Matt Haughey has come out with a cracking article about the language used by conservatives (simple, punchy, if flawed, arguments) compared to the “both sides of the story” approach of the liberals in the US. I have to say I’ve noticed this a lot in the UK and even more so in South Africa. Conservatives make bold and often logically flawed statements, but rely on the simplicity and number of times the message will be seen to make the impact. The liberals all spend a lot of time trying to understand why the other side feels the way they do and then seem to believe that they need to exhibit this to win an argument.

Early on in my career someone once pointed out to me that how much work you’d done to solve a problem or investigate an issue really didn’t matter — the important thing was that people understood the problem and/or what was needed from them to resolve. A number of presentations I’ve seen have great swathes of exhibition of the work done, the thinking pursued, which in reality is not necessary in a climate of trust. People trust you to have thought about it.

It’s rather strange, because you wouldn’t think the public-politician relationship could really be described as one based on trust, but people trust politicians (or their think tanks) to have done the math. This is why the conservatives can get away with all sorts of bollocks and liberals are seen as apologists for always backing up their arguments.

As Matt says, fire should be fought with fire. Simple wins — leave the debate to the debate and “Support Marriages. Support Families. No on 36.”