What's a Democrat?

News & Politics

Here's a debate that's been raging for a while but which now has a specific and concise question attached to it: "What are your ten words that define the Democratic Party's message?"

So asked Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack in an email, echoed by the National Journal's Hotline.

The debate highlights a built-in problem of the American left: its insistence upon specificity, breadth, complexity, and inclusiveness. In other words: all the things that slogans and marketing are not.

There's no easy solution. It's possible that it's not just the current bumper-sticker wisdom employed by Republicans that's destroying America but bumper-sticker wisdom itself.

Nevertheless we don't live in utopia (thank G-d), we live in the US of A and the opposition party needs to be able to summarize its message succinctly.

Steve Benen writes:

"when the typical voter wants to know what the Republican Party is all about, the GOP has these nine words... low taxes, traditional family values, and a strong military."
"Of course, it doesn't matter whether these ideas are good, fair, or even accurate; it's about whether the Republicans have a coherent idea about guiding principles that they take to voters. They do. Dems are making progress -- admitting you have a problem is always the first step -- but I don't think they're there quite yet. I hope they keep trying."
Bright ideas in comments please... (Political Animal)

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