Arguments v Declarative Statements in Politics
by Right Wing Fighter
Declarative statements work well in getting your message across. This is something the right is bad at. Declarative statements get lodged into people’s thinking and change how they view the world. But the right keeps acting like politics is a debating society, and instead makes arguments, based on evidence.
Declarative statements don’t need to be fictional to be effective. The most effective ones in fact are true ones that we’ve seen some evidence for ourselves.
The weakness with arguments is they take time and sympathy to unpack. In an argument, first you make your claim, for instance, that taxes should be lower. Then you present your evidence to support it, say, the boost tax cuts gave the economy during George W. Bush’s administration.
The problem with this is it all takes time. We’ve all watched Sunday talk shows where a guy is asked a question, and then gets about six seconds to lay out his thought before he’s interrupted. Once interrupted, the thought is broken and we lose track of the argument.
A second problem with arguments is they are more intellectually demanding. Having to hold in mind a claim, along with several pieces of evidence is demanding work. Remember that in politics you’re speaking chiefly to people that work five days a week and don’t have the time or mental energy to devote to digesting political problems. That is another reason why declarative statements take the prize.
Answer which of these is more effective:
“In my view tax cuts are essential to economic growth. During the Bush administration, reductions in tax rates for the low and middle classes allowed them to keep more of their own money and thus stimulated economic growth through increased purchasing.”
“Taxes are too high. Washington taxes more of our money every year. We pay enough. Let’s cut tax rates.”
Both are just slightly atypical, since I’m just coming up with these off the top of my head. But the second one will be more effective because it is easier for tired people to digest.
That must be the metric for successful political speeches and writings: can tired people make sense of this? Because those are the people you are talking to.
It’s also a great metric for any old writing, from novels to business letters.