The Grassroots Corner October 25, 2021

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 10/25/2021

FAIRtax now has a “sticky” message. We had been looking for a long time for a phrase or slogan about the FAIRtax that would grab people’s attention and hold it.

In our May 17, 2021 and May 2, 2021 issues of Grassroots Corner we reported the formation of a task force to come up with a sticky message for the FAIRtax. On August 12, 2021, after several Zoom meetings, the group has produced its report.

What needs to be in a “sticky” message?  Group leader and Florida State Director, Paul Livingston, guided the Zoom meetings by borrowing heavily from the book by the Heath brothers, Made to Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. The book sets forth an acronym to describe what elements made most messages in history catch on with the public. The acronym for those elements is SUCCESS. It stands for Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Stories (the extra “S” is just there to make the acronym spell an English word).

So what message did the sticky group decide on by applying the SUCCESS acronym? The group zoomed in on:

“Take back control!”

The phrase found inspiration in the recently successful Brexit campaign that saw the United Kingdom withdraw from the European Union.  Britain had joined the European Union in 1973 and, little-by-little, many Brits began to see control over decisions that affected their lives leave London and go to Brussels. Perhaps first and foremost among these decisions was immigration.

Prime Minister David Cameron put the question of leaving the European Union to a referendum in June 2016.  Nigel Farage led the “leave” campaign.  The slogan he came up with?  “Take back control.” It obviously worked. By a margin of 52% to 48%, Brits voted to sever their 43-year relationship and leave the European Union.

The Brexit vote perhaps was no surprise. Most people like to have at least some control over the forces that affect them.  When the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913 and the Federal income tax was implemented shortly thereafter, Americans lost control over when they pay their Federal taxes and how much tax they pay.  The FAIRtax would restore that control back to the people.

The “Take back control” message that the Sticky Task Force adopted is also ecumenical. It pushes no buttons, and neither conservatives nor liberals see it as a talking point from the other side.

The “Sticky” Task Force submitted its report to the AFFT Board at its October Zoom meeting.  “Take back control” has already started appearing in FAIRtax communications, and there will be further discussions on how to fully integrate it into the FAIRtax message across all of our communication channels.

The Task Force report dives into how the “Take back control” message – and the FAIRtax itself - meet the elements of the SUCCESS acronym. First the message is simple.  It clearly states what we want to the FAIRtax to do.  Next, the message is unexpected, in that most people feel like there’s nothing they can do about how much of their money the Federal government takes from them.

It’s concrete because it highlights untaxing “Made in USA.”  Both the message and the FAIRtax are credible because the FAIRtax is not some theoretical abstract.  It is actual legislation currently pending before Congress.

“Take back control” certainly has an emotional appeal.  It’s always satisfying to regain something you’ve lost.  And there’s a certain satisfaction in seeing drug dealers and other criminals who evade the income tax having to pay their fair share when they make retail purchases.

And finally there are the horror stories that will go away, such as the one of the divorced attorney who filed separately while she was married and yet was harassed and threatened unmercifully by the IRS over the misdeeds of her ex-husband.

Click here to access the full Report.

Do you have a “sticky” message for the FAIRtax? If so, I would love to hear from you.
Yours In the FAIRtax Movement!

Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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