DEMOCRATS, Listen Up: You Need A New Media Approach, Try This One On For Size. 
ISN'T THE OBAMA AND DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGNS FOCUSING ON THE WRONG THING?
RECENTLY I SUBMITTED AN ARTICLE FOR PUBLICATION on the Coffee Party USA website hoping to catch the attention of Democratic and Obama campaign operatives, not likely, but, as the song says, I have "high hopes". While I am waiting for a response, I thought I would turn it into a hub and see what reaction I get to it here.
TAKING YOUR EYE OFF THE BALL
THIS ARTICLE IS ACTUALLY THE SECOND in a series offered for publication in the Coffee Party’s newsletter, continuing a theme which I sincerely hope those in the President Obama and the National Democratic campaigns will find thought provoking, intriguing, and worth looking into further (I have no doubt they are avid readers of Coffee Party publications, after all). These presentations will be analytical in nature using facts and logic in such a way as to support an emotionally compelling reason for the public to reject the conservative ideology and accept the Democrat’s policies as the better choice. It is my firm belief that it is those words which I underlined that will sway a voter one way or another rather than the ones which were italicized, even though people say facts and logic are very important to them.
It is sad to realize, especially for someone of my background, that fact-based arguments will almost always be trumped by ones based on emotion, unless those facts are simple, believable, understandable, and have been recently experienced. Logic, however, will always lose to emotion, hands-down. Nevertheless, if you use facts and logic in a supporting role to make an emotional argument, you might end up with a winner. This article explores one such possible idea for the Democratic campaign media experts to sink their collective teeth into.
First though, I would like to expand on a more general observation - both the Obama and National Democratic teams appear to be focusing on the wrong goal; just like President Bush did when he took his eyes off the War on Terror and pursued Iraq. At the moment, from where I sit, the Democrats have taken a page from Bush’s flawed military strategy and split their forces. Democrats seem to be striking out here and then there and fighting, for the most part, a defensive war, trying to defend on multiple fronts when, in reality, there is only one front and one on which they should be on the offensive; the conservative vs. the progressive ideology. There is no other game in town and that is the one the conservatives are playing. Rather than concentrating on this decisive issue in innovative and eye-catching ways, many Democratic media teams are spinning tales about being rich, releasing tax returns, overseas accounts, Bain Capital, horse dancing, water jetting while vacationing or other such insignificant policy issues; it doesn’t make sense to me. What makes sense to me is to get people not to vote for conservative candidates because the conservative way of running the country doesn’t work, it never has, and to get voters TO vote for progressive candidates because our way HAS work. What is more, it is soooo easy to show both cases in living color and in so many different ways to the people !
ASIDE: I am not saying the Democrats haven’t come out with some zingers, they definitely have, such as the one with Romney singing America the Beautiful while showing images of jobs being outsourced … perfect!
BACK ON POINT: It is my considered political opinion that the Democrats have taken their collective eye off the ball, in this case, if you don’t mind a little hyperbole, the War on Conservatism. It isn’t Mitt Romney that is the problem, after all, he is actually a moderate Republican in conservative’s clothing; instead it is the conservative ideology which is the problem, for it drives a political behavior that history, in my opinion, has suggested is itself harmful to America; and an economic policy that I can prove has definitely failed this country throughout the 1800s and again in the 2000s. Simply said, if you want a functioning government again, you have to defeat conservatism and not Romney, Boehner, Ryan, or other individuals. And, to defeat conservatism, you must attack conservatism at its core, its principles; you must show, at an emotional, yet non-hyperbolic way, how conservative principles have failed America in the last 215 years going all the way back to their fight against the ratification of the Constitution.
TO SHOW WHY PROGRESSIVISM IS THE BETTER CHOICE OVER CONSERVATISM, ONE MUST CONSIDER HISTORY
THERE IS NO QUESTION THE CONSERVATIV VERSION of the American Dream is a very powerful and appealing one, after all, Americans kept conservatives in complete control of Congress for 82 (37%) of the 224 years of its history while it split Congress for another 44 (20%) years. Keep in mind the U.S. Constitution was almost "not" ratified because of the "exact same" arguments that are being made by conservatives today; therefore, their philosophy has very deep roots in American culture indeed. In fact, the Federalist’s, those who believed in the Constitution, zenith ended with George Washington and John Adams. It ended when they backed the English in their war with France and when President Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Act. As a result, around 1801, the Federalist Party literally disappeared and so did the progressive political philosophy until Abraham Lincoln arrived on the scene and brought it permanently back into play again.
With only a few short exceptions, conservatives, known as Democrats then, ruled America both in terms of social conventions and economic philosophy for many decades. That is why so many Native Americans died (see Justice Breyer’s book, Making Democracy Work, for examples) and slavery expanded during their reign (refer to any history book). There were simply not enough progressives in government to effect social change. After a time, Whigs (progressives) (1837 – 1855) made a few feeble attempts at social reform but the breakthrough didn't come until the Republicans and Abraham Lincoln (1861) swept into office as America's first effective social progressive. Economically, however, conservative economics was still the only economic philosophy America knew even though it continued to lead to those nasty 2008-type recessions and depression that occurred every 4 to 5 years. It really wasn’t until 1937, when macroeconomics was merged with microeconomics; thus creating a more complete theory of how an economy works, and then applying it to the American economic system did we leave the conservative economic model behind and begin using the Keynesian model.
So why am I giving you a history lesson? Because I think you, along with the Obama and Democratic message managers, need to provide one to those whom you try to influence! Why is this so important to me, why would it be worth spending some of the Obama and Democratic campaign treasure on these sorts of ads? Because this is the version of the American Dream conservatives wish to have America follow once more; one where many of our social and economic advances will be rolled back, and we must educate America as to why they don’t want to go back to those times by reminding them, through history, what those times were like and asking them this question … “Are you better off now, than you great grandfather was then?” and “Do you want to live like your great grandfather?, then elect a conservative.”, all the while showing the appropriate graphics.
I have spent quite a few words only to lead up to a very quick ending, in order not to turn this article into a book, which it would be very easy to do. I felt it was a necessary preamble to introduce two
simple charts I used in a book soon to be published on American recessions and depressions. They are historical charts that I believe could be taken by the media magicians and used to great effectiveness. Why? Because in one simple picture, it shows you why the conservative, or as Ron Paul would say, the Austrian School of economic theory (the part that stands out to the left of central spike) is such a dismal failure!
I show two charts because I want the reader to know I am not pulling any fast ones. The top chart is a picture of all recessions of any note from 1815 to 2008; regardless of the reason for the recession (recession includes depressions and panics). Each spike represents one recession with the height of the spike indicating the magnitude and the width, the approximate duration from top of the economic cycle to the bottom.
The bottom chart represents only those recessions which can be blamed on the kinds of things that caused the 1929 depression or 2008 recession. It is this chart that is most important; the first chart is only offered to show that I didn’t count those economic downturns caused by war or other external reasons like oil embargos.
Now, if you count the number of spikes between the first big spike in 1815 and the last one in 1929, you will find you have 23 spikes in 114 years; that works out to one notable recession, depression, or panic every 4.9 years!! That is the conservative economic record, which they were starting up again in 2008, of which they are so proud. If you do the same count after 1929, you find only one notable recession every 10 years and no major recessions, depressions, or panics. That is the progressive, or Keynesian, economic record – all in one chart.
OK, I need to add a third chart.
To me, charts like this speak volumes and make extremely clear which economic system I want for America, the system before the big spike in the center (1929) or the system in place after that, and before the spike at the end (2008). By the way, the red line bouncing around at the top is my estimation of the economic “conservativeness” of the Administration/Congress at that point in time. The red and blue bar at the bottom was whether a conservative or progressive administration held power at that point.
To you, those charts may hurt your eyes at the moment, but put in the right hands, they wouldn’t; instead they could tell the same story to you as they do to me, which is like preaching to the choir, I hope, but, more importantly, to the rest of the unbelieving public; the ones the Democrats must absolutely convince who has the correct answer. And, they could tell it in a way that isn’t being done today, through the eyes of history, which, I would argue, is the only way to show that, in the long-term the economic philosophy of conservative ideology fails America; I simply don’t see how you can convincingly do it any other way and still keep people from voting to have history repeat itself.
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