‘Talking Points 08’ – Eric Harrington
With the elections approaching, there is endless speculation as to what message the Democratic Party should bring to the contest to stem the tide of ignorance and fear, and combat the Republican slander factory.
But in considering the state of this country, I see only one answer, one message that can put America back in the hands of the reasonable, the just, and the many.
That message is commonality. For too long now the Republicans have been allowed to divide this nation with emotion and fear, following the ancient rule of war–divide and conquer. They have locked onto the issues that fire the heart and not the mind, and driven them home with robotic precision, removing the debate from the realms of reason, and filling it with anger and prejudice.
And we, as progressives, must realize that even though we have the truth on our side, reason on our side, compassion on our side, we cannot ignore the power of the propaganda machine, the power of the wedge issues so deftly wielded by the opposition, that reframe the debate in terms of things we can all disagree upon instead of agree, issues through which we can channel our frustrations and fear into clear separations of us and them.
But neither can we abandon the most important strengths we share, that of truth and dignity. We cannot fight fire with fire. We cannot use the politics of division to fight the politics of division. We must oppose them by uniting with them.
The powerful wedge issues such and abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration may never be resolved, and hence have no real constructive effect on the debate, as emotional as they may be. We must reframe the debate in terms of the issues we share, not those we can never share. For in those shared issues lay the commonality that appeals to virtually all Americans.
If you were to ask any Conservative if they believe in an honest government, they would say YES… And so do we.
If asked if they believe in a smaller, more efficient, less invasive government they would say yes, and so do we.
If given the choice of a balanced budget, or a huge and ever-rising deficit, they would choose the former, and so would we.
If asked whether giving huge handouts to corporate interests who make the largest political contributions help their lives, they would say absolutely not, and so would we.
The list goes on and on, the list of those things we share. And it is in these commonalities we can find victory; for while appealing to a clear majority of the people of America, the commonalities do not reflect the agenda of the Fascist, corporate controlled government that erodes our liberties, standard of living and integrity with every breath we take. Rather than discuss our differences, we should discuss the differences we all share with the power base in this country, and the destruction it is wantonly executing on all our livelihoods, safety, peace of mind, and standing in the international community.
Search for the high ground. In a flood that’s where the reasonable people go….