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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Clear ‘Identity’ Key to Dems’ Success

Gadflyer Paul Waldman has an op-ed in the Boston GlobeElections aren’t about issues,” arguing the primacy of identity as the key to future Democratic victories. As Waldman explains in the nut graph:

If there’s one thing Republicans have understood and Democrats haven’t, it is that politics is not about issues. Politics is about identity. The candidates and parties that win are not those aligning their positions most precisely with a majority of the electorate. The winners are those who form a positive image in the public mind of who they are (and a negative image of who their opponents are). Issues are a vehicle to create that identity, one that combines with symbolism and narrative to shape what the public thinks about when they think about Democrats and Republicans.

Waldman, author of Being Right Is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success, makes a compelling case in clear, blunt language and his insights about strengthening Democratic campaigns deserve more attention.

2 comments on “Clear ‘Identity’ Key to Dems’ Success

  1. chicago dyke on

    it’s all so depressing. not only does it not matter who is right, but people seem to care most about what matters least in a politician- image, personality.
    what a horrible state we find ourselves in, to realize that once again it will come down to republican financial advantage spent on ads and marketing pros, busy crafting image messages that make their opponents look bad and them wonderful. and it will work.
    the fact that corruption ranked dead last is really telling of our media; no one will admit to liking a crook, and yet that’s exactly what many of today’s republicans are.


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