Great article from MinnPost that talks about Frank Schubert and his strategy. Yesterday, I wrote about his late-in-the-game tactics. The MinnPost article highlights how this strategy came to be and how he helped California pass Prop 8 (limiting the rights of marriage) with said strategy:
According to a 90-minute presentation Schubert made to the American Association of Political Consultants, the firm’s Prop 8 ads were the outgrowth of careful opinion surveying and message testing to learn what themes would sway the 10-15 percent of California voters who were open to being influenced.
One key element: After hearing that many people felt unaffected by the nature of a relationship between two other individuals, the firm realized it had to attach consequences to gay marriage. Voters in California, where same-sex marriage was legal before Prop 8, might not yet realize their liberty was being infringed, Schubert said.
The resulting campaigns, emotionally charged images accompanied by questionable arguments that gay marriage actively takes rights away from heterosexuals, have proven very hard to combat.
Let me re-emphasize part of that. This statement is so telling:
After hearing that many people felt unaffected by the nature of a relationship between two other individuals, the firm realized it had to attach consequences to gay marriage.
At the end of the day, the majority of Californians (and Minnesotans, too) are unaffected by a committed same-sex relationship, and Schubert knows this! Hence, his strategy of scare tactics that paint a picture of dire consequences if voters were to not pass the marriage amendment.
We know his strategy, and we know it’s extremely effective, so what are we doing to counter it? I struggle to understand why we haven’t come out with a preemptive educational piece for Minnesota voters. Instead of waiting for Schubert to attack us, why don’t we go on the offensive and share the fact that defeating this amendment won’t make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota, it won’t force kindergarten teachers to teach kids about same-sex marriage and it won’t have any other dire consequences that Schubert and his campaign are sure to paint. Instead, we wait.
While our strategy of having conversations with voters across the state is part of our offense (and really good for Minnesota in the long-term), I worry that by not addressing Schubert’s tactics early, we’re going to be caught off guard and it’ll have far-reaching consequences (and really bad for Minnesota in the short-term).