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October 31, 2005

Always Add the "Because"

-- by Dave Johnson

I added my two cents to the discussion following Kos's post The showdown finally arrives. Kos says that the Right is forcing a showdown over this new Supreme Court pick, and,

This is a gift to Democrats. Katrina, massive budget deficits, and continued economic hardship have proven that Republicans can't govern. Iraq, Plame, and Osama Bin Laden have proven that Republicans can't run an effective foreign policy or protect our nation. Now Scalito, along with Bush's social security debacle, will prove to the American people that conservative ideology doesn't have their best interests at heart.

Let the debate begin.

I agree, but we need to do it right. I left the following as a comment:

One of the effective arguments about the Katrina disaster was that people tied it to something deeper. By tying the Katrina mess to underlying ideological ideas we were able to point out that Bush and the Right have failed the country in a more fundamental way.

Yes, Bush appointed cronies. Yes, Bush's administration wasn't ready, etc. But -- and here is the important thing -- people added the word BECAUSE, and tied it all to something more fundamental. And this was effective. Bush wasn't ready to respond to Katrina BECAUSE Republicans don't believe in government. Bush appointed cronies BECAUSE Republicans don't believe in government. People suffered and died after Katrina BECAUSE we need government and that is the primary thing government DOES.

See what I mean? When we are criticizing Republicans on narrow issues we should always tie our criticisms to make a point about how Progressive values are better than conservative values. We should learn to always drive the deeper point home. We should always be arguing that Progressive values are better for people than conservative values.

That's what the conservatives do, and it works.

Discuss. (See also Frameshop)

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 31, 2005 10:19 AM

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Exactly. Pointing out all the things that have gone wrong aren't enough, you need to explain why they went wrong under BushCo.

And just as an extra: psychological studies have discovered that if you ask someone to do something, they're much more likely to do so if you give a reason. Any reason.

"May I borrow your pen?" is less effective than "May I borrow your pen, because I really need a pen". We're asking people to open their mind to an idea.

It's a little different when you're selling ideas, as opposed to, say washing machines. But I imagine the principle holds true.

When you make a point in a discussion, you're asking for the person to give a moment to consider an idea. If you give a "because", you give them an added incentive to do so. After that, the idea will sink or swim on it's merit and whether the person was willing to actually consider the idea.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Dr. Laniac [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 31, 2005 11:29 AM

Let me try!
"Most of the Democrats in the House and Senate
seem to lack the will to resist
the Republican attack on the Constitution,
because the funds required for
an effective political campaign
have almost invariably resulted
in Democrats who are beholden
to the same deep-pocket
mega-corporate masters
that the Republicans serve.

(I wish I could believe it isn't true...)

"Greed = Evil" J C

Posted by: Demublucan Repocrat at November 1, 2005 4:58 AM

There used to be SOME merit to that argument. But recent campaign finance laws have changed that now. Democrats CAN'T get oney from corporate sources anymore. And you see the Democrats changing.

The other thing that is changing is that regular people started showing up at Democratic Party meetings and voting, and that's how Dean got it.

The party is undergoing big changes all for the better.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 8:58 AM

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