Roy Temple and Michael D. Jones’ argue that the Democrats need to embrace progressive heroes.
Conservatives are the heroes of their own stories. Progressives need to internalize that same sense of pride in their efforts and then infuse their policy narratives with political champions. This may finally activate the reasons voters already believe are good cause to support progressive policies, but constantly push to the back of their thoughts — or the “why” of public policy. People want more than to be a part of a laundry list of meaningless policy facts or sterile solutions; rather, at the very core of humanity you will find a need to explain the world in a way that makes each one of us the protagonist. And nobody wants to be the protagonist in a story nobody would want to read or hear. No, we all want to be the hero in a story that places each one of us as a champion of what is righteous and good. Progressives certainly have the building blocks for such a story.
Agreed. For all the talk of politicians controlling their own narratives over the last decade, it’s been tough for the Democrats to embrace the idea of heroes and villains. They like to see things in shades of grey. Unfortunately people like their heroes. Hence George Bush’s embrace of cowboy language, the dominance of the summer blockbuster and the feeling among the left that Obama has no balls. Candidate Obama seemed to understand this inherent need in the electorate and presented himself as a mythic change bringing. President Obama decided to forgo that image in favor as a humble man of the people. It’s time for the President to embrace what he gave up as a candidate, and become the hero of our story once again.