By: Kris Cook – Host Grassroots Radio Colorado (KLZ 560 AM)
Some of my friends are changing their party affiliation, opting out of the Republican party. Okay, several of my friends. More than I’d like, though I absolutely respect their decisions. So, why is this happening?
I believe that the problem lies in marketing.
As Republicans, we want to make more sales than the other guy, increase our market share, and do all we can to make sure our product is the best on the market—the absolute best! Our product has to compete to satisfy the needs of those making the buying decisions better than our competitors.
To accomplish this, we have to stop doing basically everything I see many in the Republican party doing right now. We can’t continue to insult our customers. We can’t write off their concerns and emotional needs as if they are irrelevant, or worse, as if we know better than they do what their needs “ought” to be. We can’t step up on our pedestals and decree what our product will do, and that if you don’t like our product or its effects, then you are obviously an evil, immoral and illiterate human being and we don’t want you voting for us anyway.
What we must do is figure out how our product fulfills the needs of those we are trying to sell it to. I am NOT saying that we change our product. We do, however, need to very carefully consider what that product is.
There are many in the Republican party who believe that our product is selling “conservatism.” What is that? It means different things to different people. To some, conservatism means that we use the government to uphold all that is moral and righteous in our history. For others, it means an “us vs. them” approach to our product.
I’m sure there are other flavors, but these are the ones that tick me off the most. And what’s more, these flavors of conservatism, while meeting some people’s emotional needs, do not meet the needs of most of those we are trying to reach. Witness our last few elections and the results.
Personally, I believe our product isn’t so much conservatism as it is freedom. And by freedom, I’m not talking about hedonism nor a “do whatever feels right and damn the consequences” libertine definition of the word.
What I do mean is: having the freedom to succeed, to fail, and to get back up and try again; to make your own choices about your family and raising your children; to find the thing that makes your soul sing, and the opportunity to do it. Freedom means being able to look back on your life one day and say, “I did it!”
If freedom is our product, and we are true to what it means, THAT is something we can sell. Because we all want to be free to celebrate the greatness of the individual, which is something we are often denied by the government and its policies. In reality, when the government sells us something for our own good, they are actually selling incapacity, while denying our freedom.
In order to win, we have to understand what we are selling, which means we must stop trying to sell progressive products with a different brand on it. We don’t buy the lie that Americans are incapable of taking care of themselves, nor that they are too stupid to know what’s good for them. And guess what, neither do they.
We have to understand our product to sell it. And we have to communicate that to everyone we meet. Every person should know what freedom would mean to them, and why we are the party that is fighting to give them that freedom.