Friday, March 25, 2005

050107 Progressive Posting

An update to my recent email:

Schedule Clarification—the next meeting of Phil Pollner’s MultiParty Progressive group is Saturday the 15th at 11am (not tomorrow).

The Framing session on the 5th by the PDD (Progressive Democrats of Delaware) was wonderful. It began with the viewing of a DVD by George Lakoff, author of Don’t Think of an Elephant. Afterwards I joined a breakout group that included Green Delaware’s Alan Muller and State Representative candidate John Kowalko. We came up with the tag line for progressive health care of “Healing America—Securing Quality Healthcare through Restoring Integrity, Honesty, and Access”. Despite our best non-verifiable voting irregularities, ours was not selected as the best ;-( I am attaching a PDF file with the 3 page handout from the training session. I have a few notes:

When taxes are portrayed as bad (requiring relief) turn the discussion to point out that taxes are investments, ones that have yielded dividends including highways, national institute of health, the federal reserve board, public schools, the internet. When conservatives claim to own values, stress that liberals believe in values such as empathy, responsibility, strength, fairness, opportunity, open communication, cooperation, freedom, trust, and caring. When conservatives portray them as the protectors of America, point out that Liberals believe in protection, of the environment, of worker safety, retiree security, health care for Americans. Use ‘ending pregnancy’ rather than abortion, permitting women to control their own lives. When gay marriage is raised, point that marriage isn’t what is sacred in the US, love and commitment is. Marriage isn’t defined as being between a man and a woman, but rather marriage is a lifelong commitment of love between two people, and liberals are dedicated to preserving this deep family value. Lakoff notes that conservatives use (resort to) Orwellian language (clean skies act, Patriot Act, …) it indicates that they are weak, and that a good tactic is to attack by renaming (dirty skies act or smokestack protection act, Big Brother Act, Trust No One Act, Spread Fear Act, …). Lakoff notes that there are more liberal Christians than conservative Christians, but that conservative Christians are far more politically active, and that liberals must strengthen religion/politics ties. Finally, as conservatives are attracted to the ‘strict father’ model of government (and given the wealth of ammunition), liberals can succeed at pointing out where Bush has been weak (weak on our soldiers (think humvee armor, boots on the ground), weak on the economy (I love the phrase ‘birth tax’), weak on international relations, etc).

Given my (day job) interest in the economy, I am very attracted to the ‘birth tax’ concept, as a potentially powerful wedge to bring swing voters and moderates to liberal candidates. I think that all Americans can appreciate how Georgie has created a substantial tax for every American with his budget deficits, and that this birth tax is awful for our country and children. The country needs Birth Tax Elimination, and Birth Tax Elimination clearly isn’t possible with a Republican majority in Congress, or a Republican in the White House. That’s my rally cry!

I have also included a two page writeup of some critical proposed legislation related to Redistricting in Delaware, shared by a representative of Common Cause Delaware. The current redistricting process relies on close-door horse trading. The proposal is for an amendment to Delaware’s constitution to create a non-partisan commission, public hearings, and the elimination of special powers to incumbent legislators. Fresh Air Redistricting is done in 19 states in the US. We can’t be the first, but we can be the next!

Mark your calendar for Wednesday February 2nd at 7pm at Democratic Party HQ near the News Journal building. This monthly meeting of PDD will feature Jeffrey Feldman, author of The Feldman Diaries and Frameshop.

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