Roger L. Simon

The Republicans' Continued Public Relations Disaster

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Given the current state of the USA, Republicans should be winning every election from Seattle to Key West.  The economy hasn’t moved for years with the labor participation rate at record lows — people have given up – and bankruptcy over entitlements looming.  The international situation is in free fall with China becoming the global power, Iran making a mockery of faux negotiations and Putin on the way to reconstituting the Soviet Union.  Al Qaeda is not only alive, it’s growing.  (GM is dead.)  Optimism about our country is in the proverbial toilet. More Americans feel threatened by their own government than proud of it.

Republicans should be winning by acclimation for every position from dog catcher to president.

But they’re  not.  And you don’t need Strother Martin to tell you why — it’s a failure to communicate.

And that’s not just the so-called establishment or the so-called Tea Party — it’s both.  Both are doing an atrocious job of taking their message to the people. The establishment remains super cautious, equivocating and boring while the Tea Party walks around pretending as if wearing a three-cornered hat and waving the Constitution (great as it is) is going to impress a culture the vast number of whom (incorrectly!) associate that Constitution with geriatric white slave holders in jodhpurs.  Also, you have to be at least as sophisticated as your high school sons and daughters.  We do live in 2014. (If you’re not, what you get is a clueless Sharron Angle losing to that hideous mafioso Harry Reid.)

Rather than dealing with these realities, both sides — establishment and Tea Party — spend their time aiming fusillades at each other. How infantile and suicidal.

Yes, the media and Hollywood and the academy are against us and millions of Americans are on the dole (therefore bought)… blablabla.  But the facts remain — at public relations, the right sucks.  The proof is, again, that on almost every issue — with the possible exception of same-sex marriage, and in that instance the GOP libertarian wing is an asset — the right has not just the upper hand, but the wildly superior upper hand with the public.  Liberal ideology is not only dead, it’s decomposed.  Nevertheless, even though Republicans have a good possibility with the Senate (they should have every seat), Hillary seems poised for the White House.

Time to wake up, n’est-ce pas?  But how to do it?

To begin with, time for Republican fat cats to realize that the media and Hollywood are really really important and open their wallets big time to change the playing field.  (They’ll also make money in the process, because that’s where there’s a giant under-served audience.)  Entertainment media are where minds are formed, especially those low-information voters everyone talks about incessantly.  Hate the media and Hollywood all you want, but until you take them over and/or co-opt them, things are only going to get worse — you can bank on it.

Fox News is fine, but it preaches primarily to the choir.  Something more is needed to do outreach to the middle of America. The Wall Street Journal, great as it is, and it is great, is only on the right on its editorial pages.  There are no large newspapers in the entire country with a reporting staff tilting right.  Think about that — no significant investigative reporting on the right.  (Well, a few folks at Fox like Catherine Herridge and Sharyl Attkisson, recently canned by the court eunuchs at CBS.)  This has to change.

We could even be stealthy about it. It’s not necessary to trumpet who we are.  We just have to do it.  If the Alinskyites can disguise themselves, we can too.  In fact, it should be easier for us because we have truth, honor and justice on our side.  We don’t have to broadcast we are conservatives or any other name.  We just have to tell it as it is.  How about starting today?