I wrote my Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, my Representative Don Beyer, my VA state Senator Janet Howell, and my VA state delegate Patrick Hope about Democrats’ need to win the Culture War (or at the very least start fighting it) in order win elections, and to pass initiatives like Voting Rights or anything else about which Democrats care:
Republicans are winning the politics and culture war. The biggest problem with this is that their politics and culture sucks. In winning the politics and culture war, Republicans can get support (and thus votes) and win elections. As a result of Trump’s vile and disastrous 2016-2000 admin, we endured 4 years of endless lies, corruption, outrages, loss of world status and hundreds of thousands of deaths from a botched Covid response. One would think that the sheer comparison between the steady, honest hand of Biden Admin (plus Biden Admin’s successful vaccine rollout, terrific Infrastructure Bill, and the rebound of the US economy) would be enough for all Ds to have a high approval rating. But all we ever hear about is inflation (which you should fight with every ounce of your being to get lowered) and how he’s failed at certain initiatives and Biden’s low approval rating. Plus, Rs have faced almost zero consequences for all the lies, corruption, outrages, deaths, insurrection, economic collapse, and loss of world status 2016-2020. They’ve lost no rank and they are successfully rigging their states so that they will never lose elections no matter how many Democrats vote. They are also energized and highly motivated to vote.
A simplification of this problem is that Democrats have a very good platform/culture, but they are terrible politicians/culture warriors. Republicans have a vile platform/culture, but they are very good politicians/culture warriors. Democrats need to become better politicians and culture warriors to win elections and codify Democratic policies! It’s not brain surgery! It’s cultural and political science. Do it!
Republicans give their followers something to latch onto. These are vile things (racism, white supremacy, hatred, patriarchy), but they provoke strong and powerful emotions which energize their followers and strongly motivate them to action.
Just like successful pop songs have an effective hook, Republicans have been successful in providing their followers that hook. Republican leaders (trump, in particular) have given their followers slogans, identifiable visuals, and cohesive sense of togetherness.
All people, including Democrats, need something to latch onto. Democratic leaders have not given their followers these hooks to latch onto. There are no slogans, messages, branding, PR, visuals, communications to which Democrats as a community can relate to. Hire young people and PR specialists and give them this job. They will do it!
Democrats should be in the business of constant messaging, making speeches, writing songs, making videos, giving out buttons, creating slogans, creating videos, putting up posters: creating culture. As one of your constituents who has worked very hard and written thousands and thousands of letters to voters to motivate them to vote, I’m begging you to pay attention and heed this call.
Once this has been achieved, Democrats will be able to win elections and we won’t have to work so hard to codify the platform! Democrats need to get improve approval rating, gain followers, and get people to vote! The failure to do this was evident in Virginia’s last election. Now, look who is governor. Yuck. This is the result of a clear failure to inspire and motivate voters. The Rs did that and they won. They used powerful racism and white supremacy, but they won that culture war and they won that election. It’s disgusting that Democrats just let that happen.
Stop losing. Change. Win the culture war and win elections.
I have collected lots of ideas for how to do this, here:
Democrats must put all energy into winning next elections or Rs will dismantle everything we hold dear.
The Vote is the Antidote
Democrats, Voting Rights and the Culture War (and what we need to do)