An example of brilliant messaging on our side is “marriage equality.” Leading with “marriage” is like leading with “cute, cuddly puppies.” Everybody likes marriage, everybody is more likely to approve. And the movement has been very successful.
Now take “pro-choice.” Who is the messaging supposed to appeal to? The adepts of “Consumerism Above All” sect? Nothing is easier than to demolish the message by countering it with “pro-life” because you turn into a creep who values consumerism more than life.
No, messaging is not everything. But it’s a lot. If you keep losing on messaging because you can’t be bothered to try coming up with something that makes sense, prepare to lose. Even more, that is.