Monday, March 28, 2016

The Perfect Candidate

Quick post, thinking of "The Conservative Advantage." To tickle the moral ivories of the American populace, a candidate might:

1. Harm - Address ways in which some group s/he represents is being harmed. Republicans might reference Americans being harmed by not having a strong military (Cruz). Democrats might reference individuals who are trying to succeed but having trouble because of the economic set up (Sanders).

2. Fairness - Address aspects of America that are unfair that they will fix. Republicans often reference small business owners or the idea that the opposite side wants to take their hard earned money and give it to those who haven't earned it (Cruz). Democrats might talk about income inequality and how people who work just as hard earn thousands less, including women (Sanders).

3. Loyalty - Loyalty has nationalism written all over it. Republicans tend to have an edge on this one. But both Trump and Sanders' anti-trade rhetoric plays into this dynamic on both sides. Emphasis on the military feeds nationalistic impulses. Of course both sides stress loyalty to party over reason, and people over 50 usually vote their own party no matter how irrational it is. I'm not sure that any Democrat has ever found a way to create passion by emphasizing loyalty to American values when it comes to equality or Europe's sense of standing for our way of life in terms of rights.

4. Authority/Liberty - I'm not 100% convinced yet by Haidt on teasing these out. There may be a cultural dynamic here, but I agree that Republicans generally do better at appealing to both. Cruz stands for liberty in terms of Tea Party concerns, but Sanders stands for liberty in terms of privacy, which apparently is all the rage for some millennials. The only authority either side seems to want is someone to stop their opponents. They certainly don't want any authority over them. Both sides, it seems to me, could develop the phrase, "our way of life" in different ways that played on these keys.

5. Sanctity - Again, the Republicans have the edge. Interestingly, France found a way of making liberté, égalité, fraternité into something of a sacred charge. But not America. The sanctity of human life is a Republican phrase. Democrats might work on something like the sanctity of freedom, but define it in their way.

Some thoughts...

No comments: