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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Debate Over Country Song is a Right-Wing Trap for Democrats.

The debate over the song “Try That in a Small Town” is an excellent example of a particularly devious right-wing extremist trap  – one that the GOP will use against Democrats again and again in 2024. Dems need to understand what the trap is designed to accomplish, how it works and how to defend against it.

2 comments on “Debate Over Country Song is a Right-Wing Trap for Democrats.

  1. Rob H from VA on

    I’ve seen some better and more insightful communications advice from Andrew Levison before also. I mean the statement he’s got at the think is fine if a politician is literally held hostage and forced to say something about this song. By my gut political comms instinctive for anybody who isn’t in the business of feeding the right-wing BS machine is: never voluntarily discuss or bring up the song at all!

    One of the more endearing things about Biden is when he tells reporters their questions are stupid. If an audience member finds that response offensive rather than endearing, they were a lost cause anyway. I found it endearing about Rumsfeld too, that he would call out reporters on dumb questions – even though Rumseld made a lot of bad decisions.

    And if pinned down to talk about the lyrics, just refuse to play the game or understand the subtext.

    Call these two: Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalk Carjack an old lady at a red light
    Pull a gun on the owner of a liquor store… – the crimes and misdemeanors they are
    This one: Cuss out a cop, spit in his face. — you shouldn’t do that do them. –and our Officers should respect all our citizens too
    And this one: Stomp on the flag – call it constitutionally protected speech, but not a way to make friends or make your cause a political winner –

  2. Rob H from VA on

    Agreed. Of course the debate is a trap. I am sure media figures and twitter users have editorialized about it. Have any Democratic elected officials or Party officials or Campaign operatives commented on it? If so, it is mistake. But that someone, somewhere in the country will complain about the songs lyrics and subtext in America is inevitable. It is also inevitable right-wing media will pounce on that fact, and identify any critic with any opposing Democratic candidate with the false equation of a left, progressive, or liberal, or Democrat person said something, those 4 words all mean the same thing, every Democratic candidate automatically believes in the same things anybody classified as left, progressive, or liberal ever said anywhere. That’s just life in a free country. Any communications strategy needs to work around that reality.


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