There’s a Right and a Wrong Way to Talk About Trump’s Attempts to Rig the Election

A liberal communications guru explains why playing into Trump’s demagoguery on the election or mass protests only helps his cause — and hurts Joe Biden’s chances of winning

WASHINGTON — The communications guru Anat Shenker-Osorio likes to say that if liberals were writing a story about the mythical giant-slayer David, they’d end up making the story all about Goliath. Democrats and those on the left love to promise their supporters a fight and can’t talk enough about the opposition. “Do you think black people in America need to be reminded that [Trump] is bad?” she says. “Talking about Trump is what got us Trump. For people to be persuaded, they need to understand what they’re voting for.”

Shenker-Osorio’s mission is to get Democrats and people on the left to rethink how they communicate with voters. She has worked with an array of left-leaning political parties, grassroots groups, labor unions, and issue campaigns in the U.S. and abroad. She shaped Minnesota’s Greater Than Fear campaign in 2018, which helped elect a new Democratic governor and lieutenant governor, flip a statehouse chamber, and drive the largest voter turnout of any state for that election cycle. She has advised New Zealand’s Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and advised on efforts to reform Australia’s draconian immigration policies. She also helps lead the Race Class Narrative Action Project, which develops tactics and scripts used by grassroots activists, labor unions, and other progressives outfits across the country.