Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

"Time For A Democratic Theme Party"

Apparently a slew of Democrats, including those who have recently huddled together to press their personal "let me be in charge" cases, continue to miss the point. Let's say this together, 'cause maybe that will help; it's not the issues we lost on, it's the presentation of those issues. Got that? Zillions of Democratic voters are God-fearing religious folks, but you wouldn't know it. Bazillions "support of troops" (whatever the hell that means, anyway) but you wouldn't know that either. And on and on. All this talk about which way to "take the party" is piffle. We have all the issues we need; good solid ones that haven't changed over the years. We support workers rights and a living wage, social welfare for the needy, war as a last resort and a panoply of civil rights for all American citizens, whatever their ethic, sexual or religious background.

But we lost control over the last few years. What happend was simple. The Democrats have allowed the Republicans to brand them, both in the marketing and in the literal sense. (that hot iron on your gluteous maximus hurt on November 2, didn't it?) The concept of the northeast liberal; latte drinking, academic, sexually promiscuous, sushi eating, child killing, is a GOP invention. It was formed in the caldron of modern marketing, which begins with one key element; research. Rove is no genius, he is just smart enough to employ the most sophisticated comsumer marketing and modeling available. Once you have that data, the trick is to break it down and apply the best advertising and niche marketing you can, so that you can manipulate those people. Hell, you now know what they think AND what they want to hear, so you simply feed them the blather with a spoon. Like most Americans, they have insatiable appetites and will gladly drink in the latest "news" with almost no attempt to validate it. And, in a world where the media is so pervasive, most people simply don't have the time or inclination to do that, even if they thought they might like to.

So forget about redefining the Democratic Party and get back to the job at hand; creating a Democratic Party brand that shoppers can easily identify and want to buy. I suggest that we get in the habit of advertising and marketing this brand year 'round - not just during the election cycle. Because if you wait until then, tactics tend to take precedence over long-term, brand-building strategy. And, we need to keep it simple. Something like "The Party of the People" wouldn't be a bad place to start.