An exceedingly odd tidbit from The Washington Post’s political columnist Perry Bacon:
Democrats should not talk about “the environment,” “the unemployed” or “the uninsured.” Instead, they should replace those phrases with ones that have more appeal to voters, such as “the air we breathe and the water we drink,” “people who’ve lost their jobs” and “people who used to have insurance.”
That’s the advice of one of the party’s newest and more unusual gurus, Drew Westen. Westen is a psychologist and neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta who, unlike most political advisers, has never worked full time on Capitol Hill or for a political campaign.
But party leaders in the House and the Senate brought in Westen recently to discuss his expertise: “The Political Brain,” as he called it in his 2007 book. Westen argues that Democrats constantly try to sell policies to voters through reason and facts, ignoring research showing that people respond more to emotional appeals.
Democrats using reason and facts? When was the last time that happen? All I recall in their appeals is moralistic exhortation and guilt-tripping. That was all we heard in the health care debate, but hardly any reasonable explanation of how the new system could possibly work and nary a fact about how we can pay for it. The same goes for all of the bailouts, the environmental policies, and immigration policies they keep recommending. Now I happen to think that moral exhortation is a legitimate appeal, one not necessarily counter to reason and facts. But if Democrats think that they are the ones who trade in rationality and facts, they are delusional! And if they think they can make their policies more palatable by manipulating the language, they are either cynical or naive.