2017 January 29
originally posted on facebook

“Republicans don’t look at polls and think”we need to moderate our platform because Americans don’t support starving the poor to death, and we’ll get negative media coverage”; they work hard over the course of many years to shape public opinion until it says what they say.” -Michael Kinnucan

I see the Republicans’ electoral success as founded primarily on their relentless propaganda machine (although they had to divorce themselves from reality to build it). The median voter theorem only works if the voters actually know what the parties’ positions are, and not just what they were told they are by the Republicans.

Republicans will always have an advantage at messaging since their messaging is unconstrained by bearing any relationship to truth or helping people, but Michael is right that the Democrats still can learn a lot from them about messaging even without compromising important principles.

Another thing Democratic politicians (re., e.g., congressional votes) and progressive voters (re. elections) could learn from Republicans is a little game theory, and the importance of party loyalty in a first-past-the-post system. Which is to say, feel free to argue about principles and ideals all you like so long as when the vote comes up, you vote, and you vote to win, and not vote to feel good about yourself.


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