Friday, April 21, 2017

Why We Are Democrats

After November, my #1 priority for the local party was to create a video of interviewees answering the question, "Why are you a Democrat?"

As the all-too-often quoted George Lakoff said in "Understanding Trump,"  "Values come first, facts and policies follow in the service of values. They matter, but they always support values."

Thus for Marchers for Science, it may be better to stress a belief in exploration and invention rather than to argue against cost-cutting to the EPA. For decarceration supporters, it may be better to talk about liberty and justice for all than to quote statistics.

I don't know whether Lakoff is right that this appeal to unconscious thought is necessary, or whether Americans are just lazy thinkers. Probably both are true. It's part of the reason I'm framing the Dryden solar issue as Paul suggested: "What do we want our town to be remembered for?" rather than "We can provide cheaper electricity to 7,500 households." But it's rough going for someone who actually likes facts and details and was always taught to support opinions with strong evidence.

But back to the initial question. Because in order to support values, one ought in fact to have values, our Political Action Team is coming up with a sort of definition/manifesto that clarifies Democratic ideals as we see them at the local level. As you can imagine, it has not been an easy process—but it has been a good one.

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