In MyDD :: Pelosi’s 100 Hours, kid oakland writes,
“If the GOP had a 100 Hours program they’d be selling it like it was going out of style.”
We hear this all the time, “the Republicans” are doing something and “the Democrats” are not. For example, here Republicans would be selling a “100 hours” plan, and Democrats aren’t.
Yes, but… Let’s examine the mechanism of that sell-job “the GOP” would be doing. First, it is not the Republican Party that does that sell-job. To me, this is a key point to understand if we’re going to work on countering the conservatives and bringing the public back to understanding and accepting progressive values and ideas and candidates. It is not the Republican Party. And when you understand this point, you understand that it is not the Democratic Party that is falling down on selling progressive ideas.
It is not the Republican Party, it is the “conservative movement” infrastructure that does the selling. It is the Heritage Foundation and the (oh-so-many) other marketing/communications think tanks. It is the anti-tax and anti-government organizations. It is the Christian Right organizations. It is the corporate lobbying groups that would be selling it. It is the right-wing media that would be selling it. Rush Limbaugh and 100 other radio talk-show hosts would be selling it. Fox News would be selling it. The Drudge Report would have headlines about it. The think tanks would be dispatching 100 pundits to the TV news shows to be selling it. The Ann Coulters and the Cal Thomases and Jerry Falwells would be selling it. There would be professionally-crafted op-eds in every newspaper selling it. There would be an organized letter-to-the-editor campaign selling it. There would be e-mail chain letters selling it. There would be anonymous posts on internet sports forums selling it. There would be PR firm-produced-and-placed YouTube videos selling it. There would be strategically-placed MySpace friends selling it. They would ALL be selling it, in concert, using the same polled-and-focus-group-tested talking points, repeating the same message over and over and over… But they are not the Republican Party.
So don’t blame the Democrats! That doesn’t help you think about how progressives can counter this. When you think about how things like the first 100 hours (or the Contract for America) are sold and about how the public is persuaded to accept ideas and policies and candidates in general, stop blaming “the Democrats” for falling own on the job. Instead, look at how the conservatives do it and think about the infrastructure they have that progressive do not have. Conservatives have these marketing/communication organizations that reach out to the general public – progressive do not. They have the scores of media-trained pundits ready to go on TV or radio at a moment’s notice – progressives do not. They have the op-ed writers and direct lines to the editors who accept them – progressives do not. They have an entire infrastructure designed around reaching the public and persuading them. And they fund it. THAT is how you persuade the public.
Progressives do not.