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The Progressive Message Is Marketable-The Conservative Message Is Not


Scott Pinsker is a marketing and publicity expert. He has written a two-part article for Fox News, in which he analyses the 2012 election results from a marketing point of view and explains why the Democrats won and the Republicans lost.

In Part 1, Pinsker explains the difference in the two parties today. He calls the Democrats the Plaintiff Party and the Republicans the Ideology Party. Let´s see what he means.

Democratic Party

The Democratic Party is a “plaintiff party,” where various constituencies lobby to wield government power.  As the lone plaintiff party, Democrats attract voters who (rightly) recognize that their lives would be improved by reallocating American resources.

A plaintiff party is ideally positioned to attract immigrants, minorities and other groups who’ve faced historic disadvantages, because these groups are often the stated beneficiary of the plaintiff party’s legislation.  The faster these segments grow, the greater the plaintiff party’s advantage.

Basically what Mr. Pinsker is saying is that the Progressives (Democrats) have successfully divided the American electorate into voting blocks and have positioned themselves as the party that understands and is sympathetic to the issues that are important to each voting block.

Republican Party

The Republican Party is an “ideology party,” and the dominant ideology is conservatism.  Instead of using government power to advance the interests of aggrieved demographic blocks, the Republican Party seeks the support of Americans who share conservative principles: limited government, personal liberty and traditional values.  Republicans view the world in ideological terms: Ideas and policies either reflect conservative principles or they’re “wrong.”

The author then relates how the Republican candidate Romney ran hard right during the primaries and then moved to the middle during the actual campaign to try to make the election about the economy and Obama’s poor record and in doing so he avoided all wedge issues in order to appeal to the independent voters. But, we know that Obama didn’t run on his record for obvious reasons. His goal was to divide and conquer. He would use wedge issues to his advantage.

 His campaign was a shameless, unapologetic barrage of wedge-issues.  Just to expand the gender-gap: Republicans are waging a “War on Women!”  They’ll take away your birth control pills!  They’re attacking Sandra Fluke!  They’ll kill Planned Parenthood!  Out-of-touch Romney needs “binders of women!”  Republicans support “legitimate” rape!  They’ll ban abortion!

And, the Plaintiff Party strategy of divide and conquer and pandering to voting blocks worked.

…Obama’s base wasn’t motivated by the economy.  Nor were they motivated by ideology. What motivated Obama’s base was the “politics of personal association” – associations forged by class, ethnicity and other factors – and one candidate understood “them” much better than the other.  In exit-polling, Obama trumped Romney 81% to 18% on empathy.

Empathy??? The economy is in the tank and millions of people are unemployed and middle class income is falling and the we ar sixteen trillion dollars in debt and we continue to borrow or print over a trillion dollars per year just to keep our ship of state afloat; and the majority of voters were more concerned with which candidate feels my pain.

In Part 2, after educating us on how good marketing works, Mr. Pinsker explains what Republicans (Conservatives) have done wrong and what they need to do if they want to win elections.

Republicans must stop trying to make every issue a battle of ideology. It’s a losing proposition, and demographical shifts will only compound this problem in future elections. YOU might be motivated by an ideological argument.But that’s not who you’re marketing to, and if a voter isn’t motivated by ideology, STOP ARGUING IDEOLOGY!


Republicans must define ALL the benefits of conservative outcomes.Then they must develop comprehensive profiles of every voting block. Next, they must accentuate the conservative benefits that each voting block most values. Republicans must empathetically sell this message, because non-ideological voters don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Really,  Mr. Pinsker? In order to win elections, we must “accentuate the conservative benefits that each voting block most values”? If we are the party that believes in limited government, personal liberty and traditional values, then what values do we have in common with the Sandra Flukes of America or with La Raza followers or with the SEIU and the UAW or with people who can’t contain their excitement over having  a Obamaphone or with those who think it is fine to take from the rich and redistribute it to everyone else or with those who have lived for generations on our welfare system? No, Mr. Pinsker. If we do what you suggest, we wouldn’t be “conservatives” any more. We would only be members of a party called the Republicans and we would be selling the same snake oil as the Democratic (Plaintiff) Party.

Ronald Reagan didn’t have to pander to voting blocks to sell conservatism. But, he was a good salesman, wasn’t he? So, where are our conservative value salesmen today?

Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Conservatives on Fire


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