“THE LEFT IS SNIDE, THE RIGHT IS DANGEROUS” – DAN SAVAGE
Many years ago gay activist Dan Savage said these eight simple words on Bill Maher’s HBO show which have echoed in my mind ever since. I’ve never heard anyone state the basic personality clash of the two ends of the political spectrum in America so simply.
It’s the absolute truth, and the reason why I focus my communication efforts more on improving the left than attacking the right. I do believe that “the tone” of the rhetoric is important, as does Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” This week he confronted former Secretary of State John Kerry about this.
Look at how Kerry answers the question. Todd asks basically, “Don’t you think you shouldn’t insult your opponents?” Kerry replies, “Economics!”
CHUCK TODD: Let me go back to tone and messaging again, because again, look, there’s the facts and figures that demand attention, there’s no doubt about it, but at the end of the day you know this is cultural and this becomes something different as you just very well described. But you also said, “This decision was a decision acted with stupidity and self-destructiveness and ignorance.” And the reason I highlight those words is that many people in Red America hear those words and think, “Geez, they think I’m stupid.” Do you think the messaging needs to change in how you talk about this and how you create a sense of urgency with this chunk of America that isn’t listening to you?
JOHN KERRY: Yes, no question about it — there has to be far more focus on the economic message. If you look at Red America today, about 2.6 to 3 million jobs that are existing in America today in a fast growing sector of our economy, and of those about fifty percent of them are in red states that Donald Trump won. So because of this decision American leadership in those sectors is now going to be put at risk, we could lose some of our ability to grow those jobs, and in fact lose out on the largest market of the future — the biggest market in the world in the future is going to be trillions of dollars spent in the sector of energy, and if the United States has isolated itself now — standing only with Syria and with Nicaragua — and Nicaragua by the way wanted to do more — they didn’t not sign it because they didn’t like it — for the fact of doing it — so look Chuck, I do think we have to do a better job of pointing out to people this is part of the economic future. Donald Trump says he represents the forgotten man. What about the forgotten children in America who are hospitalized in the summer because of the quality of the air with environmentally induced asthma …
I know John Kerry means well and he served his country bravely, but he is no longer a compelling voice for the left. He’s tired and cranky.