It seems the most important quality in public debate is the catchiness of the phrases one uses. Some Examples:
Everyone thought conservatives just don’t care about the plight of the working class and poor people. They were right. But then came “Compassionate Conservative”. None of the policies changes, but people changed their perception of conservatives and lost interest in the debate over whether our society should protect the working class and the poor.
Richard Russell (Senator 60 years ago) beat his opponent largely because of the popularity of the negative nickname he gave his opponent, “Kilowatt Charlie”.
Creationism, long discredited as bunk, has a facelift. It is now called Intelligent Design. Bush says we should teach this crapola in our public schools. Creationism = Hogwash. Intelligent Design = Possible explanation of life on Earth. Where for art thou Objectivity?
Nixon beat his female opponent by saying she was soft on Communism. Not Red, but at least pink. Nixon told reporters that his opponent was “pink right down to her underwear.”
It is upon the catchy phrase that lies the bellwether of public opinion. One good line buys millions of votes and political pressure. It is sad. We are so estranged from the real policies we can only choose between sound bites. They should teach a course for Political Science Degrees called, “Catchy Phrases 101”. It may be the most important political skill there is.