Tom Parsons: Look beyond corporate blame for Republican problems |

Tom Parsons: Look beyond corporate blame for Republican problems

Tom Parsons

By blaming corporations, as it is popular to do, we risk missing the perspective necessary to rescue our political system, not to mention the Republican Party in the process.

We must learn the lessons from the marketing strategy that has pervaded politics, particularly the Republican Party. It is now about power and maintaining power. Morality and values have become nothing more than words; words used outside the context of ethics to achieve whatever the marketing objective is.

Republican strategists have been selling a “brand,” approaching politics as if they were selling Nike, or Disney. When the brand-sell strategy is effective they don’t have to get into discussing “product” features. Note: In the case of politics, the actual products are the policies and programs having to do with health care, the economy, foreign relations, etc. Added to the brand-sell has been the strategy of discrediting the competing brand (Democrats) through negative labeling. On the defensive, the Democrats have found it difficult to get the public to focus on policy differences and on real issues.

Now that the economy has tanked, however, brand-selling is not working so well. And, with voters weary of the war, it is as if nominee McCain can’t find a product to sell. Obama’s strategy of focusing on Democratic values and voter needs, and away from personal attacks, is working. Obama has our attention, and probably our votes. But once elected it will be vital that he provide us with policies that work and which meet our needs. If he is successful it can serve as a model for traditional Republicans to take back their party and for America to return to a two-party system free from the current divisiveness.

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