Think of this as Volume 15, Number 35 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
The optimists win.
The media and most professionals ignore this law because they think it's a gloss, something you can put onto a campaign like lipstick on a pig. It's not. The side that exudes optimism from every pore, that has a positive agenda addressing pressing issues, almost always wins American elections.
The Obama campaign recognized this truth early-on, which is one reason why it was vitally important (in retrospect) that they stayed apart from the “netroots,” sites like DailyKos, Firedoglake and Americablog. It's not that these left-wing sites want to be pessimistic. It's just that living in the trenches of politics, day after day, is living in a sausage factory. It grinds you down, it gets you angry, it makes you pessimistic.
Most grassroots political movements, even of the Astroturf kind, are born of anger and pessimism. It's what the other side isn't doing, what “those people in power” are keeping from happening. It's very easy to say what you're against, it's easy to organize a protest. It's much harder to build something positive.
From a business standpoint it's not in the interests of Kos & Co. to be positive, however. On a day to day basis, it doesn't sell to activists. It's pointing your readers in a direction they are not inclined to go in.
Yet there is a positive change agenda sitting before us, waiting to be seized. As regular readers of this blog know, it starts with what I call the War Against Oil.