Democrats, listen up if you'd like to win the election.

Okay, I’m going to let you in on an open secret. I can tell you why Democrats continually lose Presidential elections. I can tell you what Americans want.

The good news is it has nothing to do with your policies.

It also explains why Sarah Palin is attracting an almost cult-like following.

It also explains why Obama has attracted an almost cult-like following.

Here it is:

Stop Bitching at the American People.

It’s that simple. Why do you think Ronald Reagan was such a successful president, and so beloved by many? Why do you think Jimmy Carter was such a failure?

Americans look to their Presidents for inspiration. They want to feel good about themselves, and about their lives. They want to be told that they’re not all going to hell, that the economy isn’t about to collapse on their heads, that they have a long list of grievances that must be addressed, and that America is evil and bad and needs to be changed.

Democrats are terrible for this. Their whole agenda is one big laundry list of grievances. They can’t connect with middle America, and can’t figure out why. “Hell, we’ve told them their lives suck! We’ve explained to them that they’re getting the shaft, that they can’t make ends meet, that someone (us) has to come along and stop them from having their lives ruined! Why won’t they vote for us?”

That’s what Democrats do. They first tell the people what’s bad about their lives. Too many people are homeless, no one can make ends meet, jobs are leaving the country, the rich are getting richer and taking their money. The environment sucks, the earth is warming, minorities and women have it tough. Democrats beat their constituents down, then tell them that if only they’ll vote them into power they’ll make it all better. Your life sucks now, they say, but vote for us and we’ll make it better.

Then along comes someone like Ronald Reagan or Sarah Palin, who says, “You know what? We’re all strong. We’re Americans, damn it. We’re not afraid of the bogeyman. We’re the bad guys? Screw that. We’re the country that everyone comes to when they need help. I’m not going to apologize for who we are. If we’re not producing up to the best of our ability, if we don’t have the jobs we want, it’s because Washington is in the way. You don’t need other people looking after you - you need other people to get out of the way so you can show them what Americans can do.”

Modern feminism is another laundry list of grievances. Women are oppressed. They need help and support. They need laws passed to protect them. Listen to a liberal feminist give a speech, and it generally some angry harangue about how tough women have it.

Along comes Sarah Palin. She’s not looking for ‘help’. She doesn’t feel oppressed. Her speech was a huge success because it wasn’t a typical laundry list of problems and programs to solve those problems. There she was, a mother of five from nowhere, with a family full of their own problems, but she’s not complaining. She wants to do more. She kicks ass and takes names, and does it with a smile. Americans love that.

In another thread, A shameful cracka… said this:

This is the same attitude that just couldn’t figure out why the religious right was giving Palin a pass on her pregnant daughter. The reason is because these troubles make her own rise MORE compelling. Her family’s apparent happiness and success MORE lauditory. Everyone’s got kids with problems. Lots of people have had DUIs or smoked some pot or done something else they’re not proud of.

The ‘old’ Republican moral majority would have scolded such people - told them they’d lost their way with God, that they were sinners, etc. The same downbeat, hectoring attitude liberals use. But Palin doesn’t give a hoot about that. She’s up there smiling and cracking jokes and telling everyone life’s good. Trouble? Sure, everyone’s got trouble. What, that’s going to stop you from achieving? Nut up! Grow a pair. Life is fun, warts and all.

And the people cheer.
The old black community standard-bearers, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, were nothing but deliverers of bad news. Again, the big list of grievances, constant lectures to black people about how tough their lives were and how America is bad for them and how they needed to support Al and Jesse so they could go off and bring some Washington relief into their sad lives. And those two couldn’t get elected dogcatcher.

Obama comes along, and says, “Yes, we can! We’re the future. Hope and change.” And he becomes a hero. Screw the past, screw the grievances. We’re not going to talk about them. We’re going to talk about what a great country this is that a guy like me can rise up out of nowhere and run for President. We’re going to talk about a positive vision for the future.

You can sell the liberal agenda. But you have to sell it with a smile and a positive message. Where Obama started to lose his Mojo was at the convention, when he dumped his standard inspirational speech and gave a typical laundry list of grievances and Democratic answers. And as the campaigns heat up, he’s now in a mode where he’s telling everyone how much their lives have sucked under Bush. He’s talking them down again.

Stop whining and bitching about the past. Stop making the poor and downtrodden the only thing you’ll talk about. Stop promising to fix people’s miserable lives, and start telling them how great things are going to be in the future.

Palin is the most popular politician in the country right now because she’s seen as the most upbeat, can-do, Reaganesque politician around. Obama had that mantle before, and he’s letting it slip. McCain is making big mistakes with his negative campaigning and setting up his own grievance list against the Democrats.

Bottom line: Get out of the mud, stop trying to tear other people down, stop telling the country how horrible everything is, and start giving them a positive vision of their own lives and of their country and its future.

Whoever does that the best in this election will win.


Hush Sam…they don’t want to hear and won’t believe you anyway.


Well, Obama appears to be an exception to that, doesn’t he? :slight_smile:

Wow, Sam, you running in 2012? Well written sir. May I borrow this?

I will take great pleasure in quoting you after the election.

I wonder if he has heard of a man named Kennedy.

How about we decide electing a president is not like electing the president of the high school student council? This country has real problems, and taking the attitude that everything is dandy is what got us here.

How about we elect a president that can think for his own? Someone who has not accepted handfuls of cash from corporate lobbyists?

You had me until Okay.

Dammit!! This one just blew my irony meter.

Anyone got a spare?

Guess you didn’t actually read the OP, huh? I used Obama to prove my point. The first Democrat to come along since Clinton, who was willing to campaign on a positive message - and he was a phenom. And started losing his Mojo at the convention, where he gave a traditional Democratic speech that told Americans how tough they had it, and what programs he was going to offer to fix it all.

You did notice that I said McCain is now screwing up by going negative, right?

Are you paying attention? Kennedy makes my point. What do people remember about Kennedy? They remember his inspirational speeches. They remember, “We will do this, and the other things, not because they’re easy, but because they’re hard.”


Sam: There is a strong sentiment in the US that we’re on the wrong track. Obama is tapping into that well. He’s got a positive message, but I don’t see anything wrong with pointing out problems that he thinks resonate with people. What you are saying would be true if it was the only thing Obama was doing, but it’s not.

Obama didn’t start to lose his mojo. He got blindsided by Palin-mania. I’m not sure that can last very long, although it just might.

I read the title. Clearly, you think the Democrats can’t win if they don’t take your sage advice, while the Republicans need no such woodshed talk. Tells me all I need to know about your fair and balanced assessment of the two candidates.

Celebrity is fickle like that. Does the fact that our candidates are becoming one hit wonders say anything good about our society?

That’s hilarious. You read the title, draw a conclusion based on no facts, then criticize ME for being biased.

And anyway, if you didn’t want to read the OP and just came here to snark, why aren’t you doing it in the pit?

It’s funny. I’ve searched Sam’s post, and I find the word “Bush” appearing only once, and only in regards to Obama’s “bitching.” So, his explanation for how to appeal with positive vision to the American people goes from Reagan to Palin, skipping entirely over the two Bush campaigns.

I don’t really recall those being won on selling a positive vision of how Bush would lead America.

Odd omission, I would say, for a comprehensive theory that we are supposed to believe about how to win elections.

P.S. The meager convention bounce for McCain appears to be receding.

I do find Palin’s words quite appropriate for responding to Sam’s concerned vision for the Democratic campaign: Thanks but no thanks.

What won the election in 2004, with record numbers of voters? Was it the happy, upbeat message of the Republicans? Was it the positive, stay-above-the-fray messages that they used … maybe once?

And in 2000, what won that election? Was it the cheery message of Dubya that everything is fine and the electorate is doing great? Or was it “Restore Respect to the White House.”

And in 1992? Was it the “we’re strong” message of Bush? No, it was the crappy economy, which Clinton hammered on.

You guys won in 2004 by sleazy, slimy tactics, scaring the shit out of the American population, and creating the largest division between voters I’ve seen in my lifetime. So you’ll excuse me if I don’t find your advice all that compelling.

And, just so you know, the “We can change this!! We can do better!!” is a major theme of the Obama campaigns.

Well done Sam. As usual you seem to understand Republicans better than the American liberals do on this board or liberals in general for that matter.

Sure, you might be able to convince people that their lives suck, and even convince them to vote for you so you can fix it. But they’re not going to love you for it.

Obama’s huge popularity erupted not because he had better policies than the old Democrats. It’s not because he’s smarter, or because he’s black. It’s not because he went to Harvard. It’s because he inspires people. He gives soaring, uplifting speeches about how people can achieve and reach their potential. He refuses to play the victim game or play identity politics. He doesn’t bitch and moan and whine about coming from a single parent home or having to work his ass off to get into school. Or at least, he doesn’t in the speeches that brought him this far.

Reagan was positive and upbeat and told people their country was great and the future was bright at a time when the economy was a hell of a lot worse than this, and there was a nuclear shotgun pointed at everyone’s heads.

It’s okay to point out the problems, so long as that’s not ALL you do. You have to temper it. Here’s the difference:

Positive Message
America is the wealthiest, most free, most powerful nation on Earth. We have relatively low unemployment, lower taxes than most, we’re isolated from our enemies by oceans, and we’re rich in resources and living space. But we can do better. Some in America are having trouble reaching their potential. We are a great country, a wealthy country, and a country filled with good people. Let’s live up to that promise and help our neighbors and friends and those left behind. Let’s take them on the journey with us. We are measured by how we treat the weakest, the poorest, the most disadvantaged among us. Let’s rise to the challenge.

Negative Message
America is hurting. We’re losing our jobs. Our incomes are stagnant. Ordinary people worry about gas prices, about food prices, about whether their jobs will still be there in five years. You can look down any street in America and see businesses being shuttered. Parents who always believed that their childrens lives would be better than theirs are no longer sure about that. There’s a general sense that we’ve lost our way somwhere. Vote for me, and I’ll put us back on track. I’ll put our workers back in their jobs, and undo the damage of the past eight years and help the middle class and the poor with tax cuts so they can make ends meet.
Democrats love the negative message. Obama knows better, but unfortunately right now he’s a bit off his game.

Yeah, how could my thesis survive the loss of such an upbeat, happy campaigner as John Kerry?

Look, despite the title, this isn’t just about Democrats. The Republicans turned into a bunch of moral scolds, and their popularity plummeted. McCain runs a real risk of blowing his campaign too if he keeps up this stupid “lipstick on a pig” attack. Watch Obama crush him with some humor, fairly soon. Because Obama is smart that way. He’ll come out soon and say something that makes McCain look petty, and turn the identity-politics tables on him. Mark my word.

Only one problem with that. That runs into the “bleeding heart liberal” moniker (even when it’s not needed) and right into “compassionate conservative” by comparison.
No. Life does suck. The economy is in the shitter. The past 8 years have been absolutely wretched. Things will get better. They’ll get better because you, my friend, are the change we need. Yes, the entire election isn’t about Obama. It’s about the people. It’s about the small army of volunteers that’s building up and looking at their relationship between themselves and the government, pointing the finger of blame at themselves and asking “How can I be the change?”

The ones that volunteer and are already pro-Obama get it. Ironically enough, all that hope that you’re talking about Sam, is exactly how we conduct business.

You’re in Canada, so it’d be rough to get you into an Obama office. Hell, I’ll even be willing to go over what we do and how we do it over the phone with you, even though I don’t deal with that stuff over the phone. I do everything in person to help drive the point home.

This is all foreplay to the get-out-the-vote effort.