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Friday, August 14, 2009

Ronald Reagan, a voice of sameness in a sea of sameness

The original title was Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine, but that wasn’t sexy enough for you people. So here’s my last rant on this subject for a long time while it's still fresh in my angst-filled head.

First, a quick refresher on why I cover a lot of the topics I do, including politics.

Goes back to what the original point of this blog is: I talk about all the shit creatives and agency people talk about every single day. Sports, movies, assholes, great ads. All of it.

If nothing else, politics is as much a study in marketing as any product because the results are usually more immediate, unlike an ad that takes a few months to get results on when you factor in the time it takes to produce it.

Candidate says something stupid? It’s on Twitter and blogs in minutes, followed by YouTube, then the evening news. If, anyone still watches it.

So I wasn’t looking for this Reagan clip, it just popped up in one of the searches I run for unrelated things. But, I watched to see what it was about, because I care about your safety. Again, as a marketing lesson, you can also learn a lot from past campaigns too.

To that point, I’ve said before and still believe that the GOP needs Obama to fail or it goes down in flames for 2010. While Obama ran the table with his grassroots organizing through social nets and outreach to the undecideds, the GOP is trying to use the same methods without changing their core message.

Campaign people from either side will tell you the same thing as well. You don’t win by only appealing to your base. Preaching to the choir didn’t work in 2008, and it won’t work if they expect to grab younger voters for the next round.

Cementing your base is one thing—beating it until it cracks is another.

(Obama for his part is not helping matters by taking on way too much too soon. Here nor there however.)

When I started listening to the clip, (it was an LP record issued by the American Medical Association in 1961), I was stunned.

50 years later in 2009, and the rhetoric you hear from swastika sign freaks is almost verbatim when compared to some of these passages.

But it’s not the healthcare issue oddly enough that bugs me, it’s this notion of less government that the GOP depends on for its core message.

It’s one thing to have the basis of your arguement for not adopting healthcare reform rely on the fear that it will slowly lead to more government intrusion. That’s fine, I don’t want the government in my business either.

Frame the arguement in Big Brother terms like that and everyone’s on board.

Granted, hypocrisy is not limited to either party, but why is then it okay for government intrusion when it comes to wiretaps, what art is supported and displayed in public, or who people sleep with behind closed doors or decide to marry?

Can’t have it both ways.

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