Economic Versus ‘Social’ Issues

Akshually, it’s all about the narratives baby.

So, E.J. Dionne* had a piece about various Democratic governors who are emphasizing economic issues to appeal to voters, even as it’s widely recognized that ‘social’ issues–which is to say, existential issues that aren’t directly economic ones–helped Democrats in 2022. This led to some chatter online about what issues Democrats should favor.

The type of issue is likely less important than the narrative which uses that issue. In other words, how does the issue help create an effective narrative about Democrats and Republicans (we’ll return to the word effective). It’s not enough just to barf out a list of policies: you need to use those policies to tell stories about yourself and your opponents. The evidence to date suggests professional Democrats won’t do that, or do it very well.

One thing to remember is that these stories must be effective; you can’t tell stories that don’t pass the smell test. We might have finally reached the point where the damage done by (Bill) Clinton and Obama era New Democrats to the Democrats’ image on Social Security has receded to the point where they can cast themselves as defenders of that program. It’s also pretty clear that the story of ‘Republicans are one step away from The Handmaiden’s Tale’ is pretty effective too.

Anyway, it’s all about the narratives, not just the issues.

This entry was posted in Democrats. Bookmark the permalink.