Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The false narrative of ‘the narrative’

By Damon Linker, The Week

Democrats’ insistence that comms strategy is their problem is understandable. It’s also wrong.

Just under a year from midterm elections that look likely to wrest control of Congress away from the Democrats, leading members of the party claim to have discovered the source of their troubles. In the words of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, quoted in The Washington Post, “it’s just a fact” that “Democrats are terrible at messaging.”

The Post piece treats that assertion as a given and goes on to quote several Democratic bigwigs saying much the same thing. All agree that the party has yet to hit on a message to sell its legislative achievements and reverse the slide in President Biden’s approval numbers that began in late July.

But is that true? Are Democrats merely a victim of their own messaging ineptitude? Is Biden’s unpopularity attributable to media insistence on hyping inflation and other bad news at the expense of all the good things his party has been doing for average Americans? It’s easy to see why Democrats would like this narrative about “the narrative,” but the explanation doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

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