There are few strategists on our side of the political spectrum and even fewer that devote themselves completely to the art of how to influence voters. We don’t have the equivalent of a Karl Rove or Frank Luntz. And even if we did no one would listen. Dems still think truth will prevail on its own and good policies will win the day. If only that was the case we would have it made. But we are now in a propagandized twilight zone of fake news where conspiracy theories abound and being right is not enough to win. And if you don’t win, the truth loses and all those great policies never make it past the good idea phase.
So say what you will about James Carville, he is the closest thing to Karl Rove we have ever had. He is widely acknowledged as a brilliant political mind and one of the few successful strategists on the Democratic side. There are no up-and-comers I can think of to take his place. Democrats, progressive candidates and leadership need to hear what he has to say and start focusing on WINNING not just on being RIGHT. Anyone can take the correct positions on policy but knowing how to do that AND WIN is what Democrats need to figure out. Here James issues a dire warning to Democrats. I hope he’s not right.
The first paragraph of this post makes a very good point and raises a really good question. Why DOESN’T the Democratic Party have strategists? Some Democrats might not like some of what strategists might have to say. For example, I’d bet the Democratic Party would be advised to develop and start using a replacement for the PR-disaster phrase “defund the police” as of yesterday. And similarly-uncomfortable PR advice might be handed out in regard to other issues from the environment to women’s rights. Ouch.
But it’s not as if we’re doing well without strategists, Iowa being Exhibit A. I don’t know if Carville is right about what the future will hold, but I think he makes some good points about what we’re up against.