Stand Up Straight-0-22

Stand Up Straight                                Robert Creamer         Dec 2009
          Pretitle:  Listen to your Mother      Subtitle:  How Progressives Can Win

Forward Take Responsibility for Winning, Tom Matzzie,  In every campaign there are two groups of people, those who get it done and those who watch it get done. The goal is to build and use political power to change the world.  MoveOn did this for the 2006 election. The goal was to win enough seats in Congress to win a majority, this is broken down into three tasks. 
  1. There weren't enough competitive House races -- more had to become competitive. They spent about $2 million to open up additional races.  
  2. No other group is working nationally to do this. They recruited 200,000 volunteers and created a novel GOTV campaign.
  3. A lot of competitive races met a lot of money was needed. They did a lot of fundraising with an average donation of $43.
People vote for leaders like GW Bush not because they have been snookered.  They voted for him because they thought they could trust him.  Our job as progressives is to find potential leaders that people can trust and help them get elected.

Introduction   In November 2004 progressive were in a bad way.  This was turned around greatly by 2007 (and even more so by November 2008). This book is dedicated to continuing and extending this move.

C. 1 2004 What Were They Thinking?   Why did so many people who voted for Bush and other conservatives in 2004 switch to progressives in 2006?   It definitely wasn't their own self-interest -- it was their perceived self interest. Progressive need to understand and address the core identities of people. We need to address their need for meaning and purpose, their overall relationship to the world. In order to win, progressive must offer a clear progressive vision for the future. They and Democrats didn't lose the elections of 2004 because they lacked policies and programs. They lost them before because they didn't frame these policies and programs in terms of progressive values. The Kerry campaign announced new policies and programs every other day. The Bush campaign talked about right and wrong, about values. Bush talked about his vision of the future. Progressives need to continually articulate a progressive vision for American progress for America. Progressives need to listen to their mothers and Stand Up Straight.

C. 2 An Historic Opportunity for Political Realignment
Emerting from Our Defensive Crouch  Since the mid-1970s, progressives have been on a ideological depression.  Clinton was successful, but only in the face of dominant conservative values.  From 2000 until 2006 Republicans were totally in control.  It was total defense for progressives.  Democrats won back the House and Senate -- but people did not vote FOR progressives, they voted AGAINST conservatives.

The Two Components of Political Realignment  There are two components of political realignment:
Democrats must forge a set of solid working majority of the electorate that can result in repeated electoral victories.
  • Progressives need to change the fundamental framework for political economic debate political and economic debate. We must project a clear, compelling, progressive vision for the future of America and the world.

  • We have to provide a clear contrast to the right's belief in the unbridled pursuit of individual interest with our commitment to the common good; selfishness versus commitment to others; division versus unity; fear versus hope; that we are all in this together, not "all in this alone."

    We need to give people something to believe in, we have to redefine "common sense".

    When You Have Them on the Run That's the Time to Chase Them   There is a comparison between Gen. George Meade versus Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the United States Civil War. We have won a few from the Republicans, now is the time to strike.

    The 2000 Victory -- Building The Electoral Foundation for Realignment   We have elected Democrats in all areas, even in the South. The chapter ends with a brief outline of what the rest of the book will cover. 

    C3  Getting Up Off the Floor -- The Battle to Stop the Privatization of Social Security  Following the 2004 Elections the Republicans were running high -- their next goal -- dismantling social security. Groups on both sides of the issue started mobilizing. The author was a part of the progressive force.

    The Defining Battle  Social Security is a defining progressive idea in America.  It embodies the progressive ideal that we are all responsible to others, it also effects a dramatic contrast to cold to conservative values, these state that everyone must fend for themselves.  In this chapter he describes the steps that were taken to fight the  Bush Proposal.

    Job #1 -- Develop a Unified Message 
    The 1993 Parallel  Research showed that half of all voters would support "Privatization" but if a suitably phrased message was delivered to them, then this support would be minimized.  The first task was to examine a the previous healthcare debacle in 1993 under President Clinton. The Republicans a made three major points: 1) To undercut the notion that there was a healthcare crisis.  2) To argue that the that the American healthcare system was "best in the world." 3) To convince public opinion that the Clinton cure was worse than the "healthcare disease" -- that it would put in jeopardy "the best healthcare system in the world ."

    Three Strategic Message Objetives  Like the Republicans did in 1993, we had to accomplish three strategic objectives in order to succeed: 

    1) We had to undermine the presumption that there was a Social Security "crisis."  To be completely persuasive we needed to break it into two steps, the first was to state that Social Security would need minor tweaks but to privatize the Social Security Security Trust Fund would make it much worse and to argue that the right wing had fabricated the Social Security crisis,  we needed to explain to the public why the right wing would do so.

    2) We had to repeatedly assert that Social Security was a spectacular success. We had to focus the spotlight on the things people like about Social Security -- things that would be put at risk under the Republican plan.

    3) We had to persuade public opinion that the right wing "cure" to the problems of Social Security was a lot worse than the disease.  Research showed that there were two general arguments that were most compelling.

    These were A -- the president's private privatization plan would cut cut benefits. B -- the president's privatization plan would massively massively increase the deficit.  And in addition to this the AARP began an advertising campaign that emphasized the amount of risk and gambling that the plan entailed.

    Job #2 -- Prevent Democrats From Proposing, Their Own "Solution"  In order for the Republicans to win they need some Democratic support, Democrats couldn't afford any slippage.

    Job #3 -- Take on the Presidential Road-Show  President Bush announced a four month long, 60 event tour. At each of these stops, Americans United organized a counter message. They were able to catch some of the president's supporters in illegal acts, they filed Freedom of Information Requests, they came to Washington DC for press conferences and meetings, and in general would not let the president have any free publicity time.

    Job #4  -- Naming the Battle  One of the most critical points was that they were able to name the proposal. They called it "privatize" Social Security. Research showed that most people would accept "personal accounts" but they did not want to "privatize Social Security."

    Job #5 -- Taking Them on at Home  The organized more than 1200 events in 37 states that were composed angry groups of seniors to confront target members of Congress at town meetings and public appearances. They also got state legislatures and city councils to pass resolutions against privatization, and generated tens of thousands of phone calls letters and e-mails to targeted congressional offices.

    The Turning Point  The final push was before the Senate Finance Committee on April 27, 2005. A 4000 person rally was scheduled, and 140 members of the House in Senate, including the Democratic leadership of both houses, marched into the bleachers at the front of the crowd and pledged not to privatize social Social Security.  This was the final turning point. After that the Bush plan to privatize Social Security was dead. It also signaled the end of the Conservative juggernaut in Washington DC.

    Section II  ADDRESSING Their Self Interest
    C. 4 The Six Categories of Self Interest  Why do working-class whites supported Republicans? According to Tom Frank in his What's the Matter With Kansas there are four possible reasons.

    1. These people are stupid.
    2. They are willing to sacrifice their economic well being for something else that is more important.
    3. Conservative labor leaders divert these people's attention from their economic well-being by inflaming their concerns about other self interests that come to monopolize their political agenda.
    4. Something more fundamental is going on here.
    The author rejects the first because it was his observations convince him that they are not stupid. The second is also false, working-class people don't make make conscious choices to forgo jobs so that they can keep gay people out of their communities. The third is definitely true. Republican leaders and strategists have been very adept at focusing on fear and religious issues, and when Democrats failed to respond in a meaningful way, as they commonly do, the Republicans win. Number four is the real answer. The answer is that humans have a hierarchy of needs; after one need is satisfied, the next one becomes important. The author spent time in a Federal Prison Camp. While he was there it was impressed upon him the reality of this hierarchy of needs. He briefly cites several people who have done research in this area and builds This list into six categories.

    Categories of Self-Interest Needs 
    This list was based on a number of sources. One was a report by the Vera Foundation called "Confronting Confinement" published in 1997 by psychologist Craig Hayney and  Mona Lynch which reviewed many studies conducted since the 1970s and concluded that there "was not a single study of non-voluntary solitary confinement for more than 10 days that the did not document negative psychiatric symptoms in its studies."  Others who have studied in this area are Abraham Maslow and Victor Frankel. 

    C. 5  Physical Needs
      Physiologically humans are programmed genetically to just about anything in order to meet the more most basic physical needs. Adrenaline prepares us for fight or flight. Hunger reminds us to eat. Pain spurs us to action or avoidance. Sex pushes us in many different directions. Our cultures push us to address physical needs mainly through our economic systems and systems such as police or fire departments, health care, and the military.

    Economic Self-Interest  The more income you have, the greater your ability to control your life, order your life, find social approval, and intellectual stimulation. Income is a good predictor of political behavior but it is not 100% accurate. 

    Physical Security  Physical security is very important but much less so in developed societies. However recently conservatives have been very proficient at equating physical security and political behavior.

    C. 6 Control over Your Life 
    We all need to have control over our our own life. He does not mention any difference between right or left in this but is clearly apparent in the 2009 Health Care debate.

    C. 7 The Need for Structure 
    To control the physical universe, we have to understand its structure and laws.
    People fear randomness.  Civil liberties are most at risk when people feel things have lost their structure and predictability. Whenever totalitarianism, dictatorship, or tyranny and take root, they do so on the pretext of grave threat. This pretext is always the perceived need for more order and structure in their society.  It is as Frank says in What's the Matter with Kansas?  Social conservatives have two critical understandings that color every fact they hear or article that they read.
    The author quotes Lakoff, "whoever frames the debate about a controversial area issue, wins." 
    Deep frames form the conceptual structure of the mind.  Frames are changed only through experience and repetition, not through simple argument.

    C. 8 Community, Human Interaction and Affirmation 
    Human beings are pack animals -- they are social, herding animals.   As an aside, all of the other large mammals and mammals that we have managed to domesticate are herding animals except perhaps two, the cat and the ferret. Every other domesticated creature, dogs, hogs, cattle, horses call, water buffalo, sheep, goats, ... are all herding animals.  When you factor in the power of the need for human contact and then add in the sex drive you have the ability to explain a very large percent of the total variability and human activity.

    Progressives need to create a bandwagon effect for progressive points of view, to present leaders who can explain these, and keep repeating these values over and over until they become mainstream. We need to produce leaders who articulate community values.

    C. 9 Intellectual Stimulation 
    All people need some level of intellectual stimulation, we hate boredom.  Political communication must use powerful symbols and be clear and concise without insulting the intelligence of the voters. You must never talk down to voiders but you also shouldn't overestimate how much they care, at least not at the outset.  As political  organizers engaging people's innate curiosity and interest, it's our job to understand all their self interests and engage them.

    C. 10  Meaning, Purpose and Identity 
    People want meaning in life, they want an identity.  On one hand, people want to be part of an organized group, something bigger than themselves. On the other hand they want to stick out, they want to be a leader or an important part of an organization.

    In managing an organization, the most powerful tool to guarantee concerted action is the realization if you want people to be self motivated -- so that they energetically do things on their own without having to be told -- they must be inspired by their own understanding of the significance of what we want them to do. This is the importance of President Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," speech.

    C. 11 From Garbage Cans to the Meaning of Life 
    The author describes his early life as a political organizer in Chicago. At first he was directly opposing many of the initiatives of the "Chicago Machine". After a short period of time he began to see that this "machine" was actually run by useful people doing useful tasks. These precinct captains were in essence a link between Chicago leadership and the populace. In large part the precinct captain kept, or was promoted, in his government job depending upon his precinct's voting performance on Election Day. Whether this type of patronage is extractable is very questionable, the practical matters of running a political organization have been forgotten by many. If you truly wish to serve the people you need to take an interest in and offer to assist them in all of their activities in life. 

    Section III  TARGETS for Communication
    C. 12 Whom Do We Have To Move in Order to Convert This Historic Opportunity into Progressive Realignment? 

    To recap:

    A progressive realignment must include two critical components:
    Both of these goals require that we change people's behavior -- their ways of thinking and their actions as voters.  The critical questions are: whose behavior do we need to change, and whose behavior can we change -- and how. 

    Whom Do We Talk To -- How Do We Change Their Behavior?  If the people we talk to continue to vote the same way, believe the same things, and express the same opinions after we talked to them; we should just give up. We need to evaluate to whom we talk and how we talk to them.

    The Self-Interest Spectrum  The Midwest Academy, which trains progressive organizers, has a simple tool to analyze the actors with whom we should communicate in a particular situation. They used a simple (slightly modified for this use) tool for dividing the actors involved in any issue or electoral campaign in just six groups along the spectrum:
    ---The Analysis--- Fundamentally then, we have five tasks in any issue or electoral campaign
    By placing actors into these categories, and understanding their interest, we are able to able to communicate the right messages to the right targets.

    C. 13 Categories of Message Targets 

    Elections Type -- Persuadables and Mobilizables   
    These are the voters we are targeting in election campaigns. If they do not fall into one of these categories we do not want to waste time or resources on them. 

    Persuadable voters have two characteristics: They generally vote and they are undecided.  These groups are generally among those who share our self interest and don't know it or are in the group of allies whose support for a candidate is not certain.

    Mobilizable voters also have two characteristics: They would support our candidate and they are unlikely to vote unless they are mobilized to do so.  They are generally either in the group which shares our self-interest and know it or they are firmly committed allies. 

    Issue Campaigns Type -- the Decision-Makers  The campaigns are not directed towards voters per se.  For referenda or initiatives they are also voters however generally they are Members of Congress, state legislators, Executive branch personnel, or other public or private officials.

    Additional Progressive Message Targets   For other purposes we may wish to focus on these following groups: Activists, Contributors, Opinion Molders (including Mavens, Connectors, & Salesman), Leaders, Organized Constituencies, or The Press.   A particular person may fall under several categories, it is a essential that we keep them all straight so that we can deliver the right message at the right time.

    C. 14 Activists
      This category includes anyone who takes an active role in political or voluntary or associations of any type .   The key criterion here is the willingness to be be involved in a common voluntary activity.

    Progressive Activist We need to create an army of political activists across America. Cheering at the TV set is fine, but is not useful. We need to create and motivate activists and to structure opportunities for individuals to make contributions.

    Wherewithal and Will  We need to inspire people to become active and we need to help them understand what they can do and how they can do it.

    Creating Different Roles    Since different people have different amounts of time energy and skill, we need to create activities for each possible situation.

    Invest in Training Before potential activists can accomplish anything they need appropriate training and skill development should be addressed early as possible.

    Takes Them to 95th St.   This is an abbreviation for a technique that he has used. We need to move our potential activists along step-by-step. Don't ask them to make large commitments until they have successfully completed smaller commitments.

      Get 'Em While They're Young It is a fairly well known fact that people seldom change their political commitments as they age. It is imperative that we begin recruiting activists and voters as early as we possibly can.

    It Just Didn't Square   Young people bring all sorts of personal experiences and needs with them as they grow up. We need to capitalize on those and use these experiencs to lead into progressive political behavior. The author uses his experience in junior high school demanding better food and his experience in Presbyterian Church to complain about racism and social implications of his religious beliefs.

    The Duke Vigil   Again he uses his  experience to demonstrate how progressive statements can be made. The author was a student at Duke University when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. He discusses the ways in which  this tragedy was used to advance progressive principles.

    Training a New Generation of Progressive Organizers Again, an example,  the author's wife first ran for Congress in 1998, since money was tight they started a "1998 Chicago Campaign School." They received 200 applications, selected the best 15, and put them to work with constant training and supervision. By Election Day they had accumulated and trained 1500 volunteers and 31,000 votes. 

    Swing Constituency Activists   Swing constituencies include people and groups who share our self-interest but don't recognize it, and those in the "allies" category.   Most of our work is the same but there is one big difference, before we can mobilize them we have to convince them that they share a part of our self-interests. 

    We Need to be Agitators In Saul Alinski's terms, an agitator "rubs raw the source of discontent."    The agitator's job is to make sure that everyone sees the injustices that you see. 

    The Coalition Rule  Most people will happily forgive their disagreement with many of your positions on issues if you support them when it comes to the things that matter most to them. However a coalition member will never forgive or forget if you abandon them with respect to their principal self-interests.

    Making Allies Feel Comfortable While working with conservatives on a particular issue, it is very important to make sure that they are comfortable. He uses the example of Bill Gates, Senior, the father of the richest men in the world, as an example when they were trying to oppose Estate Tax repeal.

    Conservative Activists  In many cases you will be forced into direct competition with conservative activists. You will not be able to convince them of the correctness of your cause using any argument whatsoever. They're really only two ways that they can be deactivated. The first is to carefully pick a small battle in which you can win and the second is to completely surround them in an echo chamber of our positions and assumptions. We need to make them feel that they are not mainstream to make them feel isolated.

    C. 15 Contributors
     Raising money is always going to be a problem. There are big-money, high income progressive contributors out there, however there are more conservative contributors. Which puts us at a disadvantage. The Internet is our major answer to this disparity. However it cannot be used to replace big-money donors, merely to augment them. Internet fundraising does not eliminate the critical necessity for publicly funded elections.

    No Way to Run a Political System  The author documents on number of the evils of our current system.

    To Get Public Financing of Elections We Need Candidates Willing to Raise Money
    Unfortunately we cannot wait until we get public financing. We have to operate today under our current laws. To get public financing we will have to support candidates who can raise money under today's laws but who are also dedicated to public financing. Don't waste time with people who are not willing to get out there and money grub.

    Make It Personal A potential donor must believe that the candidate can win -- but that his victory is not such a slam dunk that hit that his contribution will not matter.  For larger donations there are often elements of self interest.  Many times the most important consideration is direct access to the candidate, obviously a phone call from the candidate is the best guarantee of this.

    Inspire Them  The author believes that most donors are intensely practical. They want to support a winner. Hard right donors will never support our candidates, but neither will they support "Republicans-lite". A strong, clear statement of progressive principles will actually help us raise more money, not less.

    C. 16  Option Moulders  This chapter is based upon Malcolm Gladwell's book: The Tipping Point.

    Connectors  Connectors seem to know everyone. They are very social. Whereas most people may have dozens or even hundreds of private friends or acquaintances, connectors have thousands. Connectors love to meet people and to introduce the people they meet to other people. Most people have a core set of strong social ties. But you can only have a limited number of strong ties. Connectors have the same limits but what they have in addition are many weak social ties, people they see or communicate with only periodically.

      Connectors connect people with people, a maven connects people with information. A Maven is obsessed by learning all they can about one or more subject areas, the second is that they are eager to share that information, to be helpful. Many mavens are political mavens, they can be used as major sources of political information. They can also be used to spread political information. They can typically be found by just asking almost anyone "Who knows about local politics around here?" And within a few tries you'll find most if not all the local political mavens.

    Salesmen  Mavens are not persuaders, they think of themselves more as teachers. Gladwell goes into a great deal of discussion regarding salesman. There is a large amount of scientific information as to how and why salesmen are so successful but for our purposes it is enough to know that some people have an intuitive understanding of this process and are excellent salesman. Both the author and Gladwell used Bill Clinton as an example of the super salesman.

    The Function of Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen
      Gladwell discusses what sociologists would refer to as a diffusion model that analyzes spread of a contagious idea, product, or innovation. One diffusion model divides the population into five categories of actors:

    Gladwell argues that once the Innovators came up with a new idea, the Early Adapters were willing to take risks but the Early Majority is much more risk-averse. It is the role of the Connectors, Mavens, and Salesman to transmit these ideas from the Early Adapters to the Early Majority.  In doing this they must be seen as a legitimate and trust-worthy source of information.

    Gladwell uses the example of Howard Dean's run for the presidency.  Dean made heavy use of the Internet early on and was very successful.  However in Iowa, the Kerry campaign had already enlisted most of the local Connectors, Mavens, and Salesman and the Dean supporters were seen as outsiders who could not necessarily be trusted.

    What Causes Tipping Points?  Gladwell argues that there are two distinct factors that cause an idea to spread throughout a culture. The first is that it must be "contagious" -- how easy can it be transmitted, and this second factor is "stickiness" -- once the idea is transmitted to you, how easy is it go infect you and for how long. Is the idea "sticky?"

    A Movement of Hispanic Realignment
      Two examples are given to explain the spread of an idea. The first is the passage of Congressman Sensenbrenner's Immigration Bill that made felons out of all 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and anyone who knowingly help them. This so enraged hispanics and others to whom civil rights are important that protests spread across the county very rapidly. The second was the winning campaign of Harold Washington to become the first black mayor of Chicago.

    C. 17 Leaders
     There is only one quality that separates leaders from all others, a leader has followers.

    Progressive Leaders
      The number one strategic goal is very simple: we need to elect, promote, recruit, and train large numbers of progressive leaders who have the skills to project the qualities necessary to make Americans follow them. The reason is simple. Most people do not follow ideas or ideologies or positions, they follow people -- living, breathing human beings.

    Training and Recruiting Leaders  At present, there is not a body of theory and a large number of engineering tables that can be used by a progressive leader. What's we have is experienced practitioners who can be called on to train novices. So our goal is not to teach a theory but rather to give the learner a large number of potential answers along with some rules as to when to use them. The author posts three specific tactics that will help Progressives produce more progressive leaders.

    Leaders Who Are -- or Could Be -- Progressive Allies  These are leaders within organizations that are not normally allied with progressives. However for specific purposes common cause can be made with them and they could prove invaluable to us.  An important factor is that as a leader, they have followers.

    Asking Followers to Enlist Leaders As Progressive Allies
    This is very similar to the previous category, however here we are asking the followers directly and pushing them to get their leader to go along with our ideas.

    Getting Leaders and Followers to Reinforce Each Other
      Something is going on that you don't like. You invite some leaders to give a talk about this problem. Then you publicize the event so that many people come. The leaders may know very little about the subject but they will have to learn something to talk. The public probably knows little about the subject either, but since the leaders are speaking about this, it is probably important. They will ask the leaders questions which further convinces the leaders that the subject is important. The author used this technique and invited two Congressmen to speak on mortgage redlining. The end result is that the Congressmen came away convinced that the community was concerned and the community was convinced that the Congressmen were concerned. This is primarily a sneaky way of mobilizing both leaders and followers.

    The Cockroach Theory of Lobbying   The idea here is that if you see one cockroach in your kitchen you assume there are thousands more behind the walls. Normally a very small percentage of constituents contact to their legislators. If you can get a number to contact their legislator on a particular issue the legislator is very likely to think that there are many, many, more who are concerned about this issue.

    Leaders of the Opposition
       Conservative leaders are not going to support our ideas. The only weapons we have are to defeat them and to demoralize them.

    Hang One in the Public Square
       This idea comes directly from Machiavelli in The Prince. You don't have to hang all of your opponents. You just need to hang one in the public square. We don't have these particular alternatives available to us today, but we can take a particularly vulnerable member of the opposition and make life miserable for him. Another tactic is find one of the opposition who is notably thin skin, sometimes known as squealer's, they are members with a low threshold for political pain, they make sure everybody knows they are unhappy. This can cause a great deal of demoralization among the members of the enemy camp.

    Fomenting Division between Opposition Leaders
       The conservative coalition has a major, and unstable, fault line between the upper income economic conservatives and the lower income social conservatives. This can very often be pushed to create dissension within their ranks. 

    C. 18  Constituency Groups  Constituency groups are very important in politics, some examples are race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, occupation, marital status, sexual orientation, and religion.

    Blue Demographics
       Several demographic groups are very important to Democrats, these are ethnic minorities, immigrants, knowledge workers, people living in metropolitan areas, single women, and younger voters -- 30 years of age and younger typically vote Democratic.   Older white males and people who attend church regularly typically vote for Republicans.

    When dealing with constituency groups, the most important thing you can do is simply "show up". You need to go to their dinners, their meetings, their festivals, and simply take an interest in their activities. The next thing is to communicate with them in language and symbols to which they can relate. Use Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen from the group to translate our messages to that group. Go to the group and ask their leaders what you can do to assist them in their problems. Their leaders can be asked to join "ethnic councils" or "labor advisory boards" or other venues which advised a candidate or officeholder.   If you have identified yourself with a constituency group and side with them when times are difficult they will remember this for a long time.

    Progressive Constituencies   Just a simple list of the usual Democratic constituencies and the suggestion that we support them all.

    The Secret of How to Turn White, Male Gun Owners into Democrats (Hint, It's a Five Letter Word)
       The word is union. One of the reasons why conservatives are so anti-union is that unions are one of the biggest recruiting areas for Democratic votes.

    Swing Constituencies -- Allies   He mainly discusses religious groups in this section.

    Other Swing Constituencie
       In the authors point of view these are smaller, primarily employment groups, that are not necessarily allined with either party on a consistent basis. However in specific fights they can be valuable allies. Some of these are pharmacists, artists, nurses, teachers, doctors, lawyers, pilots, farmers, milk producers, social workers, and insurance agents. 

    Opposition Constituencies
       In the past Democrats have been far too willing to write off specific groups as being  "Republican". Many are, especially the older ones, but younger members of the group may very well be more progressive, and can be convinced to vote for progressive candidates.

    C. 19  Earned Media -- The Press.   Members of the media have a unique and powerful role in shaping the political, economic, and cultural bylaw in the United States.   For this reason they have to be treated appropriately by campaigns.

    Self Interests of the Media
       Members of the media have specific self interests that are important, here are eight of them.  

    What Makes Something Newsworthy? What makes an event newsworthy?   One of the techniques that he has used is a "fly around", the author is a pilot and he has used something like a "In a five city fly around to release a new report..."  Another technique is used is to take over news events sponsored by conservatives.

    Which Media Influences the Voters?
      The author presents the results of a study which determine the relative importance of media sources for voters. The results were 1) Local TV, 2) Cable News Networks, 3) Newspapers, 4) Network News,  and 5) Radio.

    Uses of Radio  Even though radio is the least important of the sources of order information, it can be very useful in certain circumstances. This is very true in communities with Hispanic and other immigrants where other media coverage is limited.

    Small-Town and Rural Media
      In rural areas where big city coverage is quite limited, people often get most of  their information on state and national scene on TV but local news will be covered strictly by the local radio station or weekly newspaper.

    Creating the Echo Chamber   One of our key strategic goals is to surround swing voters and our opponents with an echo chamber reflecting our values and positions -- to create a sense that our views represent the consensus of the mainstream. These can include Letters to the Editor, Blogs, Articles in neighborhood or alternative papers, and Call-ins to radio talk shows.

    Using Base Media to Affect the Broader Political Dialogue
      He makes the point that far-right talk show radio seems to work better for Conservatives than it does for Liberals.   However blogs and YouTube seem to work better for Progressives.

    The War Room A communications center for the 1992 Clinton campaign was set up by James Carville and Paul Begala to instantly counter Republican statements or to observe developing situations and immediately frame a position on them.

    C. 20 Persuadable and Mobilizable Voters
      Persuadable voters are voters that have two characteristics: they are likely to vote, and they are undecided. 

    Mobilizeable voters also have two characteristics: they support our candidate, but they are unlikely to vote unless we mobilize them to go to the polls.  

    In an election, persuadable and mobilizeable voters are never the same people -- and our communication, which sees two distinct groups has two different goals.  Our message to the persuadables is intended to convince them to vote for our candidate when they cast their ballot.  Our message to mobilizables is not intended to convince them to vote for our candidate.  By definition they are already likely to support our candidate. Our message to mobilizables is intended to convince them to go to the polls and cast a ballot -- to take action.

    In elections, the subject of a campaign's persuasion message is the candidate.  The subject of the mobilization message is the voter we are trying to motivate.   In the campaign you constantly hear the media, the pundits, and even political consultants tell us what the message is perhaps the economy, national security, education, or taxes. This is never true. The subject of a campaign message is never an issue, or even a problem. The subject of a persuasion message is always the same the candidate. It's all about which candidate will be elected to the office.

    C. 21  The Nine Qualities    These are the nine major candidate qualities that stand out as most important in persuading undecided voters to support candidates.

    Quality #1 -- Is the Candidate on My Side? Will the candidate stick up for me, fight for me, help me achieve my goals?   Partisan voters have already made up their minds on this point, as an example it took the combined policies of FDR and JFK to convince African-Americans to vote for Democrats rather than Republicans after the Civil War.  Different factors determine who appears to be "On My Side".  A "conflicted" voter will move one way or another depending upon which set of their own self interests they feel is most important at that particular time and place. It has a lot to do with who is controlling the political dialogue at the time of the election.  The competing candidate who frames the symbols most successfully has an obvious advantage.

    Quality #2 -- Does the Candidate Have Strongly Held Values -- Is He Committed to Something Other Than Himself?    Voters want leaders who want to serve in public office, who want to lead him because they believe in something other than their own personal advancement for status.  Appearing to be a leader who has strong core values, stands up for something and talk straight is not just the right thing to do. It is also good politics. He maintains many examples some of their these are McCain, JFK, Al Gore, John Kerry and others.

    Quality #3 -- Is the Candidate a Strong, Effective Leader?  Being a good leader is important, but not as important as being on your side.  People would rather have a weak leader who is on their side than a strong leader who is against them -- and they should.  He gives the examples of Dukakis versus Bush in 1988 and Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    Quality #4 -- Is the Candidate Self Confident?    This is the point that the Republicans have used extremely successfully over the years.  Republicans have been quick to accuse and Democrats have been very, very slow to respond.

    Quality #5 -- Does the Candidate Respect Me?   Voters will  forgive many elapses in a candidate but one they will not forgive is being respected.  The author gives a very nice quotation from President Abraham Lincoln illustrating this point.

    Quality #6 -- Do the Voters Like or Make An Emotional Connection with the Candidate?   This is one of the most problematical things for many candidates. Many politicians are seemingly born with this ability, others are not. Just compare Al Gore in 2000 to Bill Clinton. It is very difficult to change your basic personality. The author gives a number of points that anyone can use:

    Quality #7 -- Does the Candidate Have Integrity?   We all want our leaders to be honest, both of their public and personal lives. Unfortunately, lack of integrity is much easier to demonstrate than integrity is.  To counter this a candidate has to be extremely careful in their private and public life. All it takes is one event to ruin a career.

    Quality #8 -- Does the Candidate Have Vision?   The author uses several examples, George H W Bush's bid for reelection was undermined by what he called "The Vision Thing," John Kennedy and Bill Clinton were both very successful in using this.  In 2002 the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee  decided to focus local campaigns on local issues instead of national priorities.  They lost a lot of seats in Congress.

    Quality #9 -- Does the Candidate Inspired Me?   The author breaks leadership into two types,  the first, Transactional Leadership involves exercising the normal everyday tasks of leading, managing time, setting objectives, teambuilding, etc. The second he calls,  Transforming Leadership.  It is leadership that builds on people's need for meaning -- that instills institutional purpose.   He uses Richard Nixon or Herbert Hoovert as examples of transactional leadership.  He uses people such as Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy as examples of transforming leadership.

    A similar analysis can be made for evaluating political parties.  If candidates are running in part on their affiliation with the party, the party as a whole has to be seen as having many of these same attributes. 

    C. 22 Six Motivational Messages for GOTV   There are three major reasons why people do not vote.
    Messages about voter mobilization are not about a candidate or party or political movement. They are about the feelings and attitude of the voter himself and his or her relationship to the election and the society in general.

    GOTV Message #1 -- Your Vote Matters -- It's Closer Than You Think   Many people will not vote if they think the election results are a foregone conclusion. That is why many candidates stress the issue that the election is quite close.

    GOTV Message #2 -- Inspiration  Addressing this basic human need for meaning is the major component of the formula for voter mobilization -- and social mobilization in general.

    GOTV Message #3 -- Fear Resolved into Anger   Fear itself is counterproductive, it is immobilizing. However it can be useful to use fear to get people angry and want to do something about it.

    GOTV Message #4 -- It's Us Versus Them  Football teams (and others) sell themselves as members of the community, they become "our" team and we all cheer for "our" winners.  As a political party we need to engender this sort of an atmosphere.  "Our" team needs to win and "our" stars need to score the winning touchdown. 

    GOTV Message #5 -- "Let's Git "Em"  It's about punishing them for their sins in the past.  They stole the election, their projects took the money that should have gone to our kid's education, etc.  We need to throw them our and put in people who will carry our our desires.

    GOTV Message #6 -- "I Won't Get off Your Porch until You Vote"   "I will knock on your door, call you, pass you leaflets, and continued to do it unto you vote." You need to just continue going back to that person time and time again until they actually vote.

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