Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Progressives: Telling the People Who We Are

Like us, MoveOn.org has been thinking about why terms like liberal, feminist, and progressive are often misunderstood or viewed with suspicion, even by people who should be natural supporters of the movements they describe. So, in an effort to help reintroduce the public to both the word progressive and to the values the word denotes, MoveOn has teamed up with the Center for American Progress and produced ads like these:





Go vote for the ad you like best to get it on the airwaves.

Now we just need some commercials defining feminism. Any ideas?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I liked mac vs. pc one, but I worry that it might carry some negative connotations of the "liberal" as snotty, overeducated, not down to earth, willing to overpay for a slick design, minicooper vs FORD TRUCK. The other commercial is more issue based, also connects "progressiveness" with Roosevelt who won WWII - an important point. So even though I identify more with Mac-liberal, I think the Roosevelt might win us more points. What go you think?
J.

La Pobre Habladora said...

I want a minicooper!
Seeing as I'm snotty, overeducated, and a total idealist, I see nothing wrong with the Mac vs. PC ad (except for the potential for a plagiarism lawsuit - it can't be called a parody because it is not mocking the original, just stealing its ideas). But, I also like the historical perspective of the first ad. So... maybe the first ad would be more effective because it is targeting an older audience, one that is less likely to already identify as progressive.

Casmall said...

Owning the word "progressive"! heck, I think we should start owning snotty, overeducated, and liberal. I've just designed a commercial concept- Its called" Are you tired of stupid yet?"

Anonymous said...

casmall,

Calling people stupid will not help to win them over. This is exactly what I was talking about. Think about it.

J.

La Pobre Habladora said...

People love gossip, and they love to insult other people (I know I do!). As long as "stupid" refers to just one man (W), and not to all the people who supported his policies, I think that Casmall's slogan might be a big hit. If you implicate the group, though, it alienates the peoples. It is amazing how quickly people will forget their past views, though, once they change their minds - and nothing changes people's minds as quickly as smearing a personality they they associate with those opinions.

Anonymous said...

I think that calling W stupid might be letting him of too easy. Did not he do quite well for himself and his buddies in the past several years? Also I hate the personality smearing tactics no matter who is doing it, a liberal or a conservative. I still think that the best approach is to stick to the issues. I am sure that there are conservatives out there who care about the same issues we do, so lets not alienate them. Also, I don't think casmall meant W only.

Casmall said...

I'm only half joking with the "are you tired of stupid yet?" slogan. When I said it, I wasn't talking about Bush specifically, but about the antithesis of Progressivism - Movement Conservatism. We've been electing conservative Republicans who hate government, should we be surprised when they do a rotten job?
I think the Dems need a newer,stronger approach to how they present themselves, and that means calling a spade a spade.
Anonymouses: I agree that the public debate should be less about personal attacks and more about issues. Yes..those stupid Republican issues that resulted in stupid Republican policy.
By the way, I'm all for alienating the right people. You'll never get through to those 25%ers.

Anonymous said...

Casmall,
of course you are free to call stupid whoever and how many people you want (by the way 25% of US population is 75 million people). What puzzles me is that you found offense with me suggesting that may be some people consider liberals snotty. May be you are right, may be some liberals should start "owning snotty."
same

Casmall said...

Anonymous-
I do believe you just called me snotty!

Very well, consider me alienated.

La Pobre Habladora said...

While I happily claim Snobby Snot for myself (as well as latte-drinking - but only if the latte in question comes from fair trade beans), I would hate to see the terms liberal and progressive be reduced to these things, as they have largely been during the last elections. We need to be directing the public back towards issues of policy, not just fashion and personality stereotypes. I think these ads do a good job at steering the discourse back in the right direction.