There's power in simplicity. Barack Obama won the Presidency essentially on the strength of a one word rallying cry -- "Change!" Unfortunately Democrats haven't learned their own lesson.
Two years later, despite a multitude of proud accomplishments, President Obama and the Democrats are on the defensive, poised to lose control of Congress partially because of their chronic inability to boil things down to essentials; to formulate slogans that, said in unison, repeatedly drive home simple messages, over and over again. They need words as weapons.
Democrats, especially Mr. Obama, use words to explain. Republicans use word to win. Out of a far-too-articulate president's lecturing about Republicans having "driven the country into the ditch" and should we "hand them the ignition keys again?" this single, simple slogan came to me. It's not about the middle-class, not about infrastructure or the 21st Century. It's not about hope and abstractions. And although it's used with assertions, neither is it about facts. It's simple, declarative and commanding -- an aggressive statement of unequivocal leadership rather than a paradigm of promise.
Allow me to offer a three word rallying cry that Democrats in every Congressional and Senatorial race can embrace, adapt and deploy repeatedly. It's what President Obama should testify to in his best, most deeply inspirational, Martin Luther King call-and-response cadence:
Say it with me now! No U-Turn America!
We Saved The Auto Industry! No U-Turn America!
We Passed Health Care! No U-Turn America!
We're Out of Iraq! No U-Turn America!
We're Reforming Wall Street! No U-Turn America!
We're On The Road To Recovery! No U-Turn America!
We're Not Turning Back! No U-Turn America!
Does it jibe with this Presidency? It's preachy and simplistic. It doesn't ask people to think. It's what Republicans do constantly. It's what's needed to win. Say it with me now, Mr. President.
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