William Saletan at Slate.com has some constructive ideas on how Democrats can turn issues of values and personal responsibility to their advantage against the Republicans. They tie in nicely with my previous post about talking to ordinary people in terms they can relate to.
…Be the party that rewards ordinary people who do what they’re supposed to do—and protects them from those who don’t.
If you think this kind of moral talk is anathema, you’re the sort of person Karl Rove wants to be running the Democratic Party. Get out, or get a new attitude. Nearly 60 million people came out to vote for George W. Bush yesterday because they think that he represents their values and that you don’t. Prove them wrong and you’ll be the majority party again.
How? Start by changing the way you talk about pocketbook issues. Remember Bill Clinton’s commitment to help people who “work hard and play by the rules”? Your positions on taxes and labor would be assets instead of liabilities if you explained them in moral terms. The minimum wage rewards work. Repealing the estate tax helps rich people get richer without risk or effort. Lax corporate oversight allows big businesses to evade taxes, deceive small investors, and raid pension funds.
Yes, Republicans will accuse you of waging a class war. I can see you cringing already. Get off your knees and fight. It is a war, but it isn’t a class war. It’s a culture war, and if you talk about it that way, you’ll win it.
(Thanks to Benjamin in the comments to my previous post.)