Did you know that Google search engine was originally called BackRub? Hmm, that's weird.
First, a couple words about our circular firing squad- STOP IT! We started this nonsense in the primary and are continuing it after our loss while the left is laughing at us all the way to the presidency. Sure I had my moments of spite a few days ago with my, “LET THEM EAT CAKE, Extra Frosting Please” diary* wherein I said let the Obama voters have their cake and eat it too as that’s what they voted for and they need to learn a lesson. With my boiling point lower now, I offer these words of consolation:
No Republican, be it Santorum, Gingrich, Perry or otherwise would have won this race. Period. The cards were stacked against us like never before and not even Reagan could have won this go round. The masses were fearful, rightfully so, and decided it was better to keep the one that brung them. Sorry for the slang but it means they trusted him more than the one they didn’t know. That’s it in a nutshell. Yes it’s delusional given O’s record but they distrusted the unknown more than the known failure. We can talk ground game, GOTV, squishy candidate, ORCA, etc. until we’re blue in the face; it wouldn’t have changed the outcome up against the best marketing candidate in our history, aka the Magic Man. And, Republicans and Conservatives must understand and come to grips that there is NO perfect candidate that will suit our party now or ever.
This brings me to my second point of this diary. It’s the message stupid and not the messenger. Republicans are great at saying what but not why. Romney (finally) boiled his message down to 5 points that were all very cognizant…to us already on the right. Not so much for the impressionable voters that haven’t a clue about the Constitution or how great capitalism is good for all, not just a few rich guys. It’s not the what, it’s the why that counts for voters, like a teaching moment (another too often used phrase that I don’t like but it will have to suffice).
Examples and short counter arguments:
“I’ll repeal Obamacare as it will hurt Americans”- But free healthcare is good and insurers can’t drop me! He nor the surrogates ever explained WHY it’s not about healthcare but a government takeover of our lives and 1/6th of the economy as we know it, not to mention our country can’t afford it or Medicare as it is and no one will get insurance after our economy collapses.
“Reduce taxes on job creators.” – Wow he just wants to reduce taxes for the rich! OWS ring bell? How about I never got a job off a poor person, kidding about saying it but it's true, but explain how capitalism is just and moral for job creators and employees as a mutually acceptable agreement in life. Free phones are great until the makers decide to quit making; teach a man how to fish vs. give a man a fish. Real life examples help.
“Balance the budget”- Won’t that take away from my free stuff and haven’t we always raised the debt limit? Today’s voters are like Whimpy, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”, meaning someday will never come and we’ll never have to re-pay China for our bad habits.
"Lower tax rates for everyone while eliminating deductions"- But the rich have more so they deserve to pay more-it's only fair! The most effective argument I've ever seen is when 4.0 GPA college students are asked to give up a point or two to students with smaller GPAs. They are outraged since they worked for it! Go figure. Re-distribution hits home hard even for the indoctrinated!
We get the point but half of the country clearly doesn't. They had a perception created and marketed successfully by O Inc. that rich=bad, success=taking away from the poor, Republicans=anti-women, etc., all in the summer months before Romney could even define himself thanks to our archaic primary process. The dates and locations must change now so that two of the least populated states don’t get to set the tone and we shouldn’t allow 20 debates with lefty moderators that only want to make fools of our candidates and watch us eat our own while the incumbent is spending fast and furiously.
Romney’s all inclusive message that he’s for ALL Americans, never rang true to the uniformed masses (see examples above), although it should have, but because he didn’t (and shouldn’t have to) pander to individual groups that seemingly needed individual stroking to be made to feel special, it was lost in the sauce. Conversely, O Inc. divided and conquered each individual segment of society: LGBT, women, Hispanic, GM workers, black, Asian, working class, middle class, poor, teachers, union, tree-huggers, etc. Obama was and is a super chameleon; he had no record to speak of before 2008 and pretended to be moderate in order to win that election and he continues to change his colors at will to suit various special interest groups. Of course his favorite segment, the extremely liberal rich folks on Wall Street and Hollywood is who he spent most of his time campaigning again and again with hat in hand. That was the masses first clue that he was a too-cool-rock-star-wannabe in the jet set crowd who should have been vilified for his hypocrisy that he was for the middle class. Now we're stuck with an American Idol for president.
What is, is. Onward, never forward.
While I do believe our party has its moral compass pointed in the right direction and we should never give way to our bedrock principles, I do think we need a new marketing strategy. That means we can’t be such purists and alienate those that mostly believe in our principles. We need to expand our tent and I don’t mean amnesty for the sake of votes or any other such nonsense. How about finding our equilibrium together in order to maximize our gain?
We have so much in-fighting between our factions (TEA Party, Libertarian, Conservative, Establishment) that it's no wonder we can't win or espouse a unified message to successfully combat Democrats (Liberal, Blue Dog, Progressives, Establishment) who seem able to put aside their differences to further their goal of crushing us. And we never close ranks if one of our own makes a gaffe and stand up to the Left like they do and simply say, "He didn't mean to say that. What he really meant is blah blah." We hear that everyday on any show that puts a mic infront of any liberal. Susan Rice is a prime example of them closing the ranks regardless of her incompetency. Whatever happened to forgiveness?
Perhaps we just need to take a cue card from the left and use language and marketing to our advantage. Due to the left demagoguing and tainting the name Republican, I propose we should change our name to reinvent ourselves and our Party but not our values. GOP is the Grand Old Party and we are living up to our name. Too lethargic to embrace the changes of the time such as our establishment in power not embracing the one that brung them, the TEA Party, for all the good they stand for including winning the House majority in 2010. If Americans came out in droves in 2010, why throw them that brung them under the bus? We need a fresh start and now.
Crazy I know but not meaningless. A name is a brand and while that is important, our "business" model is broken too as it isn't offering anything of unique value to the majority. After years of bashing GW and now years of BO and the MSM calling us ridiculous, Republican is now a bad name and congers up rich, mean, old, angry and rigid. These are not my words but those that want to paint Republicans as the "Stupid Party" such as the 10-minute piece titled exactly that on MSNBC a few days ago with the headline blaring. Not rational human beings that love their country and who want the best for all walks of life that capitalism, not socialism, brings to them. We have been demonized and will always be by the Left regardless of our name but hear me out.
Brand experts agree that it is risky and expensive to change a name but it is necessary if any of these events occur:
1. Change to distance yourself from a negative event.
2. Clarify a confusing or non-descript brand.
3. Better represent an upgraded product that’s outgrown the existing brand.
I think we have to agree that all of the above apply, but will add that for #1, our brand is so negative now due to years of successful denigration by O Inc. recently and Democrats for decades, that we will never undo the damage. Brand changes are risky and not all have been done successfully. Who can forget the New Coke campaign? Accenture ring a bell? The name change can’t be symbolic only. We have to re-brand ourselves to be more inclusive in order to survive the changing demographics in this country. Again, this does not mean changing our principles or our conservative values. We are still the party of free enterprise, family values and a strong national defense; that won’t ever change. We just need to do a better job managing the perceptions and tone of our delivery and reach out to people in all 50 states to demonstrate and educate that our solutions will solve people’s problems and not kick them down the road. Teach and not preach. Don’t be purists. Some is better than none and we’ll win over the rest another day. And that means within our Party too.
I’m not a brand manager but after much thought, came up with the following list of new names for our party. Keep in mind that the Left has used language against us to normalize behaviors that we grew up to know as social no no’s, but it’s all fine now: the fairness doctrine, undocumented workers, fair share, income redistribution, moderate, liberal, revenue enhancements, social justice, etc. Get real I know but people buy this carp! I'm just trying to play their game in order to win.
The Liberty Party
The Social Justice Party (yuk, but it takes away the left’s ownership on this term)
The Minority Party
The Freedom Party
The National Party
The Classical Liberal Party
The American Party
And the last one is the one I’m set on because it’s what Republicans and Conservatives say they believe in. Most politicians are out for themselves and not what’s best for our country so it would be a wise reminder for all elected officials. Today we have Democrats and Republicans. Would one say Freedomites, Nationalists or Social Justices? Not sure. But I know how to say American and would love to hear the following from a Democrat:
“Those Americans want to lower taxes and send us over the cliff. The Americans are unwilling to compromise. The Americans are un-American for not supporting the Democrats”! Can you hear Chris Matthews et al telling their audiences the Americans are shameless and well, damn those Americans!
What’s in a name? A lot, especially if it reminds the public and our leaders of what we stand for and if it will invigorate new ideas and new people to join our cause of a Constitutional America. Welcome to the American Party! The Party of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!
*I forgot to put in that diary my "told you so" which was Romney should have nominated Luis Fortuno for VP. Maybe next time since he's no longer the governor of Puerto Rico. Okay, I'm done with that now.