furthering our separation and alienation

    Western man is largely lost in our egos. This link is a long read for some so if you don’t read it all at least look at the “Final Thoughts” at the bottom of the story. It provides a decent summary of concepts.

  28. Jack’s the closest to an answer, but it’s still a weak one.
    I’m gobsmacked at how illogical and reason-resistant
    so many people are.
    On youtube, trevor noah has a roving reporter type who
    goes to Trump rallies and asks leading socratic questions
    of the crowd members.
    These people are insane cultists with collapsed integrity.

  29. Honesty is the best policy. Many of the Trump supporters are also recipient of many government programs that the Democrats have put in place. With the current House of Representatives it appears the Republicans have no programs other than trying to block Biden’s agenda. If people would look at the facts and the damage that Machin and Sinema are doing to veto programs that would help them, maybe they would pressure them to change their minds.

    Getting out the vote is crucial.

  30. The product is good, but the marketing is bad. The Dems need to hire some really good PR people to advise them about how to get the message across. Whatever you’re selling, you have to speak the language that your target market understands. Ronald Reagan was a dufus, but the actor knew how to get the message across that the Fundamentalist who got him into the job wanted him to sell. If he had been given a high school economics test, he would have gotten an F. The man hadn’t a clue as to how our tax system worked. All he knew is that he didn’t like paying taxes. Well, who does?

  31. Messaging – Republican friends say that the Democrats would do well — if there message was like Reagan’s; Progressives say that Democrats would do well if they only sounded like AOC –

    Forget it – Do Democrats believe in something? Then believe it! Keep it simple, but be true to our basic principles. We believe in the American Dream for everyone. The thumb has been on the scale for the rich and connected. We don’t mind a thumb on the scale, as long as it is for those that start off at a disadvantage, be they people of color, LGBTQ, religious minorities, non-corporate farmers, or working class white folks. Some won’t agree with us, but we couldn’t win their votes in any event.

    We have had rich Democrats, like FDR, the Kennedys, and, where I grew up, “Soapy” Williams – G Mennen Williams, III of the Mennen deodorant/shaving products family (elected 6 times as governor and 17 years on the State Supreme Court). They were all able to relate to working class white voters, black voters, LatinX voters, just by talking to them.

    One reason I have been so impressed by Secretary Pete, is that when he first ran for office, he sat down with me to discuss his plans as State Treasurer. He didn’t talk down and he didn’t “message”. He stated in plain language, what he wanted to do and made it clear why I (or anyone) should want that done.

    Democrats aren’t as popular as their programs. “Build Back Better” is “an inflationary boondoggle that we can’t afford”. The individual components are popular, job growth, do-it-in-America programs. To “borrow” (OK rip off) from John McCain, we just need straight talk – neat, sound-bite simple, and honest. Start there and the messaging becomes a lot easier.

    Lest anyone think I am naive, I have been a political activist on and off for over 50 years, filling every role (including candidate) except for press and fund raising.

  32. For all workers, real (inflation-adjusted) wages declined nearly 0.8 percent in February.
    For all workers, real wages declined for the 12th time in 14 months.
    For production and nonsupervisory workers, real wages declined nearly 0.6 percent in February.
    For production and nonsupervisory workers, real wages declined for the 10th time in the last 14 months.

    All the messaging in the world cannot undo what people see and know as reality.

  33. I’m late to this party, but I want to say: I’m a lifelong conservative Republican who thinks my party has lost its ever loving mind over the last 10 years or so. I’ve voted Democrat ever since, and I’m disappointed in the party for its fractures and lack of cohesion. If it only would appear to move closer to the center it would win every. fricking. time. and would transform our country.

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