Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Spirit of '06

A witty and astute friend posted the following at his Kos diary (code name Thalio). Seems that our American dilemma in 2006 is incredibly analagous to what the Revolutionary colonists faced in 1776. And that provides a perfect opportunity for our opposition party to reframe the debate.

The Spirit of '06 - A Rallying Cry for the Patriots of the Democratic Party

We don't stand for anything. Sick of hearing it? So am I. I was lurking the other day on a right wing blog that had been mentioned here in Kos when I saw this eye-opener.

Conservative = faith and strength
Liberal = secularism and weakness

There it was. That's how simply they saw it. And I realized that unless we could neutralize that position and do it just as simply, we were in trouble. Well, I've had a vision, and I've seen the message and the frame that I believe can get that job done.

Frame: The American Revolutionary War

Message: We, the Democratic Party, the true patriots, represent a return to the basic American principles of liberty and accountability.

Republicans are currently positioned as the party of strength and faith, making it easy for them to represent the opposing party as the party of weakness and secularism. Anyone in advertising will tell you that you don't attack an established position by trying to claim it. Coke is the real thing, therefore Pepsi cannot be the real thing, even if Pepsi spends billions of dollars saying it is. But Pepsi can be the choice of a new generation, repositioning Coke as the drink for old fogies who are getting left behind.

We must reposition Republicans as the party that is anti-personal liberty and is without accountability to the people. Democrats may then claim liberty and accountability as the natural position of the opposition party.

Frames are powerful, and we have lucked into one. The Spirit of '06 works within the frame of the American Revolutionary War. Using this rallying cry we can begin to paint Republican anti-liberty positions in a Revolutionary War frame. We can enumerate instances of Republican unaccountability - in a Revolutionary War frame. And we can lay out the Democratic platform - Liberty and Accountability - and we can do it in a Revolutionary War frame.


  • This is not just a congressional election year - this is a revolution against an imperial government. We are the spirit of '06 (oh-six).

  • An important grievance of the patriots of 1776 was that King George governed at a distance, and for this reason had little accountability to the American people. The current King George (and Lord Cheney) also govern at a distance, and without accountability. They are secretive and imperious, claiming the right to act without congressional and judicial oversight so long as they see fit.

  • The King's spies were everywhere in 1776 and so they are again in '06.

  • Then, as now, King George asked Americans to give up some of their liberties, and in return promised that his might would keep them safe. But it was and is a false bargain: give up your liberties and I will protect you from those who would take away your liberties. Nonsense. We the people will protect our liberties from enemies foreign and domestic, and we will start by dethroning King George and his Lords.

  • The American Revolution inspired democracy abroad by making a stand for liberty here at home. You don't light the beacon of freedom by occupying and setting a foreign land ablaze.

  • The King governed by Divine Right and considered himself the chosen representative of God. George Bush has called himself "God's man in the White House" and behaves as if he too has a divine right to rule.

  • America was founded in part by people seeking freedom of religion. Church and State ruled together in England, and American Patriots sought to prevent that happening here. King George Bush seeks to re-unite church and state, and patriots must once again oppose those efforts and defend our country's true historical principles.

The culture war that the Republicans have been waging is rooted in religion. Well, let the Republicans be the party of religion - and let it be known that they really mean the extreme Christian Right. The Democrats are the party of "Freedom of Religion," which is the real American tradition.

Our nation's laws are based on the principles of liberty and accountability. Accounting simply means taking stock of what's yours, mine, and ours. If your liberty doesn't interfere with what is mine or ours, it's your business. When it does, we protect what is yours and ours with laws based on truths that are self-evident, not the dogma of any one group's holy books. That's the America our founding fathers fought for. That's the America we Democrats are fighting for now.

Our message and our view of the opposition are simple.

Democrats = liberty and accountability
Republicans = oppression and unaccountability
Thalio's Kos diary....

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