Excerpt from Keynote at Progress 2017
Conventional wisdom says to meet people where they are. But, on most issues, where they are is unacceptable. Applying tools from cognition and linguistics, we uncover where people are capable of going and how to use our words, images and stories to move them.
Progressive messages often lead with "no" and "don't." We rely on fear and anger -- reactive emotions. To sustain long-term movements, we must shift from cataloging what we're resisting to painting a desirable portrait of the world we seek.
If your words don't spread, by definition, they don't work. To break a signal through the incessant political noise requires constant repetition. That's why our messages must persuade the middle while also energizing the base.