Can “Rebranding” Fix Republicans?

young republicansTake an old, boring cereal – say, Corn Flakes –  change the box to hip new colors, add “New Look” to the packaging, and wham – you’ve got a shiny new product. Never mind that the cereal in the box is the same old, boring cereal – form-without-substance is the most common method of chasing consumers.  And it appears the Republican Party has decided to try its hand at this form of “marketing.”

The Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference (F&FCC) held this past week was a study in marketing strategies. The young Republicans (why they’re still Republicans is a mystery to me) who realize how dismal the prospects are for Republicans winning national elections in the future have decided that the product – or, the message – isn’t the problem:  It’s simply the packaging and the marketing.

For example, the Republicans at the F&FCC sat scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to “make abortion funny” so that, presumably, they can encourage large groups of potential “consumers” of the Republican Party to see abortion rights their way (as in, NO abortion rights).  Their strategy seems to be that if they throw in a little snark, maybe a joke or two, the abortion debate will become humorous and people will, apparently, believe the Republican Party is just full of funsters – funsters who seek to strip rights from women, that is.

Courting the youth vote depends, these Republicans believe, on playing to young people on social media, and nothing brings ‘em out in droves like a little snark.

Despite the fact that the powers-that-be demand that, “You’ve got to be pro-life, you’ve got to be pro-marriage, or else you’re not going to get our money,” young Republicans are still desperately seeking a way to appeal to America’s youth while maintaining the hard-line integrity of anti-gay/anti-abortion rights.  One suggested strategy is to frame the gay rights issue economically – you know, little fun snarky policy positions like, “Gay marriage undermines that basic family unit.”

julie driscollSome right-wing driven topics have in fact become funny – such as the President’s birth certificate.  And Sarah Palin’s death panels.  Michelle Bachmann’s FEMA concentration camps.  The fear of Sharia law taking over the U.S.  But the rights of women to safe, legal abortions and the rights of the LGBT community are not laughing matters; they will never be considered amusing, especially coming from right-wingers in bow ties and Romney buttons.

As Kat Stoeffel of nymag.com noted, “It’s not abortion that gets the big laughs, it’s the ignorance of anti-abortion politicians.”

And Young Republicans.

Julie Driscoll
Smoking Hot Politics

Monday, 17 June 2013

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