Thomas Friedman has definitely got the pithy sound bite thing down pat. The last few times I’ve seen him on TV I’ve had the same two reactions: 1) Yeah, I think he’s right, but 2) the way he’s selling it is more about memorable catch-phrases than simply speaking the truth.
But maybe he’s on to something. In an era when Sarah Palin can attract significant numbers of supporters who think she’s actually worth listening to, maybe you can’t overestimate the importance of wrapping your message in folksy packaging. We don’t have to convince the scientists — they’re already convinced. We have to convince the people who honestly believe Fox News is a credible source.
I’m not sure how you do that. But Thomas Friedman is giving it a try, as he does in this op-ed piece from the NYT: What They Really Believe.
My argument is simple: I think climate change is real. You don’t? That’s your business. But there are two other huge trends barreling down on us with energy implications that you simply can’t deny. And the way to renew America is for us to take the lead and invent the technologies to address these problems.
His bottom line: Those working to thwart cap-and-trade and clean-energy incentives are not just wrong. They’re unpatriotic.
Mkay. We’ll see how that does in the marketplace of ideas.