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Framing the Future

Book Description

Polls consistently show that most Americans are progressives at heart. By margins of at least two to one, we favor affordable healthcare for all, even if it means raising taxes; want federal action to combat global warming; support stricter gun control; don’t want Roe vs. Wade overturned; and the list goes on. So why is it so hard for progressive candidates to win elections? Because, says Bernie Horn, most progressives don’t know how to explain their ideas in ways that resonate with “persuadables”—the significant slice of the electorate who don’t instantly identify as Democrats or Republicans. These are the voters who swing elections. There’s been a lot of theoretical discussion about framing lately, but Framing the Future isn’t theory—the concepts outlined have been used successfully by progressive candidates across the nation, even in such conservative bastions as Montana, Arizona, and Florida. Drawing on rigorous polling data and his own experience as a veteran political consultant, Horn explains how persuadable voters think about issues and make political decisions and why, as a result, the usual progressive approaches are practically designed to fail with them. He offers a crash course in the nuts and bolts of framing and shows how to use three bedrock American values—freedom, opportunity, and security—to frame progressive positions in a way that creates a consistent, unified political vision that will appeal to persuadable voters. He even offers advice on specific words and phrases to use when talking about a variety of issues and ideas.

Table of Contents

  1. COVER PAGE
  2. TITLE PAGE
  3. COPYRIGHT PAGE
  4. PREFACE
  5. INTRODUCTION: THE EMERGING PROGRESSIVE MAJORITY
    1. The Solution
    2. It’s an Emergency!
  6. PART ONE: OUR MOMENT IN HISTORY
    1. CHAPTER 1: WHAT WE BELIEVE
      1. Balance is Justice
      2. Freedom
      3. Opportunity
      4. Security
      5. The All-American Philosophy
      6. Progressives Believe in Freedom, Opportunity, and Security for All
    2. CHAPTER 2: WHAT’S HOLDING US BACK?
      1. Framing a Philosophy
      2. Framing a Campaign
      3. Framing an Issue
    3. CHAPTER 3: THE WINNING MESSAGE
      1. The Generic Conservative Message Works!
      2. Why Populism and Communitarianism Don’t Quite Work
      3. Why Freedom, Opportunity, and Security for All Wins
      4. Freedom, Opportunity, and Security Negates the Negatives
  7. PART TWO: THE MECHANICS OF PERSUASION
    1. CHAPTER 4: TARGETING THE PERSUADABLES
      1. Who are the Persuadables?
      2. A Campaign Can’t Change Minds
      3. What About the Nonvoters?
      4. What Do Persuadables Believe?
    2. CHAPTER 5: HOW FRAMING WORKS
      1. What is Framing?
      2. Framing Well
      3. Framing by the Media
      4. Framing is Truth-Telling
    3. CHAPTER 6: HOW VALUES WORK
      1. What are Values?
      2. Progressive Values Work
      3. Responsibility
  8. PART THREE: THE PROGRESSIVE TOOLBOX
    1. CHAPTER 7: FREEDOM, OPPORTUNITY, SECURITY
      1. Freedom
      2. Opportunity
      3. Security
      4. Multiple Frames
    2. CHAPTER 8: TALKING ABOUT OUR PHILOSOPHY AND OURSELVES
      1. How to Talk About Our Philosophy
      2. How to Talk About Ourselves
      3. How to Talk About Conservatives and Conservatism
    3. CHAPTER 9: TALKING ABOUT GOVERNMENT
      1. How to Talk About Government
      2. How to Talk About Taxes
      3. How to Talk About Regulation
      4. How to Talk About Social Services
    4. CHAPTER 10: TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMY
      1. The Free Market Isn’t
      2. Principles of Progressive Economics
    5. CHAPTER 11: TALKING ABOUT HOT-BUTTON ISSUES
      1. How to Talk About Terrorism and War
      2. How to Talk About Other Global Issues
      3. How to Talk About Crime
      4. How to Talk About Health
      5. How to Talk About Abortion
      6. How to Talk About Education
      7. How to Talk About the Environment
      8. How to Talk About Consumer Protection
      9. How to Talk About Religion
  9. CONCLUSION: AN ACTION PLAN FOR ACTIVISTS
  10. RESOURCE: SURVEY RESEARCH
    1. CHAPTER 3: THE WINNING MESSAGE
    2. CHAPTER 4: TARGETING THE PERSUADABLES
    3. CHAPTER 6: HOW VALUES WORK
    4. CHAPTER 8: TALKING ABOUT OUR PHILOSOPHY AND OURSELVES
  11. NOTES
    1. PREFACE
    2. INTRODUCTION
    3. CHAPTER 1
    4. CHAPTER 2
    5. CHAPTER 3
    6. CHAPTER 4
    7. CHAPTER 5
    8. CHAPTER 6
    9. CHAPTER 7
    10. CHAPTER 8
    11. CHAPTER 9
    12. CHAPTER 10
    13. CHAPTER 11
    14. CONCLUSION
  12. INDEX
  13. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  14. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  15. ABOUT THE CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES
  16. ABOUT BERRETT-KOEHLER PUBLISHERS
    1. A BK CURRENTS BOOK
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