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Simplicity of Political Messages
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There was a lecture here on campus that I didn't get to attend and wish I had, having to do with an analysis of political speech comparing conservatives with liberals.

From what I gather from talking with other students, the thrust seemed to be that conservative journalists and politicians do a better job communicating their message by keeping it relatively simple and humanizing it through individual stories.

I guess this is reasonably valid. It reminds me in the last election about all the talk of Bush oversimplifying things, and the subtlety and complexity of Kerry not being appreciated by voters. I guess Kerry also did get some criticism for not being clear and consistent, though a lot of this was exploited by the Republicans, portraying him as a "flip-flopper".

I think there is something to be said for the idea of better communicating their ideologies to voters, and I don't think it would be difficult for Democrats. I just think most of them suck at it. The basic political philosophy of Democrats is about standing up for those who historically have fewer rights (women, blacks, etc.). It's about ensuring equal rights and equal opportunity. Logically this entails more government intervention and cost, which is the part that most Democrats don't like to talk about, but it would be relatively easy to talk about the core principles, and humanize them through famous leaders like Martin Luther King and through John and Jane Doe examples of people who are falling through the cracks in terms of health care, or who are not realizing the American dream because of institutionalized racism, sexism, etc.

I don't happen to agree with the liberal political philosophy, but I don't think it would be that difficult to effectively communicate it in a way that would make it popular with a lot of people. I guess we'll see if the current batch of candidates do any better than the previous ones.

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