Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dems, Listen to Drew Westen

The Sunday WaPo's Outlook section (sorry, no link) has an interesting, and to-the-point article by Drew Westen, Emory University professor, about why Democrats need to speak to voters from the gut and not with a dispassionate rendering of facts and figures. Westen points out that if Democrats don't connect with the emotional, gut values voters understand and relate to, they will snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in 2008. In making his case, Westen also makes some right-on observations about Dumbya:
"People vote largely with their passions, and if you jam their emotional radar, you prevent them from making emotionally informed decisions. Consider the case of George W. Bush, whose life story telegraphed everything voters needed to know about him: He had dodged the Vietnam-era draft while avidly supporting the war; he had drunk his way through much of his adulthood, even while he had young children at home; he had shown extraordinary incompetence in the business world; his campaign had smeared Sen. John McCain with stories about mental instability and an allegedly illegitimate baby to get Bush through the South Carolina primary in 2000; and he had mocked a fellow born-again Christian whom he put to death as Governor of Texas. The problem was that the Democrats wouldn't tell it."

The Rethugs have understood this now for many decades. As Westen notes, they have rendered the term "liberal" contaminated, while relentlessly going after individual candidates in the rawest emotional terms possible (Willie Horton, Swift Boaters and, as we have predicted, "traitors").

The Democrats should have all the emotion going for them in 2008, with every backward, foul, lying, unconstitutional, hypocritical, obstructionist, criminal, despicable thing the Rethugs have shoved in our faces over the past 6 -- hell, 40 years. How's that for emotions?!

So, are you listening, Democrats?

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