"Our Karl Rove is the blog you should be glad that Democratic strategists don't seem to listen to"
-- what they're saying on Republican blogs

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Republicans Don't Care About Americans

Democrats,

The subject of this post pretty much gets right to the point: All the evidence points to the unfortunate truth that the majority of Republicans don't much care what Americans think, because the majority of Republicans are loyal first to their party, not to the country.

This is certainly an attack position in party politics, which I know is not a normal position for you to take (in contrast, you've spent the last six years defending yourselves from Republican party attacks). But it's worth getting a spine and stepping up the rhetoric, if for no other reason than to help voters understand that when they vote Republican in this day in age, they're no longer voting for America's best interest, they're instead voting primarily for the best interests of the Republican party.

Voters need to chew on this for a while and see how it tastes as it settles in.

Like any good liberal/progressive, I understand that you'll want proof before you assert such strong positions. No problem. Read on...

The current political environment invites this conclusion. Do the math: count the heads and divide by the totals, and the results will show that the majority of Republicans in Congress (and Republican presidential candidates) stand for things that the majority of the country does not:

  • The vast majority of Republicans in the congress (and presidential candidates) continue to support the President's Iraq plan. They vote to fund it, they vote to stay the course, and they vote to stop any Democratic bills that would shift course. They stuck with the President despite the fact that the war has been failing for three years, and costing American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.
  • The vast majority of today's Republican congressmen and presidential candidates are not calling for Attorney General Gonzales to resign, or for Bush to fire him.
  • The majority of Republicans running for President support the President's decision to commute Scooter Libby's sentence.
  • The majority of Republicans support the President's liberal use of executive privilege as a way to hide behind probable White House scandals.
  • The majority of Republicans stand behind Bush's overall approach to his War on Terror.
In all of these areas, the majority of Americans disagree with the majority of Republicans (yes, several Republicans are now re-considering their loyalty after years upon years of blind loyalty to a deafening ideology, yet a vast majority in the House still support almost all of the President's policies even today).

How and why did this happen? When Republicans are elected, they look up before they look around and down. In other words, Republicans have loyalty to their leaders first, then to their colleagues, and then to their constituents. It's just how many have found the Conservative Mind to operate. This fits into why conservatives tend to have more religious fervor than liberals (and seemingly less concerned about the poor and weak) -- they look up before looking around and down.

This is not necessarily a bad thing -- I'm not judging the Conservative Mind one way or another. But that doesn't mean that you can't use this conservative orientation as a way to besmirch the Republican brand.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but this is about concept generalization - which is a key approach to making a message stick with a general audience. And as we all know all too well, Republicans liberally use liberals' high regard for debate, discussion and equality to devalue the strength and integrity of the Democratic party brand in the minds of so many Americans, so it's only fair that Democrats use Republican traits to tarnish their party brand as well.

Some talking points to help drive this message into the voters' psyche:
"Republicans are following their party leadership like lemmings off a cliff."

"Republicans are so loyal to George Bush that they have become deaf and blind to what America stands for."

"Before you vote Republican, understand that they are not representing you -- they represent their inside-the-beltway party leadership first and foremost."

"The Republican party used to stand for justice, honor, small government, and smart foreign policy. That time has passed, and now Democrats are the party that represent true American values."

"By not supporting a vote of no confidence for Attorney General Gonzales, Republicans have shown the American people that they are more loyal to their party leadership (the President) than they are to America's rule of law, order, and justice."

"The Republicans' War on Terror has turned into a Terror of a War thanks to ignoring all facts and standing along side their reckless and dangerous Commander-in-Chief."

"Republicans have, through a series of poor decisions and bad judgment, wrecked all of the things Democrats put in place in the 1990s - because the Republican party's needs were more important to them than America's needs."

"Beware: Republicans will follow their leader before they'll follow the truth."

10 comments:

Ted Voth Jr said...

Gawrsh, didn't everybody know this? I knew it… but I guess not.

It's like the Bush Admin's determination that there must be widespread voter fraud: they know they've stolen the last two elections, and the can't imagine anyone else isn't just as devious.

Contrariwise, we guys can't really get inside the heads of anyone that sneaky, underhanded, and low: we have trouble believing anyone can be so unlike us…

right on!

Jon said...

Ted,

Well put. You quickly explained a common human behavior -- we assume that others are like us, and what we presume others would do in a situation are the very things we ourselves would do in that same situation.

Ethan Solomon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ethan Solomon said...

Compromising one's principles to win the "game" is characteristic of fascists and Republicans. The Democrats need to set an example above behavior that is, in essence, what one would expect of children.

Jon said...

Ethan,

Thanks for taking the time to contribute your thoughtful comments and perspective.

From a certain perspective, I completely agree with you. In fact, I would submit that most people would agree with you at a fundamental behavioral level.

However, this is where you and I diverge in our perspectives (because I still think we share the same opinion):

Political parties are organizations, not people. Organizations are different than people, because organizations have different goals.

An organization exists to achieve certain goals. And most organizations have "organizational values" that provide a pathway toward fulfilling these goals.

The Democratic (and Republican) party is an organization that has a goal of influencing American policies through elected office.

One of the key aspects of being in elected office is to be elected to that office. And being elected to a democratically held office means holding an election. And elections are -- pure and simple -- a popularity contest. I just heard you say "that's so cynical" in your mind. I disagree.

Just because it's a popularity contest doesn't mean we're talking about the best-dressed candidate winning. Popularity can mean any combination of values, policies, looks, charisma, etc. But the key point is popularity. At the most fundamental level, it's a popular vote.

A candidate is a 'product' that we're asking the majority of voters to 'buy.' (no, this is not cynical, it's an analogy). Any mass-market product needs to appeal to the masses, or it won't be bought by the masses.

What you call "mass manipulation" is the same thing that anything that is purchased en masse is... a product that is tailored for mass consumption. I would not call this mass manipulation as much as I would describe it as having "mass appeal."

This is the lens from which I compose OKR -- it's an informed attempt to challenge the Democratic party to being mass appealing so that their ideas, policies, and values (which I believe resonate with the majority of Americans) are actually heard in a way that is easy to digest, understand, comprehend and subscribe to.

Like I say in the "About" section of this blog (please read it if you haven't yet), OKR is about leveling the playing field with the Republicans in terms of marketing and branding savvy so at least Americans have a real choice to consider. Right now, Americans still have an inaccurate view of the Democratic party due to the effectiveness of the Republican's savvy in marketing and branding.

Ethan Solomon said...

I suppose my only real "gripe" (best word I could think of, though its not really accurate) was basically with the idea that the Democrats need a "Karl Rove" for themselves. When I think of Karl Rove, all that comes to mind is evil, self-serving manipulation. I TOTALLY agree that the Democrats need to seriously revamp their communication and public relations skills (and they need to grow some spines and stand up for what they told us they believed in), but I simply don't think they should try to achieve an even remotely Rovian philosophy. The man is just too screwed up. But then this is basically arguing semantics. I like what you do here, and I'll continue to read.

Jon said...

The name of this blog is quite intentional and self-referential:

It shows how powerful a brand can be. You and I really have very little idea about Karl Rove -- but we think we do because we have bought his brand identity.

Bold brands like "Our Karl Rove" get people's attention (getting elected), and then the content within is clearly not tit-for-tat Rovian strategies (being elected).

The key learning here is: Don't be afraid to use effective mass marketing techniques if you think you have a good product that deserves attention.

One could say that I manipulated you into visiting my blog based on a brash name scheme. I would say I was effective at getting smart, savvy people to pay attention to (and hopefully spread) the great content that exists within.

This is the model I am evangelizing for Democrats.

Kevin said...

Minor nit-pick: In "That time has past" - I think you mean "passed".

Jon said...

Thanks Kevin. Fixed.

rabbit said...

Is it really the party Republicans are loyal to first? Or rather to the interests of a super-rich international corporate elite that cares no more about the fate of ordinary Americans than it does about that of a gnat?