Catchy headline, huh? Scary, short, active voice, strong verb. Fits on a bumper sticker. Cries out for action.
Too bad that’s not the way Democrats communicate.
We’re talking about the recent story out of Vermont. Turns out the Russians can walk and chew gum at the same time, if by walking we mean installing a stooge in the White House and by chewing gum we mean getting ready to attack his country’s infrastructure while he’s busy indulging narcissistic delusions.
Were the Chimps in charge of the left-leaning narrative (and at the risk of sounding immodest, we should be), there wouldn’t be a Democrat in America today who wasn’t screaming from the rooftops, “We’re all going to die! And it’s all Trump’s fault!”
It is time for progressives to take back the political narrative. That means making emotional and fear-based appeals, capitalizing on news (bad or good), framing issues in a way that benefits Democrats and hurts Republicans, and telling stories that are easy to understand, compelling, and easy to retell.
How about this:
Hey, Americans, Trump’s BFF Vladimir Putin has penetrated our electrical grid. That means he can turn off our power whenever he wants to. He won’t need to nuke us after he shuts our power off, because we’ll destroy ourselves when that happens. You know why? Because when the US loses all its electrical power, that will shut down our water plants and pumps, our fuel processing and transport facilities, and every refrigeration unit in the country.
And you know what that means? That’s right: no fresh water, lots of spoiled food, and a paralyzed transportation network. Or, put another way, nothing to drink, nothing to eat, and nowhere to go. Oh, and nobody will have any idea what’s going on because we’ll all be without our TV’s, our radios, and our internet access.
How long before Americans are killing each other in the streets? The Chimps give it 96 hours, tops. There aren’t enough troops in all the armed forces to stop the animal-kingdom mayhem that will befall is. Watch out your window as a starving young human takes a tire iron to some hapless octogenarian over a loaf of fucking Wonder Bread.
Oh, and turning off our power is also a nice way to keep our land-based missiles stuck in their silos – you know, just in case Donald Trump’s incompetence provides the opportune time to vaporize us once and for all.
Is that scary enough for you? Well, guess who’s to blame. Republicans have been standing in the way of Obama’s plan to upgrade and protect our electrical grid for EIGHT YEARS. And now the Russians are in.
And you know what Donald Trump is going to do about Russians hacking into our utilities? The same thing he does about all Russian hacking: not a goddamn thing.
Donald Trump is a Russian plant and a stooge, and Republicans are weak on securing our infrastructure. You don’t want the Russians to kill your children? Here’s an idea: Vote Democrat.
We can hear it now. That’s just not how Democrats work. We don’t like hyperbole and we don’t appeal to people’s fear. That’s just mean.
Right. Democratic political incompetence and spinelessness are the reasons Republicans control all three branches of the federal government and the vast majority of the state governments responsible for gerrymandering voting districts. We Democrats have to get our act together; if we’d learn to appeal to emotional as well as intellectual thinkers, we’d be an electoral juggernaut. That such smart people can be such political dolts is dumbfounding.
Spread the word, progressives! The Russians are in, and Trump is going to get us all killed.