RECOGNIZING THE EMOTIONAL DIMENSION OF A POLITICAL MESSAGE

by Jnana Hodson

One of the things I’m seeing the Bernie Sanders camp get right is a recognition of the importance of short messages that appeal to the emotions. I’m seeing a lot of memes (those online posters many of us like to reblog) to that effect, and I suspect many of them are created and distributed by his supporters rather than his staff.

I’ve previously posted my lament that liberal candidates in this country typically sound like they’re giving a lecture – reading everything but the footnotes – rather than speaking passionately from the heart. Great analysis but it’s hard to reconcile that with your feelings when you’re trying to balance the family checkbook. The right-wing, in contrast, well, just listen to Donald Trump riding roughshod over reality. Which would you rather hear in a locker room or a bar? And which are you more likely to remember and repeat? Well, maybe not Trump unless he was performing live mic comedy. Seriously!

Hillary Clinton has her reasons for sticking close to her “talking points,” and I do respect her for that. But the short takes are backfiring for her, as Bernie’s backers are demonstrating.

Just look at how he’s countering the “socialist” label. The graphic of a Social Security card says simply, “Got one of these? You’re a card-carrying socialist.” Bingo! Eight words. And unless you’re in the One Percent, it’s obviously important to your future. What can the so-called conservatives point as their accomplishments? Nothing so dramatic, for sure.

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