Messaging the Infrastructure Win is on Us

aerial photo of buildings and roads
Photo by Aleksejs Bergmanis on Pexels.com

There are few phrases in politics I like less than “the Democrats are terrible at messaging.”

Now bear with me here, I’m not saying we’ve got messaging figured out. We do have a message delivery problem, but that’s not the same thing. And, to say it’s all the Democrats fault is unhelpful and frankly, wrong. Right now, we need to be flooding every platform with the one-in-a-generation accomplishment that this infrastructure bill is. (Read THIS is you need to brush up on what exactly is in the bill.)

First things first. We need to boil down this infrastructure bill into a few words or a short phrase. I put out a challenge on TikTok recently, and got a bunch of great responses from folks.

  • Democrats — Building Bridges
  • Blue Builds; Red Rusts
  • Biggest upgrade to our roads, bridges and airports in a generation
  • America in Motion
  • Investing in America
  • Bluecollar Blueprint to Rebuild America (Biden said this)
  • Highway to a Better Future
  • Getting America Moving Again
  • Safe drinking water. Safe bridges. Secure electrical grid.
  • America works

These are only a handful, but I think it’s a useful exercise for each of us to think about how we can boil this huge, multipart bill down. I encourage you to listen to Democratic lawmakers and White House officials as they talk about this bill. Grab phrases that resonate with you and share them wherever you can.

One person on TikTok got really creative: You may have seen the Republicans using the chant “Let’s Go Brandon” as a childish stand-in for “[Bleep] Joe Biden.” Well, after passing infrastructure, #ThankYouBrandon and #LetsGoBrandon trended on Twitter. I love it when the Left repurposes Republican language to benefit our side! In any case, this person took the first letter of the name Brandon to make this:

Broadband
Railways
Airports
Non-Gas Vehicles
Develop Mass Transit
Our Roads & Bridges
No Lead Water Pipes

Even better, I’ve seen people grab this initialism and spread it all over social media. And this is exactly why I encourage you to create your own phrase or share phrases you see and resonate with. By doing this, we’ll naturally settle on a handful of phrases that are essentially code for our infrastructure accomplishments.

The sad fact is that traditional media just doesn’t carry water for the Democrats and we can’t count on them. As only one example, I logged into my state’s largest newspaper on Sunday (I’m in Oregon) to see what they said about the infrastructure bill. Would they focus on the process of getting to the vote? Would they focus on what was in the bill or maybe even what the bill means for our state? But here’s what I found:

Nothing.

No article, at all. I even did a search for the word “infrastructure” because I was in disbelief that they ignored the topic entirely. The last article they had published online was from the middle of October. I did later hear from friends who received the print version that there was an article in there, but still, as more and more readers migrate online, not publishing the same article online was a massive oversight.

On top of that, we know the TV news will move right along to the next hot topic and fail to adequately cover the infrastructure bill and the results that every American will see in their own states.

So, I believe we must do everything we can to get the word out now about this big win AND keep it in the hearts and minds of Americans. Spreading key words or infrastructure “catchphrases” is the way to get this accomplishment to stick. We need to be doing this right now, and keep it up.

If you have any favorite phrases or ideas of how to message the infrastructure bill, please do leave it in the comments!


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6 replies

  1. You’re so right. We will not receive help of any kind from the media. Already this morning, the current media freakout is on inflation. Now, it’s important, of course. And most of us know why it’s occurring-COVID!! But the blame will fall on Biden and the Dems. And the one thing Republicans are good at is being an opposition party. They will lie and complain their way back to power-if we let them. I’m with you though. We gotta fight like hell!!

  2. Off the top of my head… great minds think alike.

    Broadband Builds Businesses
    Broadband Builds Connections
    Railways move people and products.
    Airports that get you there.
    Non-Gas Pit Stops for Vehicles
    Mass Transit Delivers
    Replace or Renew Roads & Bridges
    Get the Lead Out Water Pipes

    Stelter: Republicans are using this slogan to attack Democrats (Nov 7, 2021) (8:56 min)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HICaBRL5g4

    The difference between a slogan and a story: Slogans make you stop thinking. (2 min)
    https://www.cnn.com/videos/media/2021/11/07/media-slogan-vs-story-gop-elections-stelter-rs-vpx.cnn

  3. David Leonhardt of the NYTimes says, “My prediction is that the infrastructure bill’s ultimate popularity will depend on whether people can cite specific examples of how it has affected their lives.” So IMO, combine a strong overarching theme (eg, a bluecollar blueprint to rebuild America) with a locally-relevant example (eg, repair the West Seattle Bridge; open Amtrak line from Cincinnati to Cleveland; replace lead pipes in local elementary school…) And do this over and over, relentlessly for the next 12 months.

  4. Tokyo, the message I would say is the US Chamber of Commerce and Union leaders have advocated in a bipartisan way for over ten years for a tangible infrastructure bill. Here is my post from this morning, which notes that the last president campaigned on an infrastructure bill in 2016, which was one of the few things I actually agreed with him on as a need. So, to hear him now bash the Republicans (there are 32 of them counting the nineteen in the Senate), is hypocritical. By the way Mitch McConnell called it a “godsend” for his Kentucky constituents. That is a nice endorsement. Keith

    https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2021/11/11/it-is-all-about-the-donald/

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