Response to Republican negativity.
The first thing we need to do is stop letting Republican commentators
and letter writers get away with telling lies about Democrats and
shading the facts so that they are favorable to Republicans and hurtful
towards Democrats. We must counter their arguments with facts if
we have them. It is always useful to show that your opponent is
lying or just doesn't know the truth. However many topics don't
involve specific details that can be countered with a single fact or
two. For these you need to show how their arguments violate the
beliefs that our American democracy is founded. For these you
typically don't need to go much farther than the documents of our
founding, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
You can go farther on this, Jeffrey
Feldman has written a book, Framing The Debate
, in which he analyzes a part of a speech of several presidents and shows the ideas in them can be used.
Make a positive statement.
A better approach is to make a positive statement and let the
Republicans respond to you. Becides being a better approach
politically, we who live in small rural communities have an additional
benefit. The Republican is generally top down. Their "top"
is in Washington DC, they aren't going to respond to us. Larger
communities will have more literate commentators but their aren't a lot
in rural eastern Washington who are accostomed to expressing themselves
in print. Most of those who do express themselves so poorly that
they end up making points for the Democratic side.
In terms of exactly what to say, there are a number of good sources for
ideas. My web site has a major area entitled "Book Reports" that
contains my notes on the books that I have read recently. Four
books in there are very explicit in terms of what nationally known
Democrats are thinking and their ideas of where we should be going.
These are Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed's The Plan: Big Ideas for America
and James Carville and Paul Begals's Take it Back.
These contain specific, platform like, ideas. Cognitive Scientist George Lakoff has published two, fairly short, books, "Don't Think of an Elephant
", and "Thinking Points
These two books explain the differences between Republicans and
Democrats and how this understanding can help us make our arguements.
One thing we need to keep in mind is that we are not arguing with the
person who is making the comments. We are using our platform to
make the argument to the independents, the bi-conceptuals. The
writer is too convinced that he is right to change his mind. We
just need to counter their agruments and make out own to the
I will attempt to get copies of the appropriate Democratic Party Platforms and other material that could be useful.