America, 'happiness is coming'

Conservatives could learn from a campaign that ousted a dictator

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How can Republicans have such a terrific product – freedom, capitalism, limited government, growth and prosperity – and yet have such an awful brand?

Republicans in Congress have a worse approval
rating than the man who brought you Obamacare: A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed only 37 percent of Americans have confidence in President Obama’s decision-making, but just 19 percent do for congressional Republicans.

There’s no doubt that the lack of confidence in Republicans is coming from many Republicans themselves. They’re spitting out their own product!

Again, we ask: How can Republicans have such a terrific product and such a horrible brand?

The likely reasons are many.

For one thing – and conservative Republicans will tell you this – congressional Republicans often aren’t all that committed to the above-stated principles, which they claim to represent, particularly limited government.

But even if they were committed and courageous, they’ve got some purely awful salesmen for the product. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – who, in the absence of a Republican president, are the face of the party – aren’t all that telegenic or charismatic. Sorry, but in today’s world, that matters.

Another problem with the Republican brand is, more broadly, a problem with the conservative brand: Conservatives often come off sounding and looking dour and negative.

It’s a problem for any party that is in the minority at any given time: How do you provide opposition to the ruling party and its policies without being perceived as the proverbial “party of no”?

And much of what conservatives are selling – and what made America great – can easily be perceived in today’s “Just Do It” anything-goes society as dreary, mean and boring: Responsibility. Restraint. Work. Patience. Temperance. Delayed gratification. Discipline. Self-reliance. A lack of envy.

When you’ve got dour faces sounding like angry parents, that’s not a very marketable brand.

Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way.

When opposition groups sought to oust Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet in a 1988 plebiscite – and were offered free television time to make their case – their natural inclination was to show how awful he was. That campaign, while accurate, could have been quite grim. Instead, the “No” campaign seeking his ouster took on a surprisingly joyous tone, even featuring a jingle that promised “happiness is coming” post-Pinochet.

It worked. To nearly everyone’s surprise.

Today’s American conservatives and Republicans – in politics and in the media – could take a lesson from that. Why be so glum and angry, constantly focusing on the negative consequences of the other party’s destructive approaches?

Take note of them, certainly. But don’t let that be what you’re about. Don’t allow yourselves to be defined (with the help of a hostile media) by negativity. That’s no way to win hearts and minds. Or elections.

Instead, why not offer real hope, not just the stuff of posters? Why not celebrate the fruits of traditional American values – those listed above, and more? Why not exhibit and extol the successes of freedom, free markets and individual liberty?

Their message this election year should be that happiness is coming – in the form of more freedom, lower taxes, growth, prosperity, jobs and more.

Enough with the gloom and doom. Let’s hear some boom.

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deestafford
28762
Points
deestafford 02/19/14 - 05:58 am
9
5
Once again, the ACES is right on target.

Once again, the ACES is right on target.

The Republican leaders are scared to criticize Obama without saying things like "Oh, he's such a wonderful family man" first and then going on with some wishy-washsy criticism. Romney wouldn't attack Obama's policies and failures in the campaign because he didn't want to "offend".

They are scared to criticize because Obama is the first black president and they thing they will be viewed as "racists"...which many on the left accuse anyone who is not in the Obama worshipping cult of being.

The Republicans need to lay out a simple plan of what they want to do and how it will impact on the people. Too many times the Republicans are talking over the heads of the public with terms such as "baseline budgeting", "CBO scoring" and not dumbing down the message as do the Democrats. Too often the Republicans talk and campaign as if they are talking to fellow orbiters of the beltway.

When the Republicans took over Congress they had a ten point plan and Newt articulated it well and often. The result? A landslide.

The Republicans in DC need leaders who are Conservative, articulate, fearless, and able to simplify the positive conservative message so people will easily understand how it will benefit them and their families.

It's hard to beat a Santa Claus promising that not working so much is a good thing for the individual and his family. It's really hard to do that when Santa Claus is black and already got 99% of one ethnic group locked up no matter what he says or does.

carcraft
27117
Points
carcraft 02/19/14 - 07:09 am
10
3
Yesterday I watched the Diane

Yesterday I watched the Diane Sawyer news cast. It was pure pablum! Nothing on the CBO projections of job loss under Obama care. No mention of Oregon's multi million dollar Obama care web site that doesn't function at all. No mention of new EPA regulations that may increase electric bills by 80%. Lead story, a plane hitting turbulance in Montana. A lot about the Olympics. Horrible, I learned more on ET that followed. The point, the press covers for Obama and paints the Republicans in negative light. People that follow the lame stream media have no idea what is going on and view Republicans as negative!

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 02/19/14 - 07:32 am
6
3
House Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell need to go. These two are the faces of the Republican establishment in Washington. They are largely responsible for reaching across the isle to the opposition, i.e. Democrats, in a so-called bi-partisan effort to "work" together and make congress work.

WRONG on all levels. Democrats always turn on Republicans and stick it to them ever chance they get. We need hard hitting Tea-party Republicans that stick it to the Democrats.

And these Moderate Republicans, ( RINO) have no place either. Have there ever been any moderate that made any strides worthy enough to make in the History books, no.

We need hard hitting take no prisoner Libertarian style statesmen that stand on conservative fiscal policies and are not afraid to point out the failures of democrat policies .

My money is on Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.

justthefacts
22753
Points
justthefacts 02/19/14 - 07:45 am
8
1
Change in Strategy

Propose raising the minimum wage to $15. Offer entirely free healthcare to anyone not rich.
Make the Democrats assume the "responsible" role in the need for fiscal responsibility. It would be a hoot.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 02/19/14 - 08:05 am
2
12
Nice plug for a semi-historical movie, but:
Unpublished

As with all of these movies, they overplay the one part they're pushing and leave out a lot of the real history. It was more than just an ad.

1. It wasn't a surprise that the ad was popular. American advertising consultants with political communications firm GMMB, traveled to Chile at least six times to conduct focus groups, with assistance from the Soros Foundation (swallow that one Augusta Chronicle edtitorial writers).

2. All of the opposition parties had to agree to stop their infighting and threats to boycott the plebiscite, and to agree that no groups would be punished if their the no side won.

3. It wasn't the ad campaign, it was an organized effort to register 92% of the electorate.

4. Pinochet still wanted to cancel the results, but the election were closely monitored and the top generals wouldn't back him.

Try not to overplay a movie plot, even if it is nominated for an Acadmey Award, as real, complete history. Parts of Little Big Man were true as well, and it's one of my all time favorite movies, but a documentary it's not.

ymnbde
10039
Points
ymnbde 02/19/14 - 08:09 am
10
2
take back education

the party that controls education controls the country
and the democrats have controlled education for several generations
the Republicans should end this last vestige of racism
and fight for school choice
our children can't read... well, the rich white kids can read
and the Asian kids can read... well, that's odd
the kids that go to private schools can read
the kids that reject what the government's selling, victimhood, can read
but poor black kids can't read
it is shameful that such racism still exists in America
are the democrats afraid that if black kids learn to read and write and do arithmetic that they will realize the democratic party has been running one of the biggest scams in history at their expense?

robaroo
797
Points
robaroo 02/19/14 - 08:09 am
3
4
Santa Claus Wants Lower Taxes

At a time when the country is getting closer to bankruptcy, I'm glad to hear the Republicans have learned from the Democrats - we don't need to balance the budget. Government should be like Santa Claus. Give everybody lower taxes and borrow even more money to make up the difference.

The Republicans and Democrats follow the same old paths to disaster. They will promise anything to get your vote regardless of what it does to the country.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 02/19/14 - 08:18 am
3
12
The CBO projections of people
Unpublished

The CBO projections of people who might voluntarily leave the work force beacuse THEY have options, not the employer, such as insurance? The projections that they've already announced, discussed, and rehashed? I suppose they should do like Fox and misrepresent the findings and repeat these misrepresentations ad nauseum along with a crawl that does the same? Maybe it's because all of these "news" stories you seek are from Newsbusters, the Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner or other creators of fictional reading material to fill the heads of those that can't tell a legitimate source from one that is on par with those that print stories of Batboy.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 08:30 am
8
1
robaroo, I notice you didn't
Unpublished

robaroo, I notice you didn't mention ANYTHING about spending less as a way to balance the budget......almost like that is something that can NEVER happen.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 08:32 am
7
4
Why is it when you present
Unpublished

Why is it when you present facts to some of these liberals, they just attack your source of news, yet never address or counter ANY of the things reported in the news.....just call it fiction, and never address the things presented in the news. How about you prove the reported news incorrect? Wouldn't that make your rebuttal more credible?

corgimom
34208
Points
corgimom 02/19/14 - 08:42 am
3
11
ymnbde, now, you're aware

ymnbde, now, you're aware that charter schools have fallen into three groups- some above average than public schools, some that are the same, some that are below average than public schools.

Sorta blows that "school choice will fix everything" up, doesn't it?

ymnbde
10039
Points
ymnbde 02/19/14 - 08:54 am
12
2
ah, corgimom, "charter" schools are not school choice

and i wrote "school choice"
and you substituted charter schools, and argued that "charter" schools are not better... that is an obtuse response
"charter" schools are just government schools run by the same people that brought you the regular failed government schools
every parent should get a voucher to be spent at the private school of their choice
choice, just like O's kids
just like the Kennedy kids
sort of blows your bias out of the water, doesn't it?

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 08:57 am
11
3
If you can't argue against
Unpublished

If you can't argue against the topic your opponent is arguing, just argue against the topic that you pretend they are arguing.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 02/19/14 - 09:01 am
0
0
What an amusing article. The
Unpublished

What an amusing article. The republican brand is one of lies, deceit, back room deals, good old party politics, racism, sexism, backwards thinking. Their "conservative" values are values that picked and chosen at their convenience and save no one any money while hurting every day citizens.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 02/19/14 - 09:01 am
2
12
The same people, with the
Unpublished

The same people, with the same oddball sources all of the time. Fox is biased, but at least hits some facts on occasion. When you get to WND, cnsnews, Infowars, WND, abovetopsecret, and a number of other sites, why bother? They're loons. Why not use Charles Manson as a source then have to go back and rebut it? Heritage and other think tanks will skew the data their way and you have to go to the original source to see what the real scoop is. When folks use WND, come on? Is Batboy real? We might as well debate Weekly World News.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 09:22 am
8
2
Again...attack the source,
Unpublished

Again...attack the source, and address not one thing presented in the source. So typical.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 02/19/14 - 09:26 am
2
10
There already is school
Unpublished

There already is school choice. You just have to pay for it yourself. Although now they're rigging it where they're sucking money out of taxpayer coffers for private and religous schools. You can have your own private police force and security staff as well, if you pay for it yourself. I suppose now we should supplement the wealthy people's private bodyguards with taxpayer money too, since obviously the publc police force isn't sufficient for them. They have their own private roads behind gated communities. We should help pay for those too. That's the plan. Pull all you can from public schools so they have a constant low wage work force. It's just an added bonus you can shift the money to help pay for the rich kids to go to the private schools to boot. A win-win. Furlough teachers, increase class sizes, don't buy new books, but knock a few grand off Biff's and Muffy's tuition. They can use that for gas money in their Land Rovers.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 09:28 am
8
3
" Fox is biased, but at least
Unpublished

" Fox is biased, but at least hits some facts on occasion. "

Biased how? Facts on occasion? What have they reported on the rest of the accounts that was NOT true?

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 09:28 am
8
2
"There already is school
Unpublished

"There already is school choice. You just have to pay for it yourself. "

Yeah...twice. Once in taxes, and again in tuition. Why do you only advocate choice for the affluent?

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 02/19/14 - 09:38 am
0
0
Welcome to the "one party system". The system of the USSA.
Unpublished

It is not who votes, but who counts the votes--Josef Stalin

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 09:40 am
6
1
Day after day? I haven't
Unpublished

Day after day? I haven't seen you rebut it ONCE...just attack the source. It would take you just as much time to actually rebut the information as you have spent here trying to simply attack it. I suspect it's because you CAN'T rebut it....as we all know.

nofanofobama
6856
Points
nofanofobama 02/19/14 - 09:44 am
8
2
why is is that rich dims and

why is is that rich dims and libs who swallow the party line about school choice hate minorities so much...DC had a very popular and successful school choice program for the inner city kids..wildly pooular...yet obumler and the dims defunded it...why????? they [the elite] in DC send their kids to private schools...yet poor kids are expected to go to run down schools with very low graduation...yet all we hear from the libs that they love children and education..yet they condem kids who are not of the elite to proverty ...and they attack any and every school choice program in the country thru obumler's justice dept.. so dont lecture us on school choice...each child is an individual ..if we help 1 or 1 million its in the right direction...

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 09:45 am
8
2
Day after day? I haven't
Unpublished

Day after day? I haven't seen you rebut it even ONCE. All you do is attack the source. It would take you just as much time to actually rebut the information as you have spent attacking the source, so your statement is invalid. And way to go with the tin foil hat insult. Again with the attacks.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 02/19/14 - 10:02 am
0
0
What Product?
Unpublished

The Republicans haven't offered any plans to address the economy or health care. They've only cut benefits to people who are struggling...and Obama is not a dictator.

deestafford
28762
Points
deestafford 02/19/14 - 10:18 am
5
2
I believe a quote of Ronald Reagan's is appropriate..

I believe a quote of Ronald Reagan's is appropriate here on this subject:

"I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rush into print saying, 'We must broaden the base of our party'--when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakable where we stand on the issues troubling the people? Let our banner proclaim our belief in a free market as the greatest provider for the people."

There, once again, is it in a nutshell. Be bold. Tell the people clearly what you believe in and what you stand for. Have your principles and articulate them to the people so they understand how THEY will be benefited by joining with you. Don't go chasing the people with your tent. Have a well illuminated tent of bold principles and they will come to it.

DanK
784
Points
DanK 02/19/14 - 10:37 am
2
10
ACES off the mark again

"How can Republicans have such a terrific product – freedom, capitalism, limited government, growth and prosperity – and yet have such an awful brand?"

You sure wrote a long article without addressing the core issue. Republicans do not have a "product" that is built on those qualities. And the American people are not buying what Republicans are really selling. Corporatism, not growth and prosperity. Oppression of the poor, women and minorities, not freedom. Religion, not capitalism.

By gerrymandering. Republicans have installed a group of right wing extremists into the House, promoting views that only a tiny proportion of the American public agree with.

It's no wonder that the public has such low opinion of Republicans, because the product being advertised is not the product actually in the box.

dahreese
4743
Points
dahreese 02/19/14 - 10:42 am
0
0
Pardon my laughing over this
Unpublished

Pardon my laughing over this editorial trying to present Republicans being picked upon by Democrats.

The usual commenters are falling into line; "Once again, the ACES is right on target."

Amazing, isn't it?

On the other hand, it is pathetic that they aren't smart enough to realize how they are manipulated and even more pathetic that these editorials are so misleading.

Have you editorial writers no shame?

(Yes, I am aware that the commenters can no longer read my comments).

deestafford
28762
Points
deestafford 02/19/14 - 10:48 am
5
1
Dank, If you bother to do some research you will find...

Dank, If you bother to do some research you will find that gerrymandering is done for the benefit of minority candidates to be able to run in majority minority districts so they justice department can be held at bay.

Yeah. Individual responsibility, lower taxes, and smaller less intrusive government are bad things in the eyes of the statists because they take away their power. The statists will lie, cheat, and steal to retain power no matter what the detriment to the people their policies are.

Go back and read our Founding documents and the writings of the Founders to see what the Foundation of the greatest country in the history of the world was when they birthed this great nation. Compare those with what we have today and see how far we have strayed.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/19/14 - 10:56 am
8
0
"Oppression of the poor,
Unpublished

"Oppression of the poor, women and minorities, not freedom. "

Dank...just what have the Democrats done that has made the poor less poor?

Bizkit
33052
Points
Bizkit 02/19/14 - 11:11 am
6
0
Name a cable source that

Name a cable source that isn't biased Bod. What's your point? Misrepresenting info is the soup du jour for all cable news. The problem with the CBO report is more people not working lowers our GDP so how are we going to generate tax revenues to pay for non-workers.

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