One of the biggest problems Democrats face in the messaging wars that Republicans have been waging for more than 30 years, is the fact that we are always playing defense. Republicans ascribe a label to us and we quickly scramble to explain how that label isn't true and why. But as we all know, our message gets lost in the middle of the rebuttal.
The best way to combat this is to start taking control of the dialog ourselves and put Republicans on the defense for a change. Democrats need to start calling Republicans out for who they are and what they stand for politically. To do that, we'll need both new terminology and the ability to turn their own memes back on them.
Here are three things we can begin going on the offense about immediately:
1. Republicans are legislating a Daddy State.
Republicans across the country are using their state legislatures to reach into every aspect of our lives; from restricting our access to basic health care, giving our employers the right to pry into our personal medical needs and refuse us insurance coverage they "morally" object to, and forcing women to endure invasive and unnecessary medical procedures against their wills. Republicans are legislating government control of women's health care all across this nation. And Democrats see this as a gross violation of the freedoms and liberties that we love about living in America. (Adapted from words used by Rep Steve King re the Patient Protection Act.)
The Republican Party would love nothing more than to turn this great country into a Daddy State, where "the man of the family" not only gets to set the rules, but they get to punish us when we're "bad" in their eyes.
It's that "Strict Father" mindset that radical conservative regressives use to shape their own families. And they want to bring that structure to America as a whole, by implementing what George Lakoff calls The Santorum Strategy.
Well we've got news for them, right, Dems? They aren't our Daddies and we aren't going to let them act like it, either!