A Practical Definition of "Campaigning"

I get asked a lot why FrameWorks refers to “campaigning” – isn’t that an electoral, politicky word?

No better answer to that have I found than columnist E. J. Dionne’s “Can Obama Play Offense?”, Washington Post, August 30, 2010.

From the article:

“In a democracy, separating governing from ‘politicking’ is impossible.  ‘Politicking’ is nothing less than the ongoing effort to convince free citizens of the merits of a set of ideas, policies and decisions.”

And this kind of ‘politicking’ is exactly what nonprofits and advocacy groups need to do if they are to see their policy prescriptions and proposals met with comprehension by the citizenry.   We must always be in campaign mode if we are to articulate how our vision explains the world each day, and sets out a path for its improvement.

Don’t miss this article which lays out the job that all of us must do to advance a vision of a more sustainable, just and inclusive society.  It requires us to share our vision, to explain our solutions and, yes, to use framing to make those points.

As Keynes said, “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”   If we are to counter such inanity, we need to be in the public square with alternatives to the dominant discourse.

Susan Nall Bales

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