Tag Archive: narrative

The allure of the phony Republican anecdote

Surf and Turf, a staple of food stamp recipients' diets according to GOP.

Surf and Turf, a staple of food stamp recipients’ diets according to GOP.

Humans are a storytelling species. Thus, it’s no surprise that narratives — essentially, ongoing story lines — are an important part of successful political communication. In Messaging Maxim #4: Feed the Narrative, we mentioned that it is valuable to:

craft a true but negative story about your opponents’ ideas, actions or positions, and then look for statements or actions by them that you can point to as furthering that narrative.

Republicans are very good at constructing narratives (for example, “Scary Brown People”); however, many Republican narratives are false. That’s why you will see the GOP using anecdotes, i.e., possibly false or possibly true stories involving as few as one person, to further their phony narratives, rather than citing any meaningful facts, evidence or accurate math.

The one-sentence key to great political messaging

Remember Messaging Maxim #4: Feed the Narrative? Well, before you feed the narrative in your political communications, you have to have a narrative. And sometimes you have to remind your listeners — and yourself — that you have a narrative. In this video, award-winning journalist Tom Junod (Esquire, GQ, etc.) gives a simple, one-sentence trick for journalists that is perfectly adaptable to political communicators of all kinds: