What It Takes For Democrats to Persuade a Republican Voter

Source: Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly, May 28, 2018

…. We constantly see research suggesting that a lot of people who vote Republican actually agree with Democratic policy proposals. The conclusions drawn by those findings usually point to poor messaging from Democrats, not enough respect shown for “real Americans” in the heartland, or the lack of truly “populist” policy proposals. I believe that Chelsea’s horror at finding out that she aligned more closely with Hillary Clinton points to a different reason. It’s the one David Roberts identified.

Everything rural and suburban whites (R&SW) know or hear about Democrats or liberals, they get through a media filter. That mostly means Fox News (et al). And Fox is in the business of crafting a ludicrous, bug-eyed, cartoon-evil caricature of liberals. THAT is what R&SW hear from/about Dems. And it’s not just right-wing media. “Mainstream” media like CNN etc. have adopted pretty much the same caricature. They know that “arrogant liberal mocks salt-of-the-earth diner guy” stories are catchy. They sell. They pop. Everybody knows the caricature already…

My point: if the media wants to reinforce a narrative of snooty coastal libs looking down their noses at heartland rubes — and it *very, very much wants to* — there’s no stopping it. There’s no way for every single lib to speak so carefully that nothing can be distorted. And, conversely, it hardly matters at all what Dems decide they want to communicate to S&RW. They can craft empathetic messages until they’re blue in the face — THEY DON’T CONTROL WHAT THOSE PEOPLE HEAR. (Sorry for yelling.)


The Poisoning of American Discourse By Right-Wing Media
Source: Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly, May 25, 2018

Is this the new normal we have to get used to?

A New Strategy for Democrats in the Old South
Source: Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly, May 23, 2018

In Georgia, Stacey Abrams is the first African American woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the country’s history.