At the National Speakers Association convention earlier this year, Bruce Terkel delivered a powerful keynote presentation on marketing. During that speech he explained that President Obama’s 2008 slogan “Yes we can” was the second best marketing slogan ever. It is positive, it is inclusive and it is enabling. Sadly, Republicans utilize a different slogan strategy.
Tom Coburn (R–OK), Ted Kruz (R-AZ), Michele Bachmann (R-Mars) and a bunch more Republicans want President Obama impeached. They offer no high crimes or misdemeanors of which they think he is guilty. They just want the sentence carried out without bothering with an indictment or conviction. Their slogan seems to be, “Say anything to marginalize him.”
Paul Ryan continues to promote his Republican budget – only it isn’t a budget. It is a plan to privatize nearly all of government. This is just another example of Republicans putting lipstick on a pig and telling us it isn’t a pig, like the original Patriot Act that actually was unpatriotic and like Operation Iraqi Freedom that didn’t free the Iraqis but did chain us to perpetual war. Their sleight-of-hand slogan is, “Fooling you with a lying label.”
I wrote here recently that the Republicans got nuthin’ because they propose nothing that will benefit America or Americans, other than the billionaires to whom they are indentured. They lambasted President Obama at every opportunity regarding a budget. Then Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Tanning Salon) presented the 2010 Republican budget that had no numbers in the entire document other than page numbers. (Accounting note: If there are no numbers, it can’t be a budget.) On the infrequent occasions that congress does manage to pass legislation to make things better, like the Dodd-Frank bill, Republicans immediately start the process to dismantle it piece by piece. This slogan is obvious: “Whatever it is, we’re against it even if we used to be for it.”
The House did pass a farm bill. It gives Big Agri-Business multi-billions of dollars. That same bill eliminates support for food stamps. One in six American children lives in poverty – it is double that number for people of color – and The House intends to take the food out of the mouths of those kids. The slogan: “Starvation makes children more self-reliant.”
Two of three poling places in North Carolina are being closed, leaving local college students with obstacles nearly impossible to overcome in order to vote. A pregnant woman in Kansas, victim of a brutal rape, cannot do anything about it. The school teachers in Wisconsin, who have sacrificed pay over and over in exchange for the promise of an adequate pension when they retire, are now having their pensions stolen from them. None of that is an accident.
The Republicans are so bereft of offerings that they are putting the majority of their effort into stopping Americans from voting in order to win elections and cram through legislation to produce results like the examples above. If they can’t stop people from voting, they use district gerrymandering to make votes inconsequential. For example, Texas is 45% white but the Republican controlled state legislature has ensured that 70% of the districts are white Republican, thus marginalizing people of color.
Perhaps this kind of Constitutional blasphemy has not permeated your world yet. Just understand this: it will. Right now they are coming after people of color, poor people, first time voters, the elderly and the infirmed. After that it will be another group, then another, because a power hungry minority will never have enough control to satisfy themselves. Look to history and you will see the repeated story of incremental loss of rights concurrent with the rise of totalitarianism. That is what voter suppression accomplishes, so “Coup by disenfranchisement” is the Republican slogan.
“You know, I would have at least some respect for the Republicans who pass these laws if they would just come clean and admit they are trying to keep everyone but old white guys from voting like it used to be in the good old days. But instead, they make up stuff.”
Gaylard French of Waxahachie, TX
The Dallas Morning News
Letters to the Editor, August 18, 2013
We can sit back and pretend that our country is not being stolen from us, but sooner or later we’re going to have a very bad day. The Republican slogan for that is, to quote Dick Cheney, “So?”
Bruce Terkel was asked the obvious question by a member of the audience at the close of his keynote to the National Speakers Association convention. “If ‘Yes we can’ is the second best marketing slogan ever, what is the best one?” Terkel didn’t miss a beat, replying, “See your doctor for an erection lasting longer than four hours.”
Are we that easy to manipulate – with just a slogan?
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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