Just the Slogan the GOP Needs
I’ve become quite worried about the Romney campaign — the whole Republican image, actually.
There just doesn’t seem to be much zip in the Grand Old Party. I’ve concluded that the party needs something new to set the tone, something to capture the attention of the public, something inspirational.
It needs a thematic slogan that will identify a path to the future — just a few well-chosen words to boost the party forward during these last few weeks of campaigning. I think I have it.
Now, keep an open mind; I’m not totally committed to this, but I think it’s got a real chance to lead Republicans to victory. Are you ready? Here goes: “Hope and Change.”
What do you think? Pretty good, huh? Oh, it lacks the poetic brilliance of “Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too,” or “I Like Ike,” but it’s simple, and sufficiently vague that voters can attach any meaning they want to it.
Hope is, after all, pretty much a universal good. Everyone has hope, whether it’s for a new car, a green card or an extra 20 yards. How can you go wrong offering hope?
And change? Now there’s a catch-all word if there ever was one. You can change your hairstyle, your underwear or your spouse, sometimes even your mind. If Republicans can help with those kinds of things, don’t you want them in office?
It may even be enough just to hope for some change in your pocket.
It’s really important in politics to make promises that you can appear to keep, even when you don’t. That’s why you don’t want to say things like, “I will reduce the unemployment rate,” or “I’ll balance the budget in my first week.” Any half-intelligent voter, and that includes many of them, will see right through those things.
You want to say things that, when the you-know-what hits the fan, will still give you room to maneuver — still give you the opportunity to say, “Forget all that bad stuff. Just be inspired by my rhetoric.”
Some pundits are criticizing the Romney campaign for its lack of specifics. Ignore them. They are all liberals. They want the candidate to say things that can actually be checked and measured against his performance in office, should he be elected.
This is very dangerous ground for a politician. He must never, never commit to a specific outcome for any action he may take. That is how to win office. It is also very useful for him to blame his predecessor for anything that has gone wrong on his watch.
That is why “Hope and Change” works so well. It very clearly implies that things are bad, but that the candidate will make them better, without offering any idea whatever of how he will do it.
I know, parties hire consultants and pay many thousands of dollars for campaign themes and advertisements. For that, they get awful negative commercials about killing innocent people or ending health care for the elderly. Who wants to think about things like that?
I’m prepared to donate my slogan to the Republicans for nothing. Well, if I were offered a nice ambassadorship to, say, England, I might consider it.
Wouldn’t you rather become enraptured with glowing promises of a wonderful, if undefined, future? Of course you would. That’s why “Hope and Change” works so well.
The only problem I see, and that’s a long way off, is that if things don’t go well, it might be tough to run a re-election campaign. Oh well, as Scarlett said to just about everyone, “Tomorrow is another day.”
Fred Wolferman lives in Southern Pines. Contact him by email at email@example.com.
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