Sunday, December 7, 2014

Transcending the Brand

It appears that old preferences die hard!

As of this past week, the Christian Science Monitor has dusted off the "Mitt Romney for President in 2016" idea. Hasn't anybody been paying attention?

For reasons highly obvious, the "Dewey-Rockefeller wing" of Republican Party maintains aspirations for a "1968 definition" of conservatism. It amounts to "big government is good. Preemptive wars are profitable. Keynesian economic theory is the way."

All signs from the Sunshine state indicate that Jeb Bush will pass on a Presidential run. This is unfortunate, especially for Wall Street bankers. Jeb Bush, after all, is a banker. And, he certainly has name recognition! Better yet, he successfully governed a "must win" swing state. Even better, he was elected Governor in 2002 with the help of 56% of Hispanic voters.

Fueled by a nine-seat Senate pickup, some in the GOP are evidently overlooking the fact that the electorate voted against Democrats, not for Republicans. The Republican brand continues to be more liability than asset.

Jeb Bush has been out of politics eight years. His soft position on amnesty and support for Common Core better matched the mood of America in 2008. Or, for that matter, 1988. 2014 is new ground. Indications are his time may have passed.

Where would Romney fall in today's mix?

His immigration position is more akin to that of Tom Tancredo, which was reflected in his 27% Latino vote tally in 2012. Common Core and probably Obamacare would be like most positions Romney has taken over the years. As former Utah Governor, Jon Huntsman described, "Mitt's views are like a weather vane."

Credit Romney for recognizing Russia as more menancing than first thought. But, one could also credit Joe Biden for proposing that Iraq be partitioned. Only average intelligence is required to finger Vladimir Putin as a K.G.B. thug! Or conclude that affluent Sunni Moslems and Separatist Kurds are not going to be contented in a governemt run by corrupt, mostly illiterate Shia Moslems!

Which brings the party base to the next question: "If not Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney, who?"

The readily available answer for Northeasterners is "Chris Christie." He is a seated Republican Governor in a deep blue state. His tough guy antics are seen by some as "what's needed" in Washington. Never mind those tendencies of the "tap dancer"
that the more perceptive are recognizing with each passing day! In the end, Christie would be another "big government Keynesian who would placate Wall Street."

The question becomes "why" does the party continue to allow the Northeast to dictate nominees. Money? It is certainly not electoral votes. New Hampshire proved with it's re-election of ultra-liberal Senator, Janine Shaheen that it is as deep blue as Rhode Island. Smart money should write the Northeast off as "hopelessly Democrat," and stop wasting resources on it! That includes considering Presidential nominees from this region.

Perhaps it is time to do the unthinkable: "Change the name." It worked for Abraham Lincoln in 1864! There are growing numbers of Independents who might readily join the existing party base. Especially, if it were made clear that the Dewey-Rockefellers were no longer running the party!

In truth, the Republican brand carries mostly negative connotations. A rebranding or renaming of the party to become the "Jeffersonians" would invoke the true ideals of the base: "Smaller government, lower taxes, less centralization, and more individual rights for American citizens."

It amounts to transcending the brand, replacing a label that is considered negative by even the most stalwart members. In one sweep of the pen, conseratives divorce those determined to maintain the anachromism. Their long overdue replacement would truly represent the general paradigm.

Positioning begins with citing the bad. In this case, "we're making a clean break from those in the party who continue to push "big government, preemptive wars, and Keynesian economic theory," because "those positions are more aligned with Democrats and modern liberals."

Yet, identifying the problem is only part of it. Conservatives who make up the base must think both logically and politically. This is easier said than done!

Merely changing the name won't suffice. An appeal to Americans' who consider themselves neither Republican or Democrat must be on the table. It begins with a push to reduce the size, scope and cost of the the federal government. To genuinely do this, one must first become reacquainted with the 10th amendment.

It is here that the Dewey Rockefellers have traditionally raised objections. By citing them as the main detractors from attaining this standard, half of the battle is won. What remains is the need of a true leader, in the tradition of Ronald Reagan.

One advantage Reagan had was the experience of running a large, diverse state. Executive experience and it's importance cannot be underestimated. We have certainly seen the fruits of "on the job training" with our current President!

Reagan had a vision. It began with "reducing the cost of government." Even though he never enjoyed the benefits of a Republican contolled House, his administration scored huge successes. Especially in reviving the confidence of the American people.

Ironically, his primary opponent and later Vice President, George H.W. Bush described Reagan's "Supply Side" economics, as "voodoo economics." Bush was the choice of the Dewey-Rockefellers. Many say he drifted right in later years. But his true orientation surfaced as late as 1993 with support of Agenda 21.

In essence, the base doesn't trust much of the party leadership. No matter how careful the packaging, there will always be memories of Agenda 21, Keynensian economic theory, Common Core and Romneycare. It is time for a new direction, complete with a new standard.

Beginning with "reducing the size, scope and cost" of the federal government.

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