Rosetta Stone Republican - Democrats Need Their Own 'Think Different' Campaign

Rosetta Stone Republican - Democrats Need Their Own 'Think Different' Campaign
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

The Financial Times projects that Fox News will be Murdoch's most profitable and successful business. Maybe the Left needs its own dippy blonde anchors, sensationalist tabloid cases, and a liberal Glenn Beck to sell the message.

The name of the political football game is moving the vast unread center of this country towards your goal post. Obama did it, barely, in 2008. Why? A simple, well-crafted message that sold hope and change as a real possibility.

The gains of 2008 are gone now, obliterated by the massive fear that the implosion of eight years of George W. Bush wreaked on the economy.

Fear is a powerful seller of the status-quo, which may seem illogical to progressives, but makes perfect sense to people who think that the manure pile that you know is better than that smell coming from the other side of the fence, no matter what the neighbors tell you.

The Democrats have a better product for the average man woman and child. They just are awful at selling it. Why they are failing so badly?

The Democratic Party is really two or three parties which do not see eye-to-eye on message. Such inclusiveness can be a strength, but it creates inconsistency in messages which the GOP exploits with a mass audience as being indecisive.

The Republicans' goose-stepping uniformity give comfort to some that the same group who flushed the economy down the toilet over the last thirty years while lining the pockets of the richest of Americans are there looking out for Average Joe.

The majority of this country is not well read. Most Americans don't pick up a newspaper. Many more don't watch television news beyond bites of their Big Mac or a beer, and then only because it's being shoved under their nose at the restaurant.

We don't reach them. We're not crafting the message in a way that they get or see. There is no Fox News for Democrats, with apologies to MSNBC which tries, but skews towards the educated and the elitist.

Democrats never tackle that fear of the unknown well. We're wonky. We use words and ideas that put us on the other side of the fence from Joe.

Take issue with their ethics and their journalistic integrity, but the one thing you can say about the Fox News organization is that it knows how to pander well to a mass audience.

No wonky, brain-straining hosts like Rachel Maddow. No Murrow-like journalists poking into anything deeply. Just telegenic folks with limited IQs who ape Ailes and read the teleprompters dutifully.

Serve up entertainment with a dash of news and a big dollop of political spin that goes down well with the sugar coating.

A little Obama bashing lovingly topped with a few minutes on Britney's latest melt-down, a poisonous toy scare, and the occasional police helicopter chasing down minority suspect.

With all due respect to Rachel, Keith Olbermann, and many of the pundits who appear at the Huffington Post, we're a lot like Apple Computer in the late 1990s: We're very good at preaching to the choir.

Steve Jobs came back to that company in 2000 and told its sales force that 3% of the world's population is so smart that they natively "get" any idea. He said that at 6% market share, they were 3% further ahead than they should be, because they weren't marketing to the masses.

The Apple comparison is useful, because they successfully sold change to combat a Microsoft campaign in the late 1990s to "standardize" on their products by selling fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). Apple was going out of business, even though they had $5B in the bank. Their ideas were untested. They talked about a starry-eyed future rather than a pragmatic present.

Apple just passed Microsoft on the S&P 500 list of top companies. How?

Apple sells things that people crave in easy packages. They don't sell to business, but to average folks who want to play games, listen to their music, and order dinner from their phone.

The revolutionary iPod was music delivered by the wheel. When you make something easy to do that people like, you earn their trust and their desire for change that benefits them.

The Democrats have not found that "wheel' of change.

Maybe, just maybe, some of the tactics which Fox and Roger Ailes use to motivate viewership and mindset are ones that we should use as well. Maybe Ms. Maddow can work in a car chase or two between hard-hitting interviews.

The Democratic Party needs its own face lift, its own "Think Different" campaign. America needs to see "progressive" as a good word again, not as one of the GOP's back-handed bitch slaps.

My shiny two.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot