Now that the GOP seems to be gaining some momentum in the polls, and are showing some real desire to get their platform out there to the American people, it is is time to start working on strategies to take back the debate. For years we have allowed those on the left to dictate the terms of the debate. We sit back and allow the leftist or statist accuse us of any number of horrible acts simply because we disagree with their policies. We spend way to much time trying to convince the American people that we are not these horrible things. Our time would be much better spent explaining to the American people the merits of our policies, and showing them the real effects of those policies. By doing this we will effectively take back the debate.
One sure fire way that we can be sure that our message is heard, is to completely ignore the left when it goes into ad hoc attack mode. The left will call anyone who advocates reducing welfare as a racist with no heart, but they won't ever talk about the facts. Instead of taking the bait and discussing why our policies are not racist, we should ignore the accuser and continue discussing the benefits of our programs and policy. The American people will listen to the person who is offering real solutions and will ignore those hurling insults.
Mary Spaeth, Communications Aide to President Reagan and Modern Communications Guru, says that "you should never repeat a negative." If someone accuses you of something you should acknowledge the comment, with out repeating it, and then go back to your message. Mary says you should never repeat the accusation. If you do the accusation will be the only thing people will remember. Example: If someone says "you are a racist", you should never say "I am not a racist." If you do this the only thing people will remember is the word "racist'. Instead simply acknowledge their remark by saying, "my opponent through their accusation is simply trying to distract from the truth of the matter, and that is that we need welfare reform." Now the people will remember that "welfare reform" is the "truth". By taking the wind out of their accusation you take back the debate.
The left is not afraid of hurling irrational accusations at the rational policy proposals that our side will propose. They are not afraid of attacking you personally instead debating the merits of the issue. To our opponents, personal attacks and accusations are how you debate, and by trying to refute these accusations and defending ourselves against these attacks we lower ourselves and the level of debate in this country. This is what the American public are finding harder and harder to swallow, and why more and more Americans are getting frustrated with their government. The best way to show how the GOP is different from the DNC, is by raising the level of debate in this country, and by refusing to debate personal attacks by simply brushing them off and staying on message. If we do this, then we will take back the debate and force the left to actually come clean about their real motives.