The Elevator Speech

One of the things about the Democrats that has always bothered me is that they don’t seem to be able to express their positions on issues without pages and pages of documentation, foot notes, graphs, spreadsheets and fine print.

I can’t tell you how many of pieces Democratic political literature I’ve received over the years that some time run six or seven double sided pages of single spaced print.

More often or not, all these trees have been killed so that I will become aware of the details of some environmental catastrophe that is about to befall the planet if I don’t send large sums of money immediately.

I’m sure there are many committed individuals who read every word of these things, but most people’s eyes glaze over and turn off after the first couple of paragraphs, if not before.

In fact, about now, you too, may have already stopped reading this blog entry…

The Republicans, on the other hand, send out one sheet flyers that state their positions in simple, short phrases, often underlined or in all capital letters in bright contrasting colors, so even the dumbest of us can understand what they are trying to say.

Often the issue is presented in a stark, over simplified, black and white, good and evil manner. Shades of gray are not examined.  You are either for us or against us, period.

Now, the Democrats find this to be intellectually shallow and a sure sign that the Republicans all idiots who have only a limited grasp of the issues because they fail to examine each and every minute detail, exception and , that favorite word of late, nuance of the topic.

Well, here’s the deal.  Most people have a very limited span of attention. It’s just a fact of life. It doesn’t mean they’re all idiots, stupid, or have ADD.

While studying material as a museum volunteer, I noted several sources that state that the average span of attention of museum visitor is about 30 seconds per exhibit.  People just won’t spend the time to examine things in detail.

So, the Democrats have to get over the idea that they have to beat an issue to death and explore the entire universe of possible permutations of every issue.

Salespeople have what they call their “elevator speech.”  The “elevator speech” is a sales pitch or a product description that can be pitched to a prospect during a typical elevator ride.

The Democrats need to develop their “elevator speeches.”

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