So far, everything I see from the Democratic Party tells me they're afraid to be who they are. Crouched in Howard Dean's basement in Vermont, they're spending their energy trying to keep people from using the word "liberal" about them, only venturing outside now and then to throw rocks at Republicans with glass houses.
That's keeping your light hid under a bushel. That's what you do when you're hoping to win something by default—like a race car driver who hangs back, hoping to zoom past if the leaders get in an accident.
I say stop apologizing for sounding liberal and be as liberal as it is possible to be.
I say stand up for the hard nugget of truth that has been the heart of the Democratic Party since Roosevelt:
'Give the Money Away.'
Why pussyfoot around with focus groups and telephone polls full of subtleties about message retention in the Midwest?
Get a big idea, not a new slogan. Go on Meet the Press—it doesn't matter who does this—and say, "We're the richest nation on Earth. It's time to start giving the money away. We propose to divvy up the resources of the United States of America to the people of the world."
Tim Russert's eyes will pop out.
It'll be beautiful.
You won't have to spend a dime on advertising.
Every newscast and newspaper on Earth will carry the Democratic message as their lead.
Billions of dollars worth of advertising for free.
It's big, it's green, it's interactive, inclusive, nontraditional.
I know, it's a bit off-target; there's not a large market for socialism.
There's concern the idea may not test well.
It goes against the brief.
And it doesn't make any money for the agency.
But, it's got the voice figured out.
I propose the new Republican Party slogan accept responsibility—as the party in power—for a fair share of those things in the world that are not "going well."
'Heaven cannot be built on Earth. We promise to stop trying.'
And opens up a dialogue with elements of the population who would never otherwise consider the party's positions.
That the slogan is at odds with the innermost beliefs of the party's most devoted members is, I feel, an important feature of the work.