Friday, June 07, 2013

Rebranding of the GOP is doomed to fail with the young

I wish more Republicans would open their minds to what this article is pointing out about their "values." They are NOT in alignment with what Americans really want (and not just young people, either!).  The GOP is being led by its nose by the Tea Party conservatives and is totally out of step with most of the country's citizens. The old white guys' prejudiced views are dying out, but the old white guys refuse to recognize that.

EXCERPT:  The flaw at the center of the GOP's "image problem" is really a "substance problem". It's not that the party is – as the report has it – "disliked"; it is that they are disagreed with, that they are working from a set of assumptions and values that young people recognize as, at best, misguided or uninformed and, at worst, destructive.

The focus group members (remember: made up of "winnable" moderates and conservatives) say a lot of things that, if the GOP took seriously the statements about what young people actually want, would change the very nature of the party. They told the CNRC:

• "everyone in America should have access to health coverage"
• "reducing big government" does not make sense as a policy goal
• there is a worthwhile difference between "fixing" and "reducing" the national debt
• gays should be allowed to get married
• "we are spending way too much time out there fighting other countries' wars"
• "taxes should go up on the wealthy" (Not kidding: 54% of the young Republicans surveyed agreed with this sentiment. Obviously, "takers")

There are conservative policies that can flow from these values and goals, ways that conservative principles can shape the actions taken toward making them a reality. But these sentiments and aims simply aren't in line with the modern GOP. If you believe, as many Republican leaders do, that big government is an evil in and of itself, that gays don't deserve to get married, that America is still the world's policeman, and the wealthy should be extended the privilege of not paying their fair share, then no amount of "branding" can convince voters you're going to work to accomplish what they want you to do. Your task as a candidate will be to attempt to either change their minds or to convincingly lie to them, about either your beliefs or the way policy works, or both.