Speaking to the base or speaking for the base?

By Stephen, 5 November, 2019

One of the leading progressives strikes me as talking to the progressive base; another is speaking progressive ideals to everyone who will listen.

These tend to be lumped together, but I think they are totally different approaches, and the difference very important. If you want to change the world, vote for candidates who speak their values (your values) with clarity to everyone, not just to you and the base. Both these approaches are opposites of the Clinton's Third Way — which unfortunately is where the analysis usually stops.

Even better would be attempting a conversation — which has to be somewhat faked when talking to a million people at once, but you can try, and people can tell when you try.


Trump was particularly good at creating a sense of conversation: people without college degrees living in places that are being left behind by the modern economy felt like he was talking to them, when no one else was. Yeah, obviously he was lying — no one else even bothered to talk to them.

Beto's "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47" is a great example of talking only to your base, showing attitude and loyalty to the home-team while locking the front door so no one else will join you.