Every salesperson knows the secret. Every sloganeer. Every parent. It’s the power of the second person, the motivating allure of the word “you.”
President Obama and the Democrats know it as well, and are using that power to rhetorically crush the Republicans.
Romney and Ryan are in a fever over the federal deficit—that abstract thing waaaaay out there that no one can see or even imagine—while Obama and Biden want to give you a lower rate on your student loan.
Romney and Ryan are determined to control immigration and secure borders—which few people ever encounter except when seen on a map. Obama and Biden tell Latinos with questionable documentation that your kids born here will never be kicked out.
The Republicans cry out for free enterprise and upward mobility and education reform. The Democrats address GM workers (we saved your jobs) and poor people (we’ll get the rich to pay more for your benefits) and public school teachers (we fight for you).
By my count, Romney’s acceptance speech (about 4000 words) had 64 you’s and your’s in it. Obama’s speech (about 4800 words) had more than 90 you’s and your’s.
Any way you construe it, the Democrats excel in harnessing the power of the second person. Vote for us and you will soon benefit.
That’s why Brandsinger predicts (we speak of ourselves in the third person or the first plural) that Romney will lose the election. Republicans have failed to frame their arguments in the second person, while Democrats masterfully make their case by promising the moon to you the people.