I agree with Pete that Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform proposal cannot be run away from, that it needs to be vigorously defended, and that the Ryan “Infomercial” he cites is an excellent beginning.
Unfortunately, five minutes is a long, long time for people who are not interested in politics (a group that—pace fellow political junkies—consists of the vast mass of the American people).
So in addition to calm, well-articulated appeals to reason such as the video, I propose a slogan for Republican candidates to repeat endlessly against their opponents whenever they start to demagogue: The Democratic Party is the party of debt, defeat, and decline.
The most famous alliteration in American politics, that the Democrats were the party of “rum, Romanism, and Rebellion,” was, of course, a disaster for the Republicans in the election of 1884. Coined by a bigoted Protestant clergyman late in the campaign, it alienated the growing Catholic voting block, which was enough to tip New York and its 36 electoral votes into the Democratic column by a scant 1,047 votes, giving the election to Grover Cleveland. Cleveland was the first Democrat elected to the White House in 28 years.
But no one, except Democrats, should be offended here. And they will be offended precisely because the slogan is true.