Liberal values

January 19, 2006

Speaking of Kevin Drum, here is an interesting post about how to package liberalism to make it more palatable to the masses. To some extent, I think the authors of the piece Drum cites are falling into the same pattern as many liberals these days who desperately want to believe that Republican success in elections is all a function of marketing rather than a real clash of ideas. However, I think Drum’s summary of the authors’ argument gets closer to the heart of the matter:

Roughly speaking, N&S are suggesting that although progressive
policies are (mostly) fine, they need to be explained not as policies per se but as natural outgrowths of core values that resonate with working and middle class voters.

This is a key point, but before liberals can try to sell their ideas as outgrowths of core values, they need to ensure that they have a coherent and well-articulated shared system of values at the outset. From what I’ve seen of the variety of special interests that keep the Democratic Party funded and the leftist faithful outraged, I’m not sure they are there yet.


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