Last Updated Apr 1, 2010 5:47 PM EDT
Politicians tend to think about how the minds and brains of voters work in one of two ways.
The first is to assume that voters come to decisions on issues like health care reform by carefully examining the data and the arguments and then calculating whether one plan or another better fits their rational self-interest... The other way to think of voters is as people who have to be sold on a policy or candidate. They are consumers, not debaters, and they'll walk out of a store that doesn't have attentive salespeople.He then provided the following recipe for selling reform:
How do you sell reform? You tell a consistent story about what's wrong with the system, who broke it and how we can fix it. You evoke not only people's concerns about their interests but their values: fairness, the ability to choose what's best for themselves and their family, security. You try to get people as passionate as you are, concerned about the security of their care, angry at insurance companies that have been calling all the shots and hopeful that you know what to do about it. And you choose your words carefully, because words carry emotional connotations, and people may not know exactly what's in a bill, but they have a general sense of whether they like it.That's a textbook definition of solution selling. Elsewhere in the editorial Westen points out that Democrats are not as good at Republicans at selling their policies, while Democrats are still tend to think of policy in terms of debating points.
I'm curious what my crew of experts think, so here's a poll: