Democrats who so often coasted to victory often little more than “hope” and gas fumes for the last four years are feeling the full weight of a pendulum swinging back despite all they have accomplished. Some Republicans will win this year on “hate” and gas fumes. But the best incumbents, candidates, and campaigns recognized this reality long ago, subsequently doing their planning and plan implementation to win this year. In our communications planning Democrats too often treat voters as if they only want to hear about abstract policy. On the other hand Republicans often treat voters as if they won’t see the wool being pulled over their eyes.
It’s crucial for Democrats to “show” and not just “tell” voters why they should vote for the party in charge when most voters don’t have a job, worry about losing their job, or know someone who doesn’t have a job because this is so obviously what people care about and there’s no article out there that says a full economic recovery is happening any time before the election.
“Showing” voters why they should vote for the party in charge hasn’t ever been this difficult for most of the politicians and their campaigns. One way to “show” and not tell voters why they should pick Democrats is by making the rationale to do so relatable by taking something that’s a feel-good story ready-made for Oprah or the Today Show and using it as a metaphor.
Below are 10 pre-election metaphors that use the latest global feel-good story for speeches, press releases, op-eds, and soundbites to “show” voters why they ought to pull the lever, check the box or touch the screen for Democrats up and down the ticket on November 2:
1. The Tea Party has no plans to help our economy recover, no plans to fix our health care system, and no plans to stop greedy Wall Streeters from instigating the next economic collapse. Voting for Republicans and Tea Party candidates is like voting against trying to rescue the heroic Chilean miners. They will walk away from fixing our nation’s problems, but we can prevent that.
2. Look at what happened in Chile. People from all over the world came together to rescue 33 hardworking men and women from imminent death by coming up with the best solutions to a problem. We’ve got war, recession, and a rapidly rising deficit. The only way out is to find a solution together, not listen to those who would seek to make the problems worse like the Tea Party, , Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who stand for nothing but policies that will hurt us.
3. The economy, like the mine in Chile, remains collapsed, and that is what voters care about. We haven’t given voters a reasonable expectation that the economy will bounce back but our opponents intentionally collapsed the mine, and we’re the only ones who have sought a reasonable way out of that collapse.
4. I feel as trapped as you in an economy that seems as slow to recover as it must have seemed waiting for rescue in that mine in Chile. But with good policies that encourage economic growth, we will eventually prevail like the miners and their rescuers.
5. Like the miners in Chile we didn’t dig ourselves in to this hole, but we’re going to get out of it.
6. We need you to pull us to victory because we’ve been trapped by the Tea Party like the Chilean miners got trapped underground, but just like them we’re going to come out of this thing a little skinnier but intact, and stronger than ever.
7. The Tea Party and Glenn Beck are the mine, but we’re the miners. Together, we will beat those naysayers who seek nothing but to tear down policies that seek to rebuild, not tear apart the fabric of our nation / state!
8. Against all odds, like the miners in Chile, we will prevail.
9. We’ve worked hard and planned just like the miners in Chile did. Those who didn’t do the work we did may see the anti-incumbent wave wipe them out. But we worked hard, made a difference and we will not be wiped out.
10. Like the miners, it’s up to others—the voters—to determine our fate, but by sticking together, planning well and communicating well externally and internally, we will succeed.