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Why Re-Branding Could Destroy the GOP

Friday, April 17, 2009 4:55 PM

A political party is not toothpaste. It is not a product. It is an organization of like-minded people who organize to achieve a common goal. The Democrats know that, and although they employ deception and doubletalk, their goal is clear. I wrote about what I believe that goal to be.

Republicans, unfortunately, too often think of the Republican party as a kind of toothpaste. The Democrats, in their view, have their brand of toothpaste, and the Republicans have theirs, and right now, according to this view, the Democrat toothpaste is outselling the GOP toothpaste.

Toothpaste is a product containing ingredients to clean teeth, perhaps whiten them, and strengthen tooth enamel. All brands share those goals, and it is up to marketers to create a distinction, real or artificial, between each brand to gain market share. That is why the #msm (mainstream media) and Republican National Committee members, including the RNC chair himself, Michael Steele, speak of the need for a new Republican brand.

It is understandable why this kind of thinking is going on, because political campaigns are marketing campaigns, and the parties employ the best marketing consultants they can find to sell their product. That is an effect of technology, and will continue to happen. That cannot be changed.

Be that as it may, allowing marketing principles to be the tail that wags the dog, the be-all and end-all of political campaigning, is a fatal error for the GOP. In my view, it will be the end of the Republican Party. At best, we will continue to be Brand X for a few more elections.

Let me illustrate with current examples of brand-oriented thinking which could destroy the GOP: (1) The Democrat brand appeals to nonwhites, so we must go after the nonwhite market share without any further thought. (2) The Democrat brand is critical of rural people, gun owners, and those who study the Bible, so we must be critical of the same people on order to win over swing voters who prefer the Democrat brand right now. (3) The Democrats are reaching out to Muslims, so we must reach out to Muslims and refrain from expressing criticism of Muslim mistreatment of women and of violent jihad. If not, Democrats might outsell us by calling us "extremists."

The Democrats are ideological. Toothpaste is not ideological, but the Democrats are selling their ideology like toothpaste.

There is an old advertising adage, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." The Democrat steak is tough and indigestible. Most Americans would not swallow it. Even most Russians didn't swallow it during the Soviet era, which is why Stalin had to build the Gulag and throw millions of people into it.

The Democrats are selling the sizzle, not the steak. The sizzle includes "hope," "change" a handsome magical-appearing celebrity president, and corporate villains to hiss and boo.

Naturally, Republican "leaders" are impressed by what the Democrats are doing, and they want to sell the sizzle too. They just can't seem to settle on what kind of sizzle Republicans have to sell. And they don't want to talk about the steak. Sad to say, I suspect that some of them don't even like the steak.

My idea of the whole business is that the GOP should forget re-branding and forget the sizzle. We've got a great steak, and that's what we have got to sell. In fact, the steak will sell itself. We are a political party, not toothpaste.

Let's start with our name, Republican. We stand for a republic, a form of government in which individual rights are respected and protected. No tyranny of the majority. That's for Democrats.

As I've written before, we've got the Three C's: Capitalism (free enterprise in a free market), Currency (the dollar, backed by adequate reserves), and the filet mignon, our Constitution.

We have a political party, they have a political party. The resemblance ends there. What we need to sell is not what they are selling. They can have a brand, because they need one. We don't need one. We're Americans. Real Americans. And we have a delicious, juicy steak. Now let's give the electorate a taste.

[Keywords: impeach-them-all.org brand democrats party political sell steak toothpaste ]