In a recent post, I mentioned that Republicans are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of voters. Republicans focus too much on the “minds” side of the argument. They should be spending more time on the “feelings” side of things.
Here’s a case in point. It is a fundraising request from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Click on the video for a perfect example of how to play to an individual’s feelings.
The video has nothing substantive to say about freedom, security, or fiscal responsibility. It simply reinforces the theme that Republicans are bad people, showing a “typical Republican" as being uncaring and deceptive.
Think of the political ads you see on TV. The Republican ads focus on issues. The opposing ads deal with feelings.
The reason that the “feelings” advertisements are so persuasive is that it makes no difference what a person might be promoting if you don’t like that person as a human being. Convince an electorate that Republicans are bad people, and you have a huge political advantage.
There’s power in using themes in salesmanship. The GOP has a long way to go in this area.
In case the DSCC pulls the video, here is a transcript:
The setting is a spoof of the “Mac vs. PC” advertisements used by Apple to promote its computer products. The two characters are represented as U.S. Senators. The Republican is a white male, dressed in a dark business suit. The Democrat is a white female, dressed more casually, with a red sweater over a floral tunic and jeans. “FD” is the female Democrat and “WMR” is the white male Republican.
The scene opens with the two characters on a completely white set. Whimsical music is playing softly in the background…
FD: I’m a Democrat…
WMR: And I’m a Republican.
FD: I come up with ideas in the U.S. Senate to help America…
WMR: And I block them.
FD: It’s true. He does. [turns to WMR] Do you have any ideas?
WMR: No. Ideas are hard! Blocking them is easy, especially in the Senate.
FD: But don’t you care about helping the American people?
WMR: Not really. I just kind of want to see you fail.
FD: [eyes rolling] Typical… [turns to WMR] So how many hours have you wasted so far?
WMR: [proudly] In the Senate alone, Republicans have wasted over 1,000 hours. [side glance to FD] Hey, rules are rules. They add a crazy amendment here, cloture vote there; throw in a ton of filibusters. We’re very good at saying, “No.”
FD: [looking at WMR] The American people aren’t going to stand for this!
WMR: We won’t get caught. As long as they’re confused by all the noise and misinformation we throw out there.
FD: [turning to WMR in a pleading voice] But we need health care reform!
WMR: [with dismissive voice affect] Don’t care!
FD: [pleading voice] We need jobs!
WMR: [with sing-song voice affect] Don’t care! [WMR exits stage right]
FD: [deep sigh; raised eyebrow]
Cut to a graphic of the GOP plan being “NOTHING.” Follow with a splash screen for DSCC.ORG.
Note that the Republican in this video is a white male. In our culture (without exception!) caricatures and cartoon depictions of Republicans are white males. This consistent representation conveys a message to young white men that if they are Republicans and want to avoid being “losers”, they had better change their political affiliation.
Also note that the criticism associated with Republicans is for what they are. Republicans are simply people you wouldn’t want to be around. This is a very powerful message, and one that is expertly delivered.
Keep in mind that you probably won’t see any adverse reaction to this message. Our anti-Republican culture sees this as the “correct” point of view.
Isn’t that something that should be of concern to the GOP? Just asking...
UPDATE II 10/25/09:
Just got linked by Left Coast Rebel. I think Californians have a better handle on this whole "stereotyping" thing. The reason Andrew Breitbart was so successful with his ACORN sting is that people know that Republicans are like the caricature in this DSCC video. A Republican could NEVER look like Hannah Giles...