Wednesday, June 23, 2021
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Why Nobody Listens to Democrats, and What We Can Do About...

Stanley B. Greenberg, head of an international polling company that works with center-left political parties around the world, had a very perceptive article in the New York Times on Sunday.  Greenberg says that all around the world, but especially in Europe, Canada, and the US, people are turning to right-wing, conservative political parties. Why is it that in the United States, "Barack Obama can't catch a break from the American public on the economy, even though he prevented a depression and saved global capitalism?" It's as though voters refuse to acknowledge that we have historically experienced rising incomes, lower unemployment, and less inequality under Democratic rule than under Republican, and somehow don't get it that it is Democratic policies they prefer--- they will not give credit where credit is due. Aha! I thought, it's that pesky Democratic messaging problem.

But, No, the problem, says Greenberg, is that voters have simply "tuned out" the Democrats: "they just don't trust the Democrats to carry out those promises" and policies, they are cynical about Democratic politicians. In his focus groups and in-depth polling he heard over and over phrases like "it's just words," or "we don't have a representative government anymore," and "there's just such a control of government by the wealthy that whatever happens, it's not working for all the people; it's working for a few of the people." Hmm, maybe these voters are paying attention, after all. On the other hand, wouldn't this apply to both political parties, not just the Democrats?