Framing Memo #1: Legitimate Elections
The rights of voters are being attacked on every front. Trump and friends’ favorite tactic is pre-emptive projection: they accuse us of what they are about to do, so when we accuse them, it sounds like yet another “he said/she said” partisan fight.
Republicans: “They are trying to steal the election through mass voter fraud. We are doing everything we can to fight voter fraud.”
Democrats: “They are trying to steal the election through mass voter suppression. We are doing everything we can to fight voter suppression.”
Voters: “Screw you guys! I’m going home.”
Purveyors of disinformation say that if you can’t win on the merits, flood the zone. Chaos is the autocrat’s best friend. With literally hundreds of voter suppression cases working their way through the courts, how do we break through the crazy?
We win the debate by putting it all in a larger context: by giving the public a set of criteria they can use to judge right and wrong for themselves, PRINCIPLES that are morally unassailable and that can be applied consistently across this entire chaotic collection of offenses. Doing this will also give us the consistent and clear message that so often eludes us.
- We believe in democracy.
- All authority comes from the consent of the governed.
- For government to be legitimate, elections have to express the will of the people.
- The right to vote is what makes us free.
- Our right to vote shouldn’t have to be spelled out in the constitution. This is a democracy. The right to vote should be self-evident and inalienable.
- Everyone must be able to exercise their right to vote by casting their vote.
- Every vote must be counted.
That is the standard by which everyone should judge right and wrong when it comes to our elections. Every individual case can be tied back to this theme.Continue reading