hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Saturday, November 06, 2004
Comment on Winds of Change:

Dave Schuler,
so, if I have it correct, you would vote for Lieberman & Hart, but not Wes Clark or John Edwards (or Kerry). Lieberman I can understand, but Gary Hart intrigues me because he has been very critical of the Bush administration approach to the War on Terror and skeptical of the Iraq war. And suppose Lieberman was the nominee and Michael Moore was *still* getting jiggy in Jimmy Carter's suite? Deal-breaker?

PD Shaw, it seems that you would have voted almost anybody but Bush, except you really, really, really didn't like John Kerry (and Wes Clark, apparently). It seems that for some reason you didn't trust his character and integrity.

Interesting & thanks for replying. Anyway, from a marketing or "vision" standpoint, two small ideas:

1) "Middle Class, Common Sense, Golden Rule". In other words there are "Middle Class" issues (taxes, health care, social security, private-sector unions, jobs), "Common Sense" issues (defense, education, civil rights, environment, immigration, campaign reform, abortion, etc.), and "Golden Rule" issues (foreign aid, anti-poverty & homeless programs, humanitarian military missions).

2) "(Let's Make America) The Best Across the Board" This comes from a very interesting Ted Halstead article, where he asserted an "American Paradox": Among the advanced industrial countries, we are either the very best or among the very worst. We have the best military, GDP, productivity, business start-ups, R&D, breadth of stock ownership, volunteerism, charitable giving. At the same we are among the worst in poverty, life expectancy, infant mortality, homicide, health-care coverage, teen pregnancy, energy efficiency, personal savings & obesity. So the slogan would mean (working toward) making America the best in all these categories, best in infant mortality as well as GDP.

"Middle Class, Common Sense, Golden Rule" & "The Best Across the Board" are two marketing slogans that seem to me to have the advantage of not offending anybody despite being fairly meaningful, and at the same time being simple enough to be shouted at political rallies or on TV screens. "The Best Across the Board" also might have the advantage of appealing to the patriotism of Americans, even jingoistic patriotism. Really, there's a million good approaches in terms of marketing. But I definitely agree the problems of the Democratic party go a bit deeper than that.

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