Keep It Simple, Stupid. KISS. The first principle of politics.*
If you can’t simplify your message, it won’t sell. New Deal, New Frontier, Great Society, and Make America Great Again all work because they’re simple.
If anything, in this new age of the cellphone, you need to make things even simpler. It seems to me that our collective attention span has shortened. The time you’ll be given by voters to explain a concept like “New Deal” has shortened with advancing communications technology. . A hundred years ago, on the radio, you might have five minutes. 50 years ago, with the television age, you had a minute. Now, it’s 30 seconds or less. To be really effective, you must make your point in ten seconds. Tomorrow, maybe five.
Trump’s a natural political genius. That’s one reason he’s President. Lyin’ Ted, Lil’ Marco, Crooked Hillary — it doesn’t matter if he can prove any of it. It’s a label, it’s simple, and it sticks. As in, “Democrats produce mobs, Republicans produce jobs”.
This is one reason the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, which I worked with for five years, couldn’t close the deal. If you’re a politician, like a state legislator, you can’t go back to your district and say you voted for a BBA. No one knows what you’re talking about, and it takes too long to explain.
“Give the President the Line Item Veto.” That’s simple. That you can explain in ten to fifteen seconds. That will sell.
Conveniently, the language of those 28 State Resolutions that the BBA Task Force allows them to be used as a vehicle for a Line Item Veto Amendment.
In pitching this to the last six state legislators we need, we must change our message. We’re not campaigning for a Balanced Budget Amendment. We’re for giving the President the line item veto.
I hope we get them, and I hope President Trump helps. For a guy with his political skills, it will be an easy sell.
*Hat tip to Bill MConkey, forty years ago, my first mentor in politics. Jay Hammond for Governor of Alaska, 1978. One of Bill’s finest hours. We won by 98 votes.