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The Key to Biden’s Victory: Employing “High Dominance” Rhetoric to Outmatch Trump

President Biden (Credits:

The 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be a tight race, with half of voters wanting to replace both Biden and Trump. Despite this, party loyalty remains strong, and the bases are deeply divided.

Political psychologist Drew Westen argues that Democrats need to rethink their approach to elections, recognizing that emotions, not just policies, drive voter decisions. Westen suggests that Democrats need to tap into voters’ emotions through compelling stories that fit into a larger narrative.

Building on Westen’s analysis, M. Steven Fish’s new book, “Comeback: Routing Trumpism, Reclaiming the Nation, and Restoring Democracy’s Edge,” offers a strategy for Democratic campaign messaging.

President Joe Biden (Credits: ABC News)

Fish argues that voters respond to politicians who use “high dominance” rhetoric, which includes confident, assertive language and a willingness to take a strong stance. Republicans, particularly Trump, have mastered this approach, while Democrats tend to be more introspective and empathetic.

Fish contends that Democrats need to adopt a more assertive, high-dominance approach to campaign messaging, emphasizing their faith in America’s promise and inclusive nationalism.

This narrative should highlight the American Dream as a beacon of equal opportunity, economic justice, and freedom, while contrasting Democrats’ inclusive approach with Republicans’ exclusionary, white identity politics. Fish also stresses the importance of storytelling and emotional appeals, suggesting that Democrats need a strong, charismatic leader to deliver these messages effectively.

President Joe Biden (Credits:

While it remains to be seen if Democratic leaders will adopt Fish’s recommendations, his analysis offers valuable insights into the emotional dynamics of political campaigns. With President Biden recently showing a more assertive tone in his speeches, there may be hope for a more effective Democratic messaging strategy in the upcoming election.

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