Friday, April 08, 2005

Progressive Update--4/8/2005

Common Core Values, Properly Framed are the Key—Progressives have far more in common with middle America than does the religious right and conservative Republicans. What we failed to do in 2004 was to ‘lead with the bridge’, talk first about our ideals, our core values. This enables us to build common ground with our audience, and only after achieving consensus do we proceed to strategy and policy. This is done most effectively with the use of metaphors, or frames, as written about by George Lakoff (and his book Don’t Think of an Elephant), and Jeffrey Feldman (

The FrameShopIsOpen site offers us tools to effectively respond to questions on current issues, such as the Social Security trust fund, fascism in America, and most recently, on how Democrats are different from Republicans. It offers an Elevator Speech. To effectively turn the tide, progressives need to unify our message, and permanently rise above the fact-only level.

Therefore, in political discussions, letters to the editor, etc, identify the highest ideal that supports your issue, and lead with this ideal. Only after you have tried to gain consensus on the ideal should you travel down to how your issue supports the ideal.

Blogs, Blogs, As Far As The Eye Can See—There are a growing number of progressive blogs, websites at which the authors (and sometimes readers) post articles. Several Democratic Presidential Primary candidates had blogs run by their campaigns. Delaware state Treasurer Jack Markell initiated which has some good stuff, including a recent posting from PDD (Progressive Democrats of Delaware framing guru Bob Stachnik). Celia Cohen runs, which I believe covers both the Democratic and Republican party actions in Delaware. She is known for timely, thorough, and interesting coverage, such as of last Saturday’s New Castle County Democratic Party Convention.

I just created to hold many of my progressive posts. It is very basic, as it is my first attempt. At this point, its goal is to make it easy to access my past postings without keeping a gazillion emails.

Local Politics Update—I am now a member of the local (23rd Representative District) Democratic District Council. Our district’s state representative is newly elected Democrat Terry Schooley (co-sponsor of HB36, ending discrimination in Delaware based on sexual orientation). She shared that conservative legislators tacked on an amendment to slow down the bill’s passage, exempting the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to which the regional Girl Scout council executive objected to being lumped with the discriminatory Boy Scouts, and demanded that the Girl Scouts not be exempted from the anti-discrimination bill.

In One Week—The Committee is hosting the 10th Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction from 6-9pm on Friday April 15th at the UUFN church. New Castle County Executive Chris Coons will be the auctioneer—this is well worth the cost of admission. I have a limited supply of these $10 tickets. Let me know if you’d like to buy a ticket! The proceeds will enable the committee to help local and less-local Democratic candidates’ campaigns.

You can meet Terry Schooley on Wednesday mornings from 7:30 to 8:30am at the Eagle Diner. She would welcome a visit from you.

Keep it progressive!

Paul Baumbach

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