A Party In Search of a Message


    If the leadership of the Democratic Party of Virginia has any smarts at all (which I doubt), they will read carefully the direct, cogent, and insightful comments that have been posted in the past several days on Blue Virginia and on the petition at change.org and seriously consider how to implement some of the improvements recommended there.  

    I want to focus on one criticism that occurs over and over in both places: the lack of a message that can be repeated enough to refute the “no taxes, no government” echo chamber that comprises the Republican message. We Virginia Democrats need a strong message, and we also must learn how to “market” that message to the voters. In every campaign there is an unspoken question in the minds of every voter. “Why should I vote for that candidate?” The answer to that question is what a message should entail.

    As one person said on Blue Virginia, “We need a message.  A consistent, compact, hard-hitting message… A message that we spread all day every day – not just for 30 days before an election.”

    Another person stated, “All the organization in the world won’t do any good without a consistent message that can be stated briefly, that grabs attention,” Or, how about this comment? “Have a message, give the message, and give the message again. Make it a strong, unabashed Democratic message. Short and sweet and firm.”

    The Democratic National Committee has an excellent mission statement on its website, one that can easily be made into a message for Virginia.

    “Democrats recognize that our country and our economy are strongest when they provide opportunity for all Americans – when we grow our country from the bottom up.

    “Democrats stand for an abiding faith in…hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream.

    “We remember that our country was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren. Even today, it is our diversity above all else that provides us with our enduring strength.

    “Democrats believe that each of us has an obligation to…our neighbors and our communities. Each of us has a role to play in creating our future, and while we have made great progress as a nation, we know that our work is never done.”

    There is a consistent, concise message in there: Democrats believe in opportunity for all, not a favored few. We believe government should support families and cherish the diversity that made our nation strong. We know that we are strong only when we look out for each other and our communities, and everyone contributes a fair share..

    What would be your message if you could write one that would appear on the DPVA website and be the message for every Democratic campaign for office?  


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