Congressional Progressive Caucus and other leftward-leaning House
members could learn a lot about messaging strategy from Linda
Dunikoski, the Senior District Attorney, who prosecuted the three
White men who publicly lynched Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man out for a
jog. She secured felony murder guilty verdicts through her effective
messaging to the jury, dispassionately focusing on the facts of the
understood the conservative racial terrain she had to navigate to
bring a nearly all-White jury (11 Whites and 1 Black) around to the
details of the event which were captured on video by one of the
murderers. She recognized the jurors were from one of Georgia’s
more conservative counties and strategically omitted race from her
case, and focused her message of right and wrong, appealing to their
her Democratic counterparts, Dunikoski understood that her audience’s
interests had to be addressed directly and connected to their
everyday lives. She did not demand that her adjudicators agree with
her personal views of the situation, but hewed to the conservative
Christian reality in which they lived.
Democrats, meanwhile, have approached their base supporters with a
viewpoint that does not incorporate the struggles of their daily
lives. That approach is not working well as reflected in the November
2021 elections in New Jersey and Virginia where Republicans surged to
victory in areas where Democrats had won overwhelmingly a year ago.
their self-aggrandizement, they have decided that their personal and
political opinions represent the perspectives of their constituents,
although they have spent limited energy to determine what they are.
Democrats are taking an aerial view of their supporters’
interests and needs rather than interacting with them regularly.
have taken full advantage of this political position by listening to
their backers and/or energizing and educating them to embrace issues
they promote. They have targeted issues, books, and individuals
deemed to be too radical—critical race theory, Beloved
by the Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison—to vilify as Democrats
stand idly by apparently not knowing how to respond.
of replying in kind, Democrats seem to twiddle their thumbs and
continuing their war among themselves rather than developing a series
of messages that are attractive to their base voters: ethnic
minorities, suburbanites (where Republicans are making inroads),
young people, women, and the elderly. Below are some messaging
Republicans have been campaigning to overturn Roe
which gave women the Constitutional right to a legal abortion since
the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued its ruling in
1973. It has withstood many challenges during the past four decades,
but SCOTUS heard its sternest challenge to date this week. This is
an opportunity for Democrats to frame a powerful message to support
as women (and men) across the socioeconomic spectrum support it by
After an initial flurry of voting rights activity shortly after
Biden’s election in 2020, there has been intermittent
Democratic messaging and efforts to address the 400+ pieces of
proposed voter suppression legislation that is moving and/or has
moved through state legislatures in over 45 states.
attempts at voter nullification are having and have had a negative
impact on ethnic minority voters who provided Biden and several
Democratic House and Senate members their margins of victory in key
states, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and
Wisconsin, which gave Democrats control of all three branches of the
elected federal government in 2020. These voters will be essential
to Democrats winning the 2022 midterms and need to be motivated.
K-12 Public Education:
Funding for public education has steadily declined in recent years,
even as more dollars have been appropriated for this venue. What is
even more disconcerting is that in many cases, monies that President
Biden included in the American
his first piece of federal legislation, were not distributed to
school districts throughout the nation especially those serving
disproportionate numbers of low-income ethnic minority students.
After a big hullabaloo about reforming police practices and tactics
in the aftermath of the police killings of numerous males and females
of color in questionable circumstances, the murder of George Floyd
highlighted the urgency of this problem when police officer, Derek
Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, in full public
view, while Mr. Floyd lay in a prone position on his stomach,
restrained by two other officers.
incident generated national protests in minority and majority
communities across the nation, and then presidential candidate Joe
Biden went to Houston, Texas to meet with the Floyd family. Since
taking office, President Biden has met with members of the family in
the White House. But Democratic-Republican negotiations for police
reform failed after months of trying and have not been resurrected or
even discussed of late.
No topic has generated more controversy than inflation in recent
months. Consumers of all racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds
are complaining about rising costs on food, electronics, homes, gas,
and all other goods and services. Republicans are blaming President
Biden for these price increases and tying them to his Build
bill which they claim will cause inflation to skyrocket even more.
responded by tapping the gas reserves to lower costs at the pump, but
there are no messages being sent to the broader public that are
reducing their economic anxiety. Democrats need to develop a series
of effective and hopeful communications to calm buyers’ fears.
aforementioned concerns are ripe for coherent and aggressive
messaging. The question is: Why aren’t the Democrats seizing
the opportunity to pummel their political adversaries on these
matters? This is especially puzzling since Republicans are leading
Democrats in House and Senate projections for the 2022 midterms.
Democrats are failing to generate messages that will galvanize their
voters to come to the polls in large numbers in 2022 if they are to