Almost every time I turn on Fox News, some random Republican is talking about deficit spending, tax codes, beneficiary information and all the technical aspects of Obamacare and the economy—while over on CNN and MSNBC, Democrats are grunting their usual (insipid) mantras: “Hope, Good! Forward, Good! Republicans--BAD!”
I first started noticing our extreme differences in messaging this March when I attended the Road to Repeal Rally in DC.
We were all assembled on the steps of the Supreme Court building. On one side were the ‘unicorns and rainbow’ union sheep—accompanied by a bongo player, no less--marching around in circles bleating, “We love Obamacare!” and “Healthcare is a human right!” and “Jesus was a socialist!”
On the other side, the Tea Party folks were passionately shouting things like, “Read the Constitution because it is the only thing that will save this country!” and “Obamacare hurts the free market system!” and that catchiest of chants, “Health care costs will increase by about $311 billion through 2019!” (Okay, they didn’t actually chant that last one, but you get the message…)
If the other side had been listening to the Tea Partiers, I think they would have collectively said, “Huh? You want me to read what? And just where is this ‘free’ market?”
Comparing the differences, I finally understood why so many Democrats remain Democrat no matter how unreasonable and unintelligent it may seem.
In food terms, Republicans are the healthy (yet boring and tedious) meat, potatoes and vegetables of a meal. They are there to nourish, and to keep you strong and fit. Although Republicans represent the most responsible and important part of the meal, they’re nothing to really get excited about--unlike the sugary, yummy excesses of dessert.
Which is exactly the part of the meal that Democrats symbolize.
Ah, dessert. It’s what most children would rather eat first, skipping the “healthy” portions altogether.
Children don’t care about nutrients, vitamins, minerals—they just want the stuff that tastes good in their mouths. They don’t care how it’s made, who made it, how it got there--they just want it in front of them so they can scarf it all down. Or as Veruca Salt famously said in Willie Wonka, “I want it and I want it NOW!”
In real-life terms, Republicans will talk a thing to death, providing details and data and reasonable, logical facts while Democrats thrive on as few words and sentences as humanly possible: Things are fine! Go Green!
So how can boring, wordy Republicans compete with the “desserts” of the world?
For one thing, we’ve got to change our message and the way we deliver it. We’ve got to keep it as simple as humanly possible and relay it in as few words as necessary.
The people we’re trying to reach—the Independents—just want the basics. Many of them are young, struggling and don’t believe they’ll ever even have children in the future--so we can’t talk about how much money/taxes/debt their children will someday owe. These folks simply want to know how life with a Republican president will affect their lives RIGHT NOW.
We’ve got to talk about THEIR pocketbooks—not their children’s.
We’ve got to talk about THEIR rent—not someone else’s.
We’ve got to give them real-life dollar amounts that THEY stand to lose—not some national statistical Austrian economics-type explanation.
For example, let’s say “Sally” is a 24-year old waitress at your local diner.
YOU: Sally, do you have health insurance?
SALLY: Of course not! I barely make enough to pay my bills and rent as it is.
YOU: Well did you know that in a few years people who haven’t bought Obama’s health insurance will have to pay a fine of up to $695 per year? If you think you can’t afford to pay for health insurance right now, can you afford to pay almost $700 for nothing? That’s one of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans—we believe you should be able to choose whatever product you want to buy with your own hard-earned money. (And scene...)
Also, one of our Republican messages should come directly from the “sugary dessert” leader himself, Barack Obama.
Back in 2008 when then-Senator Obama was campaigning against Hillary Clinton, he was very succinct in demolishing her plans for mandated healthcare.
“If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house. The reason they don’t have a house is they don’t have the money,” Obama said.
(NOTE: You’re welcome, RNC--you can send me a check later for the new commercial.)
I’m telling you, folks—keeping it simple, making the healthy part of the meal more “fun” and easy to digest is the only way we can reach the Independents and the people who say they don’t care about politics. I know this for a fact because I used to be a “Sally”.
Just thought I’d let you know.