So I wrote the following in 2013. Sadly, given that we’re having this intra-party fight again, I feel the need to repost it.
“What is the one thing that can unite the MassGOP? Hint: It starts with “R”.
We just had our monthly RTC meeting this past Wednesday, and our State Committeeman was there to give us an update from that level.
His perspective was disheartening to say the least, even taken with a large grain of salt. With two warring factions at the state party level (he being on one side in this “War To End All Wars” nonsense) fighting for control, what’s a lowly committee chair with little contact with the grandees of the Party to do? All I’ve got is an opinion. So here it is: Stop it. Just stop it.
The State Party should be doing 3 things with its limited resources, and having a pissing contest over the soul of the party isn’t one of them.
1. Marketing/branding (60%). 2. Setting up effective GOTV operations (30%). And 3. Financially supporting candidates (10%).
Lets look at #1. The krack kadre of kampaign konsultants should have absolutely nothing to do with branding the party or marketing its message. Here’s a novel idea, have advertising/marketing professionals do it. For the most part these are not political junkies. They would approach the problem as they would any other marketing challenge. What is the key message? What is the strategic goal? What tactics will best convey that message and help reach the goal? We should be looking at this through a marketing prism instead of a political one. Finding Conservative-minded people would be a plus.
I’ve talked about this before. We have the better policies. We’re terrible at connecting those policies emotionally to the voters. Remember, we’re fighting Liberalism, the politics of feeling good about yourself. People need to feel good about their vote. That’s an emotional connection to a rational decision. People need an emotional reason to connect to a brand.
Now #2. Our GOTV effort pales in comparison to our opponents. They are taking full advantage of the latest technologies, coupled with good old-fashioned shoe leather, to get their folks to the polls. We don’t. That needs to change. Ed Lyons could speak to this better than I, so I defer to him on explaining all the tech solutions available.
#3. Candidates need to raise money. Duh. The State Party would better serve candidates by setting up an infrastructure to require less investment in mailings, web & social media presence, and other basic for setting up a campaign. (Ties into the whole brand message too.) Setting up a customizable “toolkit” would allow candidates to spend their money more efficiently and on other things like events (hosting/participating in cultural/civic events in their communities) and voter outreach and contact.
Oh, about that “R” word. It’s “Reform”. Every single tactical message should hammer in the message of “Real. Meaningful. Reform.”
Reform means lower taxes, and you don’t have to talk about cutting taxes. Reform means a more efficient delivery of essential services, and you don’t have to talk about cutting programs. Reform means good fiscal stewardship, and you don’t have to talk about cutting positions. Even if the end goal is to do all three, you don’t have to explicitly say it, which means there’s nothing to argue against.
That’s the one thing that the whole party can unite behind. It’s also the one thing Independents can get behind with us. It’s the one message that will allow us to win.”