Framing:  Issue by Issue

What's the Message?
Promoting the Message
Connecting the Message
Issues & the Message
Messengers of Democracy
Threats to Democracy

Social Security
Economic Justice
Environmental Security
Equal Rights
Ethical Foreign Policy
Strength in Education
Family Healthcare
Fair & Effective Taxes
Family Planning

I feel we are all
islands —
in a common sea.

—Anne Morrow Lindberg



It's up to the communicator to get his or her message through.  Don't blame the person who didn't understand you.  Learn to theme your issue or policy discussion with words that have meaning — our values.



Communicating Our Message

The best way, the only way to effectively communicate our message, is for all of us to use the same phrases and speak in similar ways.  It works.  Want proof?  Check the election results.  When Newt Gingrich introduced his "Contract with America", written by language strategist Frank Luntz, power shifted away from Democrats.  The reason is simple: unified language is powerful.  People are busy, politics is complicated and a clear message is critical. We've got to make what we say easy to follow and memorable. 

Begin by giving our communications meaningful themes by using our values.  Repeat our catchy metaphors.  Infuse what you say with honest emotion.  When we learn to speak in unison, we'll be heard and quickly understood across a wide spectrum of people.




Want to join others in making an impact? Join the Progressive Values Movement.



It only took 120 years:


American women earned the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1920



  The Power of Theme and Repeat

Guided by our values and inspired by our vision, Progressives create forward-thinking programs that lift Americans to greater heights of security and prosperity.  We are determined to protect the American Dream for every American at every stage of life, from childhood through old age.  Our programs and policies represent effective, accountable and responsible government.  When you think of progressive Democrats, think of us empowering Americans to live up to their highest potential, making America strong.

Take a look at these issues.  Notice they are framed using our values (health, fairness, ethics, strength, protection) and not the more distant labeling that obscures understanding (deficit, abortion, environment). 

If we are to compete with the disciplined radical Republican's message machine, we need to learn and repeat the concepts on the following pages.  Read, theme and repeat. Learn message discipline and teach it to others.  Do this as if your future depends on it.  It does.

Insurance Policy: Social Security

A Moral Economy

Environmental Health and Protection Equal Rights
Ethical Foreign Policy Strength in Education
Healthy Families Fair & Effective Taxes
Family Planning  

"Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke.
They stand four-square for the American home— but not for housing.
They are strong for labor— but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights.

They favor minimum wage—the smaller the minimum wage the better.

They endorse educational opportunity for all—but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools.

They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine— for people who can afford them.

They consider electrical power a great blessing—but only when the private power companies get their rake-off.

They think American standard of living is a fine thing—so long as it doesn't spread to all the people.

And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.


— President Harry S. Truman



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