Revising Conventional Wisdom
By Mark Nolte
I’m not sure, but I think it is happening. I think people are starting to figure it out. Today’s Iowa City Press Citizen Endorsement for Ed Fallon is a strong sign that people are putting the pieces together.
Winning elections is not about getting out the base anymore. In today’s polarized political climate base cancels base. To win today, a candidate and a campaign must:
• Respect and acknowledge that voters are smart and informed
• Realize that Iowan’s are frustrated with the status quo
• Have a lofty vision that isn’t watered down or constrained
• Dare to challenge and inspire voters
• Be confident enough to stick to this vision and not pander
• Offer a message of hope that will motivate people to go to the polls
It seems that conventional wisdom has created a dogma that you have to treat voters like they are children, crafting messages of shell games and avoiding anything of substance.
Voters want to transcend the two party system and vote for someone they believe in; someone who presents solutions to everyday problems. They don’t really care about a candidate’s ambivalent stance on the choice issue or who they may have lobbied for in the 80’s. But when that is all they hear, they lose interest quickly and resign themselves to picking a lesser of the two if they vote at all.
So, as Iowan’s across the state learn of someone like Ed Fallon, who is willing to stand up and call out the power of money in politics, they listen. When they hear that he is offering solutions while being fiscally responsible, they begin to feel excitement. And when they realize that he has walked the walk and been in office 14 years without a dime of PAC money, they are ready to vote. Because that is different, that is courage and that is real. They have heard the lines before, then the excuses. With Ed, its no line, it’s a fact. When they compare what Ed stands for to what Jim Nussle has proven, they will understand the meaning of the word: Electable.