In the month since the Supreme Court struck down federal abortion rights, Democrats are gravitating toward a freedom-focused message more commonly used as a rallying cry by Republicans. After years of ceding to the right an ideal central to the nation’s identity, Democrats now see an opening to establish their own narrative around personal freedoms. National Democratic strategists are encouraging their candidates to use the Roe decision as a catalyst to frame all issues facing Americans — from economic woes to health care to voting rights — as threats to their freedoms.
A Post analysis found a marked increase in the term “freedom” being used in social media messaging of Democratic leaders and left-wing influencers and organizations since the leak of the draft Supreme Court ruling in early May, and a dramatic spike in use after Roe was overturned.
Dan Pfeiffer, former White House communications director for President Barack Obama, suggested in his Substack newsletter that Democrats release a comprehensive policy plan and call it the “American Freedom Agenda.” He said internal party polls show freedom, especially around abortion and the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol, “is a powerfully persuasive message.”
“I don’t think you can just run around and say ‘freedom’ as much as possible. … We need a story to tell about the radical extremism of MAGA Republicans and freedom is a great way to tell that story,” Pfeiffer said in an interview. “Republicans view freedom as almost entirely about your ability to buy an assault rifle. Democrats think it means you should have the ability to make decisions about your own body, who you marry and what books you read, and I think we have the high ground in that debate.”