the whitestick papers

looking at politics from a different perspective

Sounding a common theme

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During the last election cycle, the Democrats had a common theme: they weren’t George W. Bush.  It seemed like every race at every level had, at it’s core, a message that the other guy in the race was somehow tainted by the evil that was President Bush.  They really didn’t have to promote or promise anything, and the country as a whole got exactly what they expected; a crop of legislators and other leaders who weren’t George W. Bush.

A large percentage of the voters have realized that what they are (socialists) is a lot more important than what they weren’t (George W. Bush), but that dawning revelation is beyond the scope of this article.  The thing I want to point out is the value of a bunch of candidates sounding a common theme.

This technique is best seen in things like the “Contract with America” which galvanized support behind several Representative races in the mid 1990’s.  It’s also at the core of the “Ten Promises” being proposed for the Senate races this cycle.  The “certified smart” folks tend to dismiss it but, if done correctly, it can work.  What happens is that multiple voices saying the same thing and reaching for a common goal energizes folks.  As Samuel Adams noted, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”

This election cycle calls for the same sort of thing; a common theme into which many voices can provide harmonies so that the people of the United States know exactly where the incoming crop of candidates intend to take them.  The “Ten Promises” or something like it will work on the national scene and it’s my humble opinion it’s something every candidate for federal office should adopt.

There are elements of the national effort that will fly in state races as well, but each state is likely to have its own individual twist or focus.  Here in Oregon, for example, people are probably going to realize just what they did to themselves by passing Measures 66 and 67.  The biggest lie told was that it wouldn’t affect them and, by that time, they should have seen the effects in the form of higher prices, lost jobs and missing businesses.  So bringing a human face to the suffering and pointing the finger at the incumbent who supported the taxes should be effective.

But we also need to have a positive message, and we have an excellent one in the concept of funding core functions first.   I don’t know what it’s like in other states, but the Oregon Legislature likes to fund everything but schools and emergency services first so that, when the end of the session looms near, they have to “scrape” for the money to cover these services, which most people believe are what the state government should be doing.   Promising to pass legislation that will require state budget considerations start with these core functions and then look to fund other things afterwards is going to gain a lot of support from the voters of all political stripes.

Except, of course, for the public employee union leaders and their corrupt political officials who’ve developed this little scheme so they could coerce the citizens into letting them pull more and more cash out of their wallets.  But, despite their best efforts to grow government on the backs of those who produce something for a living, they’re still the minority.  It’s a case we can win with the people.


Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

16 February 2010 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Basics

Tagged with , ,

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