Making Democrats, Step 1: Make it Cool

In  previous columns, I argued that effective persuasion is vital to an effective Democratic movement in flyover country. I then argued that one of the issues affecting the Democratic movement at this time is that, in many places, being Democratic is seen as being “wimpy”.

Today, I illustrate how easy it can be to change that perception. I use my own state of Texas as an example, but it could be (and should be) literally translated to every state. Once the seed is planted that each party has claims to its own “tough guys” then the argument can shift to policy differences. Unless and until that happens, however, arguing policy as the 98-pound weakling will always be unsuccessful.

How simple is it to change perceptions? Look at three (very rough) renderings of billboards that would start to do the trick:

Each one of these images triggers cognitive dissonance, by capturing the cowboy ethos in Texas and coupling with Democratic identity. This is the same thing Republicans do when they cite Ronald Reagan incessantly or film promos shooting guns. It’s the thing that Democrats have failed to do for years, for whatever reason. Each clearly illustrates that tough guys can not only be Democratic, but that they have been Democrats before. By the simplest method possible, it moves the needle.

This is not, of course, a silver bullet – it must have follow up. With that said, I still have more columns I need to fill. 😀

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