One of the strongest critiques of the progressive movement is in its own messaging. Too many different ideas and thoughts are thrown out in a vain hope of something sticking. Often times it just does not work.
Commercials and conservative messaging is simple – repeat it until the audience believes it is true. Like McDonald’s offering healthier options! Or that lower taxes actually creates jobs!
Right now the progressive movement feels like it is onto something big with Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream and the partnership of more than 70 other progressive orgs. Instead it feels like it just might be wasted with poor messaging. Actually, the lack of cohesive messaging.
Let’s dive into it. The movement is now being called the American Dream movement.
The organization is called Rebuild the Dream in which worked with MoveOn to create the Contract for the American Dream.
A major conference hosted by Campaign for America’s Future is called Take Back the American Dream. I will give some slack to this as it is an annual event they were not going to change the name of.
The movement is partnering with Democracy for America but DFA is saying Don’t Kill the Dream.
The signs available from MoveOn’s site say Save the American Dream.
So which is it? All of them tell a different tale and lead the viewer to believe something else.
As progressives we have to recognize that the American Dream has already been destroyed. It cannot be taken back, saved, nor killed. It is already gone. It has already been killed by the American nightmare of consumerism. It must be rebuilt through solid policy goals in D.C.
The messaging was right at the beginning – now it is being convoluted by progressives in different organizations wanting their own fingerprints on the movement – all at the cost of the movement itself!
The ten policy ideas laid out in the Contract for the American Dream is a way to Rebuild the Dream from the bottom up. That is probably the best messaging for this movement. Taking it apart and adding one’s own words may sound similar but the average American hears another connotation and is lost.
It is my hope the partnering organizations do not view this movement as merely something to cultivate more emails for their own lists but a real attempt to joining together as one body. It is only then that we can have a real shot at helping American families, at building a progressive future, at instilling real change at the national level.
© Aaron Krager 2008-2013 | Have any questions? Send me an email.