Monday, November 15, 2004


One of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies, Spaceballs, is when Lone Starr asks Yogurt (played by Mel Brooks on his knees) what he does and Yogurt replies "merchandising," although the way Brooks says it is more like "moichandizing."

Anyway, this is what I've been saying to friends the Democrats need to do -- they need to sell themselves better to the American people. After all, most Americans support our views on economic and social issues and most Americans also support our stance of "just leave me alone."

But the Repugnicants have been much better at selling their ideas to people. As Josh Marshall notes, you clearly know what Republicans stand for ("lowering taxes in exchange for giving up whatever it is the government pretends to do for us, riding the brakes on the on-going transformation of American culture, and kicking ass abroad") without knowing any policy specifics. The Dems, on the other hand, have a hard time coming up with a clear and concise set of talking points about what we stand for.

This is what we have to do -- develop not just talking points, but strong, vibrant images that will sell our party and what it stands for to the masses. Right now, a lot of Americans think we're what the Repugnicants have told them we are: baby killers, pornographers and Ben Affleck.

Americans are used to being marketed to -- in fact, they are incredibly lazy and just want short and memorable pieces of information when making a buying decision. And what is electing someone in today's world but a buying decision?

So what are those things?

Here's a list to get us started thinking. 10 is too many -- we need maybe 3. But here's a start (PS I can't remember where I got this list from, so apologies to whoever originated it):

Contract for a Better America:
1. Achieve energy independence
2. Prescribe a cure for the health-care epidemic (universal health care)
3. Treat lost jobs as social calamity, not a lagging economic indicator
4. Truly leave no child behind (equal access to good schools, health care, clean water and air, etc.)
5. Break down the barriers and create new opportunities in education
6. Call a truce in the drug war
7. Secure the homeland first
8. Be a leader, not a bully
9. Restore integrity to the political process (Campaign Finance Reform)
10. Put people above corporate profits


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