Tomorrow morning (9 AM at Netroots Nation 11) I’m serving on a panel of national experts and authors of books on political messaging and polling with Drew Westen and Celinda Lake. As the lone panelist without a Wikipedia page (probably should do something about that, no?) I’m honored to be included in the group.
I was invited to speak after addressing members of Congress and their staffs on the role of branding and identity in politics, and participating in a heated round-table session (along with Drew) with the Congressmen about how to address the issues raised during the day’s many discussions.
My role on the Netroots messaging panel is to discuss three critical issues working against the advancement of Progressive ideals:
1) Progressives (as individuals and as a group) have an outmoded understanding of alignment.
2) Progressives do not discern between actual intent and perceived intent.
3) Progressives ineffectually use logic to counter Conservative faith-based arguments.
These three issues combine to make it extremely difficult for any Progressive to build and maintain the credibility and power to effect change.
The solution is to build a new model of alignment that ensures words and actions are aligned with core ideals – and to make the alignment strong enough to withstand the reinterpretation efforts of the opposition. By building Progressive initiatives on a foundation of positive intent and perhaps linking this intent to strongly positive and deeply held American beliefs (consider the great and popular historical achievements of Progressivism such as the abolishment of slavery, the establishment of civil rights and women’s suffrage, victories in two world wars) the movement can once again begin building a greater America.
You can read more detail in the attached summary (Download the PDF Version here!). If you’re attending the session you’ll get a hard-copy when you arrive. I welcome your thoughts and comments during the panel session – or feel free to approach me any time (though I’m only in attendance at Netroots Nation 11 on Thursday) to share your feedback or ask about scheduling deeper discussion or problem solving for you. You can follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #NN11.
Comments, questions, and opinions from across the political spectrum are also welcome on the Blog – or through the email listed on the PDF.