Now, across the country, Democratic law makers and supporters are trying to put together a plan to correct their course and retake control. In watching the morning and evening news programs, a theme has become apparent. The manner in which they role out ideas and theories are almost always presented in terms of the collective: “WE will provide insurance for all of US”; “WE all want”; “WE all need”; and “WE do this for all of US.” In contrast, in listening to the GOP put forth their strategy this week in Philadelphia, you hear a very different way of posing their plans. Republicans, generally, speak in terms of the individual. They make it more personal, instead of social: “YOU the American people want”; “YOU don’t need government telling YOU what to do”; “I understand what YOU are saying”; and “I am going to make sure to bring more jobs for YOU.”
Democrats, and rightly so, have always been concerned with the welfare of the many. Republicans have always concentrated on the needs of the few, the individual. This message resonates much clearer and more personally to voters, particularly those who feel left out of the mainstream, or pushed aside by global and social policies. The direct message that says “I feel YOUR pain” and “I hear YOUR fears” I much more powerful than one the offers to help all. Deep down, people want to know that their needs will be met first, before the rest of the community/nation. It is this innate egocentric view that gives the Republican message such power. It is not that people are selfish and self-serving, but deep down, everyone wants to be heard and know that they are valued.
Democrats do not need to change there values, ideals, or platform. They just need to change their message structure. Talking in terms of the nation and Americans as a whole is the right thing to do. It is how things should be phrased. Unfortunately, it is not a message format that resonates with everyone. People do not want to be told what the need, they want to be acknowledged for what the want. Universal Healthcare explained in these terms would go much farther, like, “do YOU WANT be paying $30 out of YOUR paycheck in the form of a tax, instead of $200 in the form of a premium?” The standard Democratic message of, “if WE ALL contribute, WE ALL get the healthcare we need,” falls short of the intended goal. The first phrase puts it in easy, understandable, and personal terms. The second leads to the all to common argument of “why should I pay for someone else’s healthcare?” The issue with this method is making the message personal, meaningful, and understandable. The GOP has all but cornered the market on this. The last part is where Democrats often fall short. Tapping into the emotion of the issue is most often more effective than explaining the details. If you need evidence of this theory, just look in the Oval Office.