Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are pro-gay marriage groups too nice?

I saw a comment on the YouTube video of No on 1's rebuttal ad, which I have transcribed here since YouTube doesn't give any way to perma-link to comments:

Guys, seriously: *say it*. "SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE TAUGHT IN MAINE SCHOOLS. HERE IS WHY. ERGO, YESONONE IS LYING." This is a nice ad, but "nice" doesn't win elections. You can't expect your audience to make the leap in logic that you're asking them to make. You said Yesonone was lying, but you didn't tell us how or why. Do that, and you have a chance. (from azelmaroark)

I think azelmaroark may not have it quite right (repeating the opposition's claims, even if the next thing you do is to debunk them, still means one extra time those claims get repeated on TV, i.e. one more chance for the meme to replicate) but I went back and watched the video again after that, and I think he/she is right that No on 1 is playing softball.

The only "negative" stuff in the ad is the brief moment of static and the "outsiders will HARM OUR KIDS" rhetoric. That's a good start, but notice that the music stays happy even during these dire pronouncements, and about 2/3 of the ad by time is people smiling and talking about happy things. This will probably motivate the base to get out and vote, but it ain't gonna change any minds. There's no fear, and that, unfortunately, is what drives the average American voter these days.

I'm not sure what the right thing is. I'm tempted to go one step further than azelmoark even and propose that No on 1 should outright lie, by implying that Prop 1 would take children away from their parents or something. But then again, that's a whole lot of "stooping to their level", and I'm not a fan of that either.

I don't know. As of a week ago, the poll numbers were not encouraging (as the blogger I linked to points out, the poll was essentially tied before the bigots' ad campaign got into full swing). I guess I should take the longview and remember that this can't go on for very many more years -- especially since young people overwhelmingly support gay marriage. It's just so depressing that things are moving so slowly..

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