For twenty years, Democrats have been using the phrase “when they go low, we go high” to address dirty political tricks and smears by Republicans.  John Kerry thought he could win by keeping his head out of the Karl Rove political gutter.  Al Gore refused to return vicious attacks by Republicans when he ran for President.  Hilary Clinton mostly refrained from the vulgar name calling and smears that formed the core of Trump’s presidential campaign.  They all lost.

A feel-good catch phrase isn’t enough to inform our actions in the political arena, especially if we want to win.  Democrats need to have an agenda, drive it home, and hit back hard when attacked and smeared.  Calling a racist “a racist” isn’t going low.  It’s stating an important fact.  When Trump lies through his teeth about an obviously provable fact, calling him a liar isn’t going low.  It’s stating a fact.  There’s a huge and important difference between being blunt and going low.  There’s a huge and important difference between being angry and going low.  There’s a huge and important difference between being aggressive and going low.  Democrats need to get a lot better at political fighting, because we’re going to need every advantage we can get.  We don’t need to invent lies out of thin air like Trump does.  But we also don’t need to sugar-coat or kid-glove our political characterizations.

The Republican party has become a party of con-men who sell bullshit to average Americans while fleecing them to benefit the billionaires who fund their political campaigns.  They have no remaining principles nor values, but whenever one of them tries to play those cards, we should say “you supported an admitted pussy-grabber, so shut the hell up.”  That’s not going low.  That’s telling the ugly truth.

As long as we frame political discourse as going high versus going low, we are going to feel morally superior while continuing to lose.  Instead, we need to frame our political discourse in different terms.  Aggressive, not passive.  Angry, not just distressed or concerned.  “We value the blunt, unvarnished truth.”  This is just a shaky start, but you get the point…

We also need to articulate a positive vision of what we want to do for voters.  A great article from Ronald A. Klain in the Washington post discusses three elements of a winning strategy for the midterms:

As we barrel toward the midterms with Antonio Delgado as our chosen candidate, our main co-challenges are to increase Democratic turnout while lowing Republican enthusiasm.  Messaging on social media will be important, and we must convey the dire consequences we face if we fail to take back the House this November.  Here’s a good meme to start with…

Today is a national day of action to Keep Families Together.  There is a large protest planned in Kingston at 1pm at 420 Broadway, so please join area activists if you can.  Let’s keep working to Fire Feckless Faso…

One thought on “Day 526 – Reframing Low vs High

  1. No, no, no. All wrong. The best way to destroy this criminal, cruel gang of pompous goons is to humiliate them. Make fun of them, ridicule them, tell them what morons they are, ask them if it’s true what you read on their agency’s web page that their favorite dessert is dried cat shit, why are they the lowest paid person in the administration, and why does Trump keep calling him/her a sexual deviant?

    Well, you can do better than that, but you get the idea. We know who they really are: frauds.


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