2022 State of Emergency! Democrats must Sell the Brand, or We All Lose!

With the upcoming election in 2022, our lives, well-being, property, economy, democracy, and future are on the line. We all know what is on the line, so we must elect more Democrats to keep the US House and Senate and win more statehouses and governorships!

Democrats have a great product but only sell it well enough to win about half of the voters. Of course, Democrats do better in blue states and big cities and worse in red states and rural areas. Too many voters vote against their own best interests and what is best for a healthy democracy, economy, and future. But those voters do not think they are.

The current situation is also due to the Republican Party having a terrible product but selling the heck out of it and simultaneously misrepresenting what the Democrats do and stand for!

Republicans have done an amazing job at branding to be good for the economy and simultaneously branding the Democrats as horrible. Far too many voters will not vote for a candidate with a ‘D’ by the name. This brand problem for Democrats is more pronounced in rural America and so-called red states but exists everywhere. Even with a terrible product, the Republican strategies win over about half of the voters.

Republicans sell messages that sound good to many voters but do not work. For example, the party says Republicans “give more money to the job creators” and “get government out of the way.” The Republicans sell messages that Democrats “give your hard-earned money to the takers,” “throw the economy over the cliff,” and more. 

Republicans misrepresent Democrats as Socialists or Communists that take your freedoms and wreck the economy leaving store shelves bare. Republicans use fear, hate, and blame to win over and motivate voters. In reality, the Democrats’ investments and policies create opportunities and freedoms for our people and businesses. It is Republicans that decrease our opportunities and freedoms with their cuts and policies.

To win elections, Democrats count on getting out the base, registering new voters, the charisma of candidates, and policies voters should support. Democrats sell their policies mostly on morality. They say or imply it’s morally right to educate people, provide access to health care and require equal pay for equal work. Democrats say these policies are good for the economy but have never explained how except it puts money into the bottom of the economy that gets spent quickly. A few candidates have talked about the speed of money but have not tied that to a few other fundamental principles or people’s lives.

Democratic party strategies tend to work in more urban areas, with younger or more educated people and people of color. These strategies tend not to work with more rural areas, with older and less educated people, and older white men.

Former President Bill Clinton started talking about the math but did not keep going. Former President Barack Obama said that “you did not do it on your own.” Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “We think bottom-up economics works.” My head explodes when I hear this! “We think” is not a compelling argument against Republican rhetoric that sounds good but does not work. Bottom-up economics works because of fundamental macroeconomic and behavioral principles that are easy to explain!

It is way past time to take the gloves off and effectively counter Republican rhetoric and go after people voting for Republicans. Former President Trump showed that you pull out votes if you go into areas not voting for your party. Democrats need to return the favor! Every vote we flip is like two votes: one more for us and one less for them.

Democrats support policies necessary for people to thrive, for businesses to succeed, for a prosperous and shared economy, for a genuine Democracy, for caring for the environment, and for a better future. Democrats support what I call Basic Public Investments (BPI), Valuing-All-Workers (VAW), and a Fair System to accomplish these goals. These simple principles are the foundation of a positive economic message for Democrats to directly counter Republican rhetoric to win over more voters not persuaded by the morality arguments.

BPIs (Basic Public Investments) are the foundation for widespread prosperity!

To thrive, Americans need quality education, health care, infrastructure, research, safe communities, community development, and safety nets which are Basic Public Investments. People do not need just one or a few of these investments. We need all of these BPIs. 

Businesses do not exist with just educated workers, healthy workers, or infrastructure. Businesses also need all of the BPIs.

BPIs expand the economy, creating years to decades of increased tax revenue which pay back the investments. BPIs create more customers with more money which triggers business investments that further expand the economy and generate more tax revenue.

VAW (Valuing-All-Workers) creates more Customers-With-Money!

To thrive, people also need good wages. The principle of Valuing-All-Workers creates good wages. VAW means supporting a livable minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, and workers’ rights. Each initiative drives up wages, increasing people’s buying power, which means more customers with more money for businesses. Better wages for low-income workers are essential for people to thrive.

However, for businesses to exist and succeed, they need BPIs plus something else — Customers-With-Money (CWM). Both BPIs and VAW create more customers with more money. CWM is an essential condition for the success of businesses.

A Fair System is critical for broad prosperity for people and businesses!

Without fairness, a relatively small number of people and businesses do exceptionally well at the expense of the rest of the people and businesses and the overall economy. Concentrating wealth also prevents the economy from reaching its full potential when all people and businesses flourish.

BPIs, VAW, and a Fair System enable Capitalism to work for all people and businesses!

Limiting BPIs, VAW, and a Fair System creates Rigged Capitalism that works mainly for the few. Republicans fighting against these investments and policies drives today’s rigged system with increasing income and wealth disparity. Republicans label these investments and policies as Socialism and even Communism in the sense of taking your freedom and wrecking the economy.

The reality is that these investments and policies increase our opportunities and freedom and create a more prosperous economy that benefits everybody. These investments and policies create Enabled Capitalism. Republicans fighting against these investments and policies hurt people, families, and businesses, especially in rural America and small towns to big cities across our nation. 

There is a difference between Socialism and the collective purchases that individuals and individual businesses cannot make on their own for our people, businesses, and economy to prosper. To thrive, we-the-people invest in what we and our businesses need through our local, state, and federal governments. Individuals and individual businesses cannot buy everything we need individually!

Democrats do not “give your hard-earned money to the takers,” as the Republicans say. Democrats invest in America and Americans, and we are great investments! Democratic policies create a stimulus effect in the short run and generate taxpayer payback for years to decades from healthy and educated people and the rest of BPIs. 

Unlike tax cuts for the wealthy, Democrats invest in what pays back, which helps everyone, including the rich. Democrats need to explain how Democratic policies help everyone by explaining the principles behind the policies.

Candidates and politicians tying their specific local, state, or national issues and policy ideas to these principles will sell themselves, sell the brand, and make Democrats in general more electable across the United States. Arming our base with these principles will make them more effective ambassadors with their Republican voting family members, friends, and co-workers. 

The national, state, and county parties and other organizations could educate candidates, the party’s base, and the public on these fundamental principles. Democrats have a great product! So, let’s sell the heck out of the brand!

By Karl Smith | 2022 State of Emergency! Democrats must sell the brand, or we all lose.

Watch this short video for how to explain How Bottom-Up Economics works:


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