Normal as we knew it in early 2020 is not coming back. We will not see it again. There are 5 things to remember as you re-calibrate your campaign message.

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he political environment has changed and your campaign message must change with it. Our discourse is now different. The issues of concern to voters have narrowed to their health and the economy. Not much else matters when people fear getting sick, dying, or live in daily fear of running out of money.

Smart candidates will re-calibrate their campaigns, their message and their rhetoric to this new reality.

  1. The tolerance for clowns and quacks has diminished to zero. There is now a special place in hell for the buffoons who said it all was a hoax.
  2. Leaders are now in great demand. Act like one. Right now voters want to know where they can be tested for the virus, where they can get medical care, what they do if they get sick, and how you can help them with the economic upheaval upon us.
  3. There will be plenty of time later to cast blame, or to opine about what should have been done differently. In the meantime, it is incumbent on candidates to be part of the solution. If you don’t have something constructive to say on social media, don’t say anything.
  4. The coronavirus has already altered the tone and tenor of political discourse. Changes to our health care system are inevitable. It ill-serves the common good when the poor who can’t afford health care make sick those who can. Some now turning to government for help are learning it is not a monster to be destroyed. Going forward, we won’t be talking about how to dismantle it. We will be talking about how to make it better.
  5. There is a 5th and final point I’ll make. Many Americans are suffering untold hardship, inconvenience, illness of a loved one and fear of what tomorrow will bring.

It is an excellent time to be offering inspiration, encouragement, empathy and a little compassion too. Heroes are now in high demand. It’s a great time to be one.

Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated. Within hours, civil unrest had spread to every major city in the country. Burning. Looting. Rioting. Violence everywhere. Protesters assaulting police. Police beating protesters.

Senator Robert Kennedy happened to be in the City of Indianapolis that evening. He was asked by the Mayor to remain in his hotel room, telling Kennedy that the police could not guarantee his safety. Kennedy instead instructed his aides to take him to what was then the ghetto of Indianapolis. He mounted the back of a flatbed truck, and gave the speech you are about to hear.

Because of that speech, there was no violence in Indianapolis that night, the only major city in America where there was none.

To watch it is to see the raw power of words, a speech that forever altered the course of a city, and a shining example of leadership in a troubled time. May it inspire you to help heal a nation in pain.

 

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

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