Critical Race Theory attack is case study in how right has mastered that turnout is persuasion. And knows that job of message isn't to say what’s popular; it’s to make popular what you want said. A 🧵
View from swing voters in focus groups (caveat qual) over last weeks: “CRT” attack isn’t persuasive. Phrase not intuitively bad (eg “death tax”), some think it means critique of racializing things. When explained, swing still want kids taught truths. So why is right doing this?
CRT attack is red 🥩 for their base. Generated “righteous” fury when base feeling defeated. Something new to repeat
over and again, making them seem like guardians of our national virtue instead of propaganda peddlers for prejudice.
There’s also a practical element: school board races generally get little notice so getting attention and name recognition among small subset of voters matters. GOP has always known down ballot matters for setting agenda and nurturing folks to run for other office.
CRT is also perfect distraction from the right’s failures on every front including, of course, education. They’ve decimated schools by refusing to fund & imperiled kids & staff when they botched covid prevention & containment.
But perhaps the most critical (badum bum!) lesson: When the right polls something and it’s unpopular, they introduce it anyway. They research to change the temperature while left polls to take it.
Social security is perhaps best example. When Bush first introduced “personalizing” (read: privatizing) SS it tested abysmally. People loved and trusted SS. So, the right introduced it anyway!
And then they did it again. And then again. Now, even highly engaged lefties frequently repeat “SS is insolvent,” when this is utter nonsense. We need only lift cap. But this has become common sense and with it tarnished SS.
If our own base isn’t engaged and acting as our choir, we have no hope of echo chamber needed to persuade the middle.
Obligatory caution: This is about messaging strategy not content. Engage base in order to persuade applies across ideologies. But kinds of messages that move inherently rightwing people are very different than those that make presently unengaged lefties wanna repeat.
You wouldn’t use same message to sell a white dude sporting good as a Black woman a sports car. They have to push conservative people’s button to sell policies that destroy; we have to push progressive people to sell creation, inclusion and justice.
For those who want to move from "diagnosis" to suggested "cure:" Here's a messaging guide on Honesty in Education. Let's take advantage of attention on curriculum, history & teaching our kids:…
Note - this is where @runforsomething @amandalitman and @RossMoRock are so critical.

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More from @anatosaurus

1 Apr
If we don't establish at the outset that our problems are person-made, it makes it impossible to animate audiences to demand they be person-fixed.
People don't "lose" their jobs or homes, like we do our phones, keys and wallets.
Wages don't acquire additional gravity and thus fall.
"Gaps" between groups do not self-propel to become wider.
When we make "systems" the culprits for present harms, we kneecap our ability to generate and sustain mobilization. You can't go protest at "systemic inequities's" house.
Read 4 tweets
16 Mar
We don’t have to call things the names our opposition have deliberately manufactured to frame issues on their terms. 1
Yelled about this whole bunch - to no avail- after “Citizens United” decision. We could have called it Corporations Unleashed instead of rendering ourselves opposed to the notions of citizens acting together. 2
“Pre-existing conditions” is an industry talking point, invented by corporations who put life and health up for sale.
Having a human body means it needs care. 3
Read 8 tweets
16 Jan
They lost. And so they declare themselves winners and eagerly shed blood. We won. But we imbibe a narrative that democracy is an impossibility, that they’ve destroyed it beyond repair. Nah. We dealt a blow to fascism at the ballot box. Nothing we can’t do.
The very purpose of guerrilla warfare (for that is what this angry minority clinging to their supremacy is) is to destroy their enemies will to resist.
We are through resisting. We are embracing our power, under the guidance of Black, Indigenous and immigrant led movements. And we’re moving into governance.
Read 7 tweets
6 Jan
Much has rightly been said about the destructive influence of money in politics. Less discussed is how the chase for dollars pollutes campaign messaging. 1
Analyses buzzing at the race forward, holistically progressive approaches in #GASEN - talking about human rights issues (grossly mislabeled “identity politics”) not just ok, it’s required. 2
A closer look at Ossoff’s narrative shift, in particular, reveals a telling evolution. In the final sprint, he pivoted toward an *affirmative* solution based message, rooted in having a government that cares for and respects all, no exceptions. 3
Read 8 tweets
9 Oct 20
How well do you know high potential voters? In RCT of 6000 which reluctant voters did this engage?
a. Cynics (feel burned by system, don't believe change possible)
b. Peace seekers (find politics a whole lotta yelling, prefer to focus on fam and friends)
c. Both
What about this one?
a. Cynics
b. Peace seekers
c. Both
And this?
a. Cynics
b. Peace seekers
c. Both
Read 6 tweets
15 Aug 20
Progressive’s attachment to constantly narrate all we’re confronting frequently renders our target audiences objects, not subjects, in our sentences. Little wonder we have trouble motivating people to sustained action.
Anytime you’re taking about what “they” do to us - you’ve made the opposition the actor and made passive those you’d like to see acting.
One of the proven most effective levers for mobilization is social proof: suggesting or claiming the group to which your audience belongs is already doing the thing you’re hoping to inspire.
Read 4 tweets

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