In the mid-late 80s I was a manager at Domino’s Pizza. What a concept: Pizza in 30 minutes or less and Coke. That was it. Not 18 different products. Just Pizza and Coke and we’d get it to you in 30 minutes or less or you’d get it for free. Was it the best pizza? No. Was it the coldest Coke? No. It was the delivery system that was the selling point. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good pizza and the Coke was fine. The selling point, however, was the challenge to get the lunch or dinner to the door in less than a half hour. Once the word got out, it was hard to keep up with the demand from customers. How did it get out? Television, radio, newspaper ads, word of mouth and car top signs. There was actually a study done that concluded that every sixth time a person saw a car top sign, that person would want pizza. Pretty effective.
This isn’t a model that only works for selling pizzas — this is a proven formula for success in promoting anything. Radio shows, cookies, tire stores, fast food, diapers (you get the picture) and even political messages. In this sense, Republicans are failing and Democrats are getting it right. Of course, much of what the president and his surrogates say and do regarding the economy, tax policy, regulation, energy policy is straight out of bizarro world. Yet, many Americans still firmly support what they’re being fed.
Here’s an example. The Buffet Rule. What is it? In essence, it’s a punitive tax increase for the evil Americans who have an income of a million dollars a year or more. This is not a payroll-income tax increase because people with that kind of income already pay the highest rate of 35 percent. This is an increase in the Capital Gains and/or Dividend tax rate from 15 percent to 30 percent. That’s right, this administration which constantly talks about how we need more investment in our future and our economy wants to punish those with the wherewithal to actually do that investing. Here’s the rub. Instead of being honest, the liberals are controlling the message — especially the liberal-in-chief — to make those listening think that, somehow, people who have succeeded are suddenly paying less taxes than their secretary. They said it once. Then repeated it. Then said it again, again, and again ad nauseam until a recent poll was done that shows 50, 60 or 70 percent of Americans agree with the “Buffet Rule.” Of course, they are really agreeing with the message.
Along with the lie that Warren Buffet pays less than his secretary (incidentally, he pays less than all of us as he currently owes one BILLION dollars in back taxes that he’s fighting), this president has also said over and over again, “everyone should pay their fair share.” Well, who’s going to disagree with that. I wholeheartedly agree with the president. What he leaves out is that 53 percent of us are paying ALL of the taxes while 47 percent either pay nothing or get more back than they pay in. Yes, Mr. President, I’ll support any legislation that forces those living off of MY hard work to pay in as well. That’s not what he means. The next line in the message is usually something to the affect of, “in 2001 and 2003, the richest Americans received a huge tax cut they didn’t ask for and many didn’t want.” He, again, is guilty of the lie of omission. What really happened was, EVERYONE who paid taxes received a tax break by then president George W. Bush. It wasn’t just the rich. It was all of us.
Another by-product of the message and the saturating advertising of said message is the suggestion that the American middle class will somehow benefit directly from the president making the evil rich pay “their fair share.” Ask the typical independent or liberal who will get the money if this president were to succeed in enforcing the “Buffet Rule.” The majority, who polls say are for it, think they’ll get it. What a crock.
Washington would get it. You know, the Washington where the president lives and is running an estimated 1.3 TRILLION dollar budget deficit. You know, the home of the administration that said NO to the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline. You know, the place where the Justice Department is, the same department that’s played dumb when asked direct questions about the gun-walking Fast and Furious program which lead to the death of a Border Patrol agent in Arizona.
Republicans and conservatives are losing the messaging war. Sure, a good argument can be made that the Big Media is partnering with the Democrats in purveying that message. I agree, but it doesn’t help when the front-running Republican is on the campaign trail talking about how he “loves grits.” It’s time to take the gloves off and take a page out of THEIR playbook. Here’s what I suggest: every and anytime there’s a camera, microphone, video phone, et al, EVERY SINGLE Republican politician or candidate should say: "Why is this president trying so hard to kill jobs? Why is this president trying to stop fortunate Americans from investing in our children’s future? Why is this president attacking the oil industry — an industry that directly or indirectly employs NINE MILLION people? Why won’t this president stop borrowing money from China?" Messages like this said over and over and over again can and would be effective.
Instead, we’re hearing Republicans and Conservatives doing exactly what Obama and his minions want them to do. They’re reacting instead of acting. The time has come to put this administration on its heels by telling the truth about how it’s run this country into the poor house and how another four years of this mess could be the end of this country as we know it. The low blow that really got to me was in the president’s most recent weekly address. In it, after spewing half-truth after boldface lie, he said, “We’ve tried this trickle-down experiment before. It doesn’t work.” As far as I can tell, the media gave him a pass on this lie. It’s easy to remember or verify that then President Reagan lowering the top tax rate from 70 to 50 to 28 percent was the catalyst to fixing Jimmy Carter’s failures. More than 20 million jobs were created in this country in Reagan’s eight years. But why worry about the facts when you can make up an alternative reality that fits your needs and if you repeat it enough, the public will start believing it.
I’m calling out every Republican from local to county to state to federal government. Raise your game. Get the message straight, and say it over and over again until you feel like you’ve said it too much. Then, say it some more.