I’ve been very critical (recently and historically) of many Democrats (especially those who set messaging strategy) for doing a poor job at communicating and connecting with people outside the “choir”. In spite of disastrous election results over the most recent decade for Dems nationwide, coupled with consistent evidence that Dems are ignoring the most recent and best cognitive science on messaging, they continue to follow the old, failed playbook on messaging.
In spite of best efforts to provide new ideas and promote positive change in messaging strategies, I (and others) have been shunned, ignored, and even attacked personally by those who benefit from the status quo. I’ve even been told by several higher ups in DPW that I should refrain from saying negative things about Democratic strategy. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if I see someone who’s about to get hit by a truck, I’m not going to just stand there and watch it happen. I’m going to speak up. So today, here are six things Dems can easily do right now to more effectively evoke progressive values and start connecting with people through values:
1. Start with acknowledging that conservatives BELIEVE they are acting morally, and that all politics are moral. Conservatives communicate their moral system all the time – progressives must start to communicate theirs. Simply put, it’s authoritarian, hierarchical self-interest vs. empathy, caring for others, and community. And most people accept and live out both moral worldviews – just not at the same time. We are more alike than different.
2. Issues are not values. Conservatives care about the same things progressives do, they just have a different moral approach to get to their policy positions. Just because you talk about a progressive “issue”, does not mean that you are communicating (much less evoking) your progressive values based on empathy. Start with values based on empathy first – because that’s the foundation of what you care about.
This is an excerpt from Frame for the Future’s “Daily Dose”, a daily blog on progressive values and current events for subscribers. To read the rest of the article, learn more about how to communicate your values effectively, and for more information, about subscriptions, go to http://www.frame4future.com/subscribe