I’ve said that what is important to me is pushing progressive ideas, moreso than any Democratic party loyalty. Ben Smith relates a story demonstrating how Obama knows how to frame a liberal, progressive value in a way that can convince people who aren’t already on-board.
An interesting moment came when he was asked a question about LGBT rights and delivered an answer that seemed to suit the questioner, listing the various attributes — race, gender, etc. — that shouldn’t trigger discrimination, to successive cheers. When he came to saying that gays and lesbians deserve equality, though, the crowd fell silent.
So he took a different tack:
“Now I’m a Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday,” he said, to a sudden wave of noisy applause and cheers.
“I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian,” he said, and the crowd seemed to come along with him this time.
Some people think this ability to get non-Democrats to get on board the Liberal Express is actually a bad thing, for some inexplicable reason. Me? I think this is a great thing. This is one of the reasons I support Obama over Clinton – he knows how to talk to people. Of course, there are people out there who won’t be receptive to Obama’s message, regardless of his framing. But one-third of this country is “independent”. They have no party loyalty. We already know they value many of the same things liberals value – they just don’t know it. Maybe Obama can help them realize that they are more liberal than they thought they were.