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Framing the Future by Bernie Horn

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CHAPTER 9Talking About Government

When addressing persuadable voters, there’s not much benefit in saying the words government, taxes, regulation, or social services. Persuadable voters don’t like the processes of government; they like the results. The processes make them think of unfairness, inefficiency, bureaucratic bloat, and endless waste. So talk about the results—freedom, opportunity, and security.

How to talk about government

See Table

Americans have disliked government for more than two hundred years. They’ve always agreed with Thomas Paine’s lament that “[g]overnment, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil.” Polls show they’ve liked it even less since the 1960s.

When voters hear the word government, what pictures pop into ...

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