Tag Archive: Trayvon Martin

After Ferguson, we’re done with the GOP

Protesters for Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO

Protesters for Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO by police officer Darren Wilson may well be a tipping point in American political history. The ensuing Right versus Left war over the narrative in Ferguson made it clear that we cannot reason with conservatives and Republicans. They are so invested in their tribalism and Kool-Aid identity politics (in this case, the Scary Brown People narrative) that, presently, there’s no chance of Republicans working with us to solve any big issues. Accordingly, Democrats and progressives might want to focus on the following three things:

Controlling the narrative in Ferguson

Anonymous "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" protester in Ferguson, MO.

Anonymous “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protester in Ferguson, MO.

The news coverage of Michael Brown‘s killing in Ferguson, MO is a classic example of conservatives trying to change the story. The facts are that Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson shot the unarmed teenager Brown multiple times, seemingly execution style, and killed him. But the Ferguson Police, Fox News and other conservatives are trying to distract us from the facts with various narratives.

Republicans’ low profiling

Rally for Travon Martin at Univ. of Minnesota

Rally for Travon Martin at Univ. of Minnesota

On a recent ski trip, we noticed two types of profiling: First, the lift operators at the bottom of the mountain scanned the lift tickets of some skiers and snowboarders, but not others, to make sure they had purchased a ticket that day. It seemed like only younger and less affluent-looking snowboarders were being checked, while older, prosperous-looking skiers were not. That night, at a nice restaurant in town, the host told some younger, scruffier looking snowboard types that it would be an hour and a half wait for a table, and then told an older, affluent looking couple that they could get a table in just ten minutes.

President Obama on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Last night, President Barack Obama gave an impressive interview to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. Obama was perhaps as confident and comfortable as he’s ever appeared as President. Why does this matter? Because, in politics, optics matter. Style as well as substance matters. The Tonight Show still gets strong ratings, and viewership across the country soars when President Obama sits down with Jay Leno. So let’s check out what Obama said and how he said it:

Messaging Maxim #5: Make it Personal

During the 2009-2010 debate over the Affordable Care Act, Messaging Matters called for the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress to put forth a procession of people who could tell their personal stories about being denied healthcare insurance or coverage. That did not happen, at least until very late in the process, and the ACA’s reputation never quite recovered from unanswered or poorly answered Republican attacks. What we were calling for can now be termed Messaging Maxim #5: Make it Personal.