Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Values and Tactics

This is literally from a political playbook for Republicans, devised by a high-powered consultant named Frank Lutz, and presented in weekly strategy sessions in Washington.

Here's what Lutz had to say about "values" questions:

6) The Democrats have attempted to redefine values and faith. - You can't let them. Several speakers at the Democratic convention addressed the value of faith -- but without overt religious appeals. In fact, they specifically attacked those who speak of religion or spirituality, an indirect assault on much of the GOP base. A majority of swing voters do not attend church weekly, and this appeal was, well, appealing:


"My friends, we are constantly being told that America is deeply divided. But all Americans value freedom and faith and family."

President Bill Clinton

Democrat Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards took an even more direct route and it ended up being one of the top five sound-bites in his speech.


"Where I come from, you don't judge someone's values based on how they use that word in a political ad. You judge their values based upon what they've spent their life doing. So when a man volunteers to serve his country, and puts his life on the line for others – that’s a man who represents real American values."

PAGE 12 ---

It is perfectly acceptable, if not imperative that you address this values debate. Now it's your turn. The best way to communicate values is to use words and phrases that no Coke-drinking, apple-pie eating American could disagree with. Family, Freedom, Opportunity, Responsibility, Community. These are the true American values, and they should be used as part of a larger personal message. I know you don't like to talk about yourself, but if you get a values question, you need to explain what these "values" mean to YOU:

"America is under attack from almost every direction. We have been attacked by murderous terrorists here in this great city. Our employers and Jobs are threatened by low-cost, highly skilled labor from abroad.

American values are under attack from within.

Hard work, personal sacrifice, education, integrity and the foundation of family have been and always will be the source of our strength.

Throughout our history, when our country needed us, Americans have always stepped forward, standing up to every challenge. That's what our parent's generation did on the beaches of Normandy. We must step forward again today."

-- Mass. Governor Mitt Romney

Republicans need to enlarge the debate to include two of Americans' biggest desires today: strong families and healthy communities. Similar to the desire of Hillary Clinton and many Democrats to talk of support for our troops, Republicans can talk confidently about these things because the public knows that the President's formulation of a "compassionate conservative" agenda speaks to what Middle America wants - and does not want - from government.


"Morals, values, decency - all are essential in a civil society. Strong families, healthy communities - all are essential if we are to enjoy the fruits of our success. All are essential to the American Dream. We must not dismiss them or diminish them. Goodness matters. After all, what good is a stronger economy at home or victory overseas if we remain at war with ourselves?"

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"The greatness of America has never been measured by the Dow Jones industrial average, the gross national product, or the combined value of our individual and corporate checkbooks. The strength of America, the true greatness of America, is in the moral fiber of her people, in the integrity of her leaders and in how we treat those who are least and most vulnerable in our midst. That is the greatness of America."


It has often been said that America is great because America is good. And I believe that our goodness - our sense of right and wrong, our commitment to justice and equality - come from values. Values that are taught by parents to their children all across America. Values like opportunity and responsibility. Values like faith and community. And these are the values which our government must preserve and protect.

Throughout my life I have seen the wisdom of these values. As a husband, as a father, as a member of a strong and loving community, I have seen how these values make America both good and great. My opponents seem to appreciate HOLLYWOOD VALUES. I guess I’m more old-fashioned. I appreciate American values.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Alsauf said...

I suppose all their talk about values would mean something if they actually practiced what they preach.

Yes, Tom DeLay, I'm talking to you.


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