Daily Dose: Who's really evoking progressive values in the race for WI Governor?

August 9, 2017

Amidst a great deal of fanfare, attorney and State Representative Dana Wachs (Eau Claire) threw his Democratic hat into the ring to challenge Scott Walker for governor in 2018. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel proclaimed Wachs "the most prominent Democrat so far to commit to a run against the GOP incumbent."

 

The biggest uphill climb for Democrats, is that they must win back rural voters who once voted for Barack Obama, and instead went for Trump in 2016. The map below shows the challenge in blue and red:

 Wachs' appeal to the Mike Tate/Jake Hajdu team advising him is obvious (and is pointed out in the Journal Sentinel piece) - he's from "out-state", which is a not-so-flattering moniker for the rural areas they must win to take a statewide election. 

 

It will take more than just that. As I've written recently, conservative biconceptuals (the ones who flipped from Obama to Trump) are the votes to go after. The ONLY way they vote for a Democrat is if the Dem candidate strongly evokes their progressive values based on empathy. In this way, the authoritarian candidate will be rejected in favor of a more positive, hopeful vision for the future based on a common, shared value - empathy. So how's he doing? 

 

A look at the candidate's own website doesn't give me much hope. In all fairness, considering who he's getting advice from, this comes as no surprise. The first paragraph introducing Wachs strongly evokes the same authoritarian frame Scott Walker is, and will use (critical words in bold):

 

"...they (parents) taught me the values of hard work, personal responsibility, and lifting up folks who need help."

 

Once the conservative frame is evoked, by focusing on hard work (self-discipline) and personal responsibility (self-discipline along with self-interest and personal liberty), everything else is understood in that frame. This includes the same ideas Walker will be talking about - job creation and a stronger economy for everyone - through those same conservative values above.

 

I've given plenty of progressive framing examples in previous writings - but I'll provide more tomorrow - just so people don't accuse me of only being critical and negative! 

 

Although, if I see someone about to get hit by a truck, I'm not going to keep quiet...

 

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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