A good example is the income tax rollback. Voters voted for it. Yet you continually agitate against it. Your policy reasons may all be valid and logical and righteous. But, still, the voters voted against it. Yet you continue to hold this position. You deny the political reality of the votersâ preference. âItâs trickery,â you complain, or âthe Republicans demagogue the issue,â or âwe havenât framed it right.â Whatever. The people still want the income tax rolled back to 5.0%. Itâs what was promised.
I hear you argue on BMG all the time âhow important is it to people, whatâs the difference between 5.3% and 5.0%, they wonât care if we âframeâ properly the reasons for holding onto the extra 0.3%,â and so on. People do care. The roll back is a broken promise, and they still are angry about it. Least you forget, this was amply reflected in the referendum question (2002?) eliminating the income tax altogether which lost 55/45. In this state that can be considered a draw.
Come the fall campaign, no matter what the Zogby poll shows today, your refusal to roll the rate back will be hammered, and hammered, and hammered. “Broken promise,” Healy will charge, “not trustworthy,” and evidence “they’ll raise your taxes.” You can see it coming. Can’t you?
And now youâve fallen into the same self-defeating behavior on the illegal immigration issue. It appears a majority of people in MA want our state laws to be enforced. Itâs likely they have, in their own minds, considered the choices being offered them politically, choices which Frank frames perfectly: âleave them (undocumented workers) alone, they deserve a chance just like our immigrant ancestorsâ vs. âthese people are breaking the law, using fake Social Security cards, living on welfare and not paying taxes.â
The way I read it, according to the Rasmussen poll cited in previous posts, theyâve made their choice: 58% want the issue of illegal immigration âsolvedâ (meaning border enforcement and employer sanctions) because they perceive this behavior as economically hurtful to them and unfair to others who obey the law by applying for green cards or work permits legally.
The 2 choices Frank frames are not mutually exclusive. But progressives seem to have an unlimited supply of hubris which makes them unable to acknowledge the validity of other policy positions or opinions. So you revert to excusing these alternate viewpoints, promoted by the newspapers, talk radio and by the Healy, as campaign trickery.
In politics and in policy, you want only what you want. My guess is that youâve sufficiently isolated yourself from voter sentiment that it takes once-in-a-decade correlation of political forces â Iraq, Romney, insert-your-beef-here â to win an election. If you were a consumer products company, like Gillette, or McDonalds, youâd be out of business within a couple of quarters.
I donât mean any of this in a mean-spirited way. You hold your convictions and beliefs strongly. So do I. But as a conservative in a blue state Iâve had to accept the fact that my views will never be policy because Iâm too far to the right of the general MA voter. Perhaps youâre too far left, and need to accept that as a political disadvantage. No amount of âbattlefield framingâ will fix the problem. If you continue to blame trickery, negative advertising and voter stupidity for your election losses, be prepared for further losses.
Instead try asking, “is illegal immigration really a problem? If so, what can be done to fix it yet meet our goals of providing opportunity to new immigrants?”
Try accepting that âthese people are breaking the law, using fake Social Security cards, living on welfare and not paying taxesâ is a real problem which concerns the average voter. Help solve this problem and voters will give you the keys to the Corner Office.
If you canât bring yourselves to acknowledging illegal immigration as a valid political campaign issue, which the majority of people in MA believe is a serious economic and social problem, then I canât see you winning many elections anytime soon.
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