Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Democrats Reframe!

I don't get why the voters don't get that the rich need to pay more taxes.  And that the wealthy shouldn't get to pass on their wealth to kids that haven't earned it.

I believe it really must speak to our indoctrination of what we believe America should be.  The land of the free means we get to keep what we got, which is why the charge of "socialism" is so heinous.

We can't seem to fight back by pointing out that people are dying from lack of or inadequate health care, or that people have lost their homes because they lost their jobs because corporations are buying cheap labor in third world countries.

Morality doesn't seem to have anything to do with this fight.

Whenever the republic party senses that they are losing a battle, they immediately sic their promotional/advertising powerhouses on the problem.  They have lots of them, and they are highly motivated to solve this problem, because the problem has everything to do with power and money, and this is what they do, and, as Mike Steele would say, how they roll.

We are always, always caught running behind in these fights.  Take the abortion battle.  We had to come up with pro-choice after the anti-abortionists framed the battle as being "pro-life" (which made us "anti-life").  Pro-choice just doesn't compare dynamically with pro-life.

And then there was the estate tax, which brought to mind, well, estates.  So it became the "death tax", which brings to mind images of the grim reaper taking your life savings along with your last breath.  And we haven't come up with a better way to advertise the estate tax.  If you talk to plain old ordinary people, i.e. voters, about this tax, they will probably refer to it as the "death tax", because it's just simpler than the phrase "estate tax".  We are all familiar with death, less so with estates.

So we have voters who are terrified of the national debt, and more terrified of taxation.  At this point, I don't think the republic party has come up with a catchy phrase for their side.  They are just repeating ad nauseum the threat that if taxed, the wealthy won't be able to give us jobs.  It is lame, and it doesn't have a catchy ring to it.

Now is the time to get our best and our brightest to work on this problem.  Ex republicans like David Brock and Arianna Huffington would be able to grasp the problem in an instant.  We need some private meetings in some smoke-free rooms.  And then we need to spread the word, the word being the bright new liberal catch-phrase for taxing the wealthy.  We need to make sure that everyone from Harry Reid to Keith Olbermann to Stephen Colbert to Ben Bernanke to Oprah has that phrase on their lips.  We need to make it a household word.

Because what we should have learned by now, is that it is not about the issue, it is about the packaging.

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