The Democratic Instant Message (The Dem IM) is a political blog dedicated to developing themes, frames, and messages that the Democratic Party should publicize to capitalize on public opinion, current events, demographic and discursive trends and the strength of our underlying beliefs.A Framework For Victory
Inspired by the work of George Lakoff and others who realize the importance of this mission, this blog will re-frame the issues in a way that interpellates voters through the principles of:
More specifically, it is the belief of this project that we will win elections by constructing our candidates as tough fighters (muscle) who speak simply and clearly (gut) about our values and emotional truths (heart).
This philosophy is a break from dominant liberal discourse which privileges objective fact over subjective truth. Heart, muscle, and gut signify the multiple schema that construct the subjective personal truth in voters that we must reach. It is at these points, not at the objective, logical level of truth, represented anatomically by the brain, that Democrats must reach voters to frame our narrative and win their support. It is the mission of this blog to construct such a discourse and apply it to the events of the day to produce a winning Democratic narrative.
Stephen Colbert:"Well anybody that knows me knows that I'm no fan of dictionaries or reference books, they're elitist. Constantly telling us what is or isn't true or what did or didn't happen. Who's Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was finished in 1914. If I wanna say it happened in 1941, that's my right. I don't trust books. They're all fact. No heart."
We must field candidates and disseminate a message that, firstly, appeals to voters’ emotional truth. Bush did not win the 2004 election because of specific “moral values” but rather the general feeling held by many Americans that Bush was “one of them” with the same deeply held hopes and dreams.
Colbert: "We are a divided nation. Not between Democrats and Republicans or conservatives and liberals or tops and bottoms. No, we are divided between those who think with their head and those who know with their heart.
Consider Harriet Miers. If you think about Harriet Miers of course her nomination is absurd. But the president didn't say he thought about his selection, he said this: 'I know her heart.' Notice how he said nothing about her brain. He didn’t have to. He feels the truth about Harriet Miers. "
Simultaneously, that message/candidate must be viewed as the dominant one in the race against the Republican challenger. The Democratic Party must speak in language coded as powerful. Republicans have successfully cast themselves as the party of “strength” and we must not let this stand. It is the belief of this blog that by constructing the Democratic subject as a tough fighter, we can re-take the discursive advantage.
Bill Clinton: "If you don't want to fight for the future and you can't figure out how to beat these people then find something else to do."
The “gut,”as a symbolic entity, represents the centerpoint where conflicting discourses are settled for the sake of maintaining a stable identity. If leaders are defined by a clear, consistent vision, then leaders follow their gut. Our candidates/message must appeal to voters’ desire for a stable identity/subject position based in a stable, defined belief system.
Colbert: "You're looking at a straight shooter America. I tell it like it is, I calls em like I sees em. I will speak to you in plain simple English... Cause that's where the truth comes from ladies and gentlemen: the gut. "
With this strategy we will re-take the discursive advantage and reap the rewards in election victories. Let’s get to work.TAGS: Heart
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