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  • Writer's pictureKarl M. Miller

The GOP's Strategic Failure, Not Effectively Exposing Democrat's Fake Moral Superiority, While Lacking its Own Coherent Branding Strategy.

Republicans and conservatives are constantly mischaracterized as being racists, anti-immigrant, a threat to environment, and Democracy while being the party of the rich. Liberals and the media project Democrats to be the opposite, and to often to have the moral superiority and better intentions. This faux virtue mostly goes unchallenged as conservatives have lacked the art of 'shaming' political opponents while liberals have mastered it. Also a major strategic failure Republicans and the conservative movement is the lack of an effective branding strategy while giving liberals the leverage to define it for them.

Despite the millions spent on campaigns, on strategists and consultants there has not been any serious efforts to go on the offensive and turn the tables on Democrats to shatter their fake virtue bubble and flip their own narratives back on them. These are some of the major topics the GOP and the conservative movement need to focus on to switch around this trend and gain electoral advantages.

RACE & IDENTITY POLITICS: As a black immigrant and proud flag waving American citizen,  I am constantly surprised that more black Americans don’t find it racist and repulsive the way Democrats like President Biden pander to blacks as if its a race remedial to common sense and abilities to have basic things like and ID and to prosper like anyone else. But, still mostly vote Democrat. Recently while giving a speech at historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, President Biden reverted to the same divisive race baiting like he has done before when speaking to a predominantly black audience. Vowing to root out white supremacy and a whole diatribe of falsehoods implying blacks are being constantly hunted and marginalized for their race today. Also recently NY Gov. Kathy Hochul said and implied black children in the Bronx didn’t know what a commuter is. All this epitomizes the statement on racism by notable black economist  Thomas Sowell, “ Racism is not dead. But it is on life-support, kept alive mainly by the people who use it for an excuse or to keep minority communities fearful or resentful enough to turn out as a voting bloc on Election Day".

Racial disparities would be much further diminished if blacks especially students were exposed more often to the teachings of the likes of Thomas Sowell especially when it comes to economics, than the leftist victim hood theories saturated in education and from Democrats who constantly pander for black votes. That has been the missed opportunity for Republicans. Democrats have been more aggressive to present liberal teaching and introduce thinkers of their ideology in education that Republicans.

There has never been a time that despite so many means of factual information people know so little. In a society that is more apt to be repetitious than to think independently, liberals have had an advantage especially with racial history because their accusations and the context in which they use them go unchallenged by conservatives. The strategic failure of the GOP and conservatives to allow Democrats to co-opt history is a major reason President Biden and other Democrats feel empowered to constantly use words like 'racist', 'white supremacy', 'Jim Crow' etc with impunity while pandering to blacks and other minorities despite how their own policies have failed these communities.

During reconstruction after the American Civil War, the first seven black members of Congress were elected between 1870 and 1871 and all were Republicans. (Democrats make it seem that having black members of Congress is a recent event.) The numbers continued to grow after, and is one of the reasons Democrats passed laws to restrict voting and Jim Crow laws in the south which set back many civil rights for almost a century. There were proportionately more Republicans in Congress that voted for civil rights in the 60s than Democrats. Rights which today liberals and their mega donors have allowed to be violated for Jewish students during the pro Hamas protests on college campuses recently. I learnt this history as an immigrant in high school at Munro College when studying American history in Jamaica, while billions spent in the American educational system and virtuous racial victimhood history often fails to mention it.

The GOP needs a rapid response strategy to remind Americans especially blacks that Democrats are the real party of segregation, Jim Crow and white supremacy whenever Democrats imply the opposite with those words. Also Democrats who mis-name them selves as progressives are regressing America back 100 yrs again in race relations. Doing so would shame Democrats of their fake pretenses on the subject. The GOP not only needs to continue to grow its diversity, it also needs to validate its history on diversity and racial progress while creating more positive black history for the future by making school choice and incentivizing merit, the civil rights issue of the present. Otherwise, the alternative will be the stagnation of present disparity and victimhood cloaked under the guise of virtuous sounding three letter policies of ESG and DEI which have already regressed racial relations and more negative black history in the future.

The trend of outward migration from blue states to red states often include further breakdown which shows that blacks and other minorities are among those also moving from areas governed by liberals to areas governed by Republicans because they do better economically, have less crime, a better quality of life and and better law and order and educational opportunities. This data in a simple non-wonky form should be used widely and often whenever Democrats claim their policies are intended to 'help' blacks and minorities. Republicans have also ceded to even try and campaign enough in minority neighborhoods and as such, Democrats have taken these votes for granted. There are major voting blocs that do not vote GOP because the party has failed to give them an alternative, or they assume in certain areas the GOP won't win so they don't bother to vote.

That is why it was smart for President Trump to campaign in deep blue and poor south Bronx recently where he attracted a a diverse crowd including people who usually vote Democrat. NY Gov. Kathy Hochul disparaged this crowd as Trump 'clowns'. This is the area I lived in when I first moved to the U.S and was often told that when I became a citizen I should vote Democrat because that's the party that 'cared' about poor, and minorities. It was easy to assume so because only Democrats campaigned there. However, I bucked the trend because I saw that decades of voting Democrat kept areas looking like 3rd World countries. Other Republicans should take note especially in having a urban strategy for campaigning in them. Many states that swing Democrat in a presidential election do so because of the concentration of Democrat votes in urban areas such as Philadelphia or NY City and surrounding suburbs. The GOP doesn't have to get majority votes in these areas to flip a state, but it can get enough to complement the rest of the state that mainly votes Republican to eventually flip a state.

During the on going anti Israel and pro- Hamas college campus protests activities that have directed hate and discrimination to Jews on the campuses while violating their civil rights, there are parallels of the hypocrisy in the way liberals threat Jews and Blacks. In particular there are parallels in how Jewish and black liberals who use their identity to get votes from their respective communities but fail those communities when major issues occur that affect them. New York has many powerful and influential Jewish led law firms while also having a Jewish senior senator Chuck Schumer from NY as the Senate majority leader in the US Senate. When the hateful anti- Semitic protests broke out at Columbia University and other campuses including blocking Jewish students from going to class or doing exams, the response from Senator Schumer and other Jewish politicians were tepid. Contrast that with ferocity and vitriol the senator directed at members of the US Supreme Court when Roe vs Wade was overturned. Likewise, the many litigious and lobbyist Jewish law firms who often solicit lawsuits from people who have had their rights violated were mum to come come to the aid of the these Jewish students. If such hate was directed at Blacks, Muslims or the LGBTQ community, it would not have been tolerated at either the college, state or federal levels. The liberal Jewish coalition who often use identity politics to stoke backlash on Republican or conservative policies should have been shamed for their inaction to this hate especially since they still think Democrats are entitled to Jewish votes on election day. The age inspired by liberals to cancel, boycott or harshly condemn someone for not taking a particular stand on an issue does not apply to liberals, but they should be held to the same standards they create.

Also in New York, the state has a minority majority in leadership on the state and NYC level but that has not translated to better outcomes for blacks and minorities. The state's Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado is black. Both the leaders the branches of the State legislatures are black. Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Assembly Leader Carl Heastie. New York City has a black mayor and all women deputy mayors. However, two laws have led the state to see increasing high level of crime and disorder which predominantly affect blacks, minorities and the poor. Bail reform laws that removed bail requirements on many serious crimes, and Raise the Age Act which lowered the age that a minor can be charged or held accountable for serious crimes leading to more minors engaging in serious crimes. Both these laws intended by liberals to 'help' the disparity of number minorities getting arrested have made it worse and increased crimes. Despite this, the minority majority leadership in NY like liberals in other blue states have refused to repeal these counterproductive laws, but still get re-elected. This exemplifies another situation that deserves condemnation and to be shamed. The people whose actions often negatively affect the lives of blacks and minorities the most are liberal minority elites who pander to get the votes of minorities based on identity politics. They are also the ones who loudly stoked the Defund the Police Movement which led to further breakdown in lack of law and order in minority communities while they themselves enjoy secure environments.

The same major liberal billionaire donors who funded the elections of soft on crime district Attorney's in blue cities that has lead to them turning into sewers of crime which disproportionately affect minority communities, are also the same donors who fund the anti-Semitic, supporters of pro-Hamas actions on 10/7 and President Biden and many other Democrat's political campaigns. This is akin to major GOP donors funding actual white supremacist , anti black or anti gay rights movements or violent mob activities towards them. However, again the same standards of shame or condemnation is not applied by the faux virtue signaling crowd including anti billionaire socialists like Senators Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, but it should. This is a major area where conservatives and the GOP need to utilize the 'art of the shame' the way liberals do.

CLIMATE POLICIES: The Left has weaponized the whole notion that if something is labeled 'climate' or 'green' it must be so and anyone questioning it does not care about the environment and should be admonished and de-legitimized. It has led to the largest misallocation of capital ever. Again, the Left claims moral superiority on an issue and it has been a strategic failure by the GOP and conservatives to allow liberals to control this narrative. Part of the strategic failure is the GOP easily make arguments against something but not effective in making arguments why its ideas are better for a situation such as the environment. The climate agenda is has been the Left's back door for socialism creep because it allows more and more to government and bureaucratic control to redistribute capital. COVID 19 empowered this mindset because it was illustrated that by labelling something to stop a 'crisis' or it is to believe the 'science', unprecedented government control can be attained while punishing detractors.

Since there is an moral emotional connotation to protecting the environment, the precursor approach the GOP and conservatives should use to any argument regarding climate or energy policy is the benefit to the environment, then how its policies enable lower cost, national security or reliable energy and help the economy. While the Left has been trying to kill fossil fuels with unsubstantiated basis, the main reason the U.S leads in reductions CO2 is because of the transition to cleaner burning natural gas from the science the Left demonized, fracking. There is an environmental argument to be made for America's fossils. This includes the need to start building new refineries in the U.S to process the much cleaner ( up to 75% cleaner) light crude produced in the U.S compared to the heavy crude from Venezuela and some countries in Middle East and Russia. There hasn't been a gas refinery made in the U.S since the 70's when most of our oil was imported. Currently because we do not have enough capacity to refine our cleaner domestic oil, it is often exported while we import heavy crude which our aging refineries were designed for. With newer refineries we would not only be refining cleaner fuel but have more capacity to export to neighboring countries who currently get gas from countries that do not like us. Conservatives can also make an argument for policies to encourage modern modular nuclear facilities to produce electricity which can also be mobile to areas that lose power in emergencies such as disasters.

The push for electric cars is also another fallacy that has misdirected billions of dollars to the absolutist mentality of going all electric even when it is not scientifically feasible or more environmentally friendly to do so. While the traditional internal combustion engine keeps evolving to be more efficient and cleaner. According to Toyota, the minerals to make one EV ( which 80% of the supply chain is controlled by China), could make 90 hybrid vehicles which reduces CO2 emissions 37 times over their lifetimes compared to one EV.

The Left also deserves to be shamed due to the greedy and elitist factors surrounding the Climate policies they push. No matter how often their predictions and policies fail, they and their supporters get richer and keep certain lifestyles while they push others to change their lifestyles for 'climate' reasons. Trillions of taxpayer dollars have been used to subsidize, artificially inflate stock values and fund failing ventures while the left and political donors get richer. Such unabashed hypocritical greed has not been effectively shamed by Republicans.

Immigration: This is probably the issue Republicans have been most effective on going on the offensive about especially after President Biden's created border crisis after he signaled to the world they could just be waved in at the border and abuse the asylum process. However there is a constant missed opportunity on immigration by the GOP which could be used to further gain support and expose the fake pretenses of liberals that they are the compassionate party for immigrants.

The GOP needs a coherent and viable strategy of not only restoring order at the border, deporting those who are ineligible to being here or pose a threat, but also proper pro legal immigration reforms that is good for America. Every time the GOP fails to lead on a proper legal immigration reform, immigration policies get decided when there is a Democrat President. The GOP has failed to highlight that President Biden's actions on immigration has made it harder for law abiding legal immigration applicants to get processed and also made it much harder for real immigration reform. However Democrats are still able to brand the GOP as anti- all immigration.

A major missed opportunity for the GOP has been that it has greatly ignored one of its most influential and untapped base. Legal immigrants who resonate with Republican policies and are staunch anti-socialist policies which they easily recognize as the reasons why they left their country, but see them being advocated by the Democrat party. However many still believe the GOP is against immigration in general and are some who are now American citizens don't bother to vote. Apart from reversing the executive orders President Biden used to create this crisis, and having an expeditious way to remove people who have abused the asylum process and being a burden on society and the taxpayer, the GOP should advocate a pro legal immigration policy based on 'Ability to Prosper' (ATP). This would be a point based earned merit criteria for new legal immigrant applicants, those in the legal application process already and maybe some here for a certain time that have proven they have ambition and have earned their keep to stay. Points could be awarded based on skill, being economically independent, paying taxes, started or operating a sustainable business, getting a high skilled college degree or having a technical skill and having a clean police record. The GOP should also be open to a viable seasonal guest worker programs especially for countries in the region and with input from the states. This would alleviate the need for many to want to come across the border and stay illegally. In addition, it would have a humane and compassionate impact because it would reduce human and sex trafficking and deaths of people trying to cross the border and the influence of ruthless cartels who have seen their revenue skyrocket due President Biden's border crisis.

Many immigrants like myself who went through the legal process feel insulted that the millions of people President Biden has let in didn't even go though the basic background and medical checks that a person applying for a visitors's visa go through and pay for. At a time when America is losing its soul in the number of people who are unpatriotic or have been indoctrinated to hate American founding principles or lack basic civics, conservative immigrants are crucial to invigorate and influence patriotic ideals to keep America great. However, the GOP an conservatives need embrace this influence to help both the GOP and America.

The GOP Brand and Re- Branding the Democrat Party: The perception of what Republican represent is much too defined by what Democrats and their media allies portray it to be. Conversely, Democrats have not been made to put on the defense as to what they actually represent and the ideologies that find a home in it and not the GOP. Republicans and conservatives have been more apt to represent its brand in an echo chamber of already Republican converts than in winning over new people. After spending over 24 yrs in sales I am often reminded how poor Republicans and conservatives have been as salespeople while liberals are very good at it. It doesn't matter how good your product is if you fail to make the sale.

President Trump's 'Make America Great Again' slogan resonated because it is simple and makes a direct point. Very often the GOP message is a wonky long winded message which only the current base will give attention to. Democrats have been creative with their messages which takes root easily in a age where people consume news and form opinions on one liners and slogans that are repetitive. As such 'threats to Democracy', 'institutionalized racism' and other lines invoking race, 'book banning', shovel ready and positive sounding bills such as Inflation Reduction Act supportive attention. The GOP needs a tri-fecta branding strategy like the Democrats do with abortion to galvanize top down ticket party support to win the White House and both branches of Congress. As such it needs to use a simple branding strategy that resonates broadly not just with the base.

The GOP and their media allies should stop calling liberal, Democrats and their policies by their preferred name 'progressive'. Everywhere these policies have dominated has led to regression in quality of life, law and order, racial relations, economic growth regression of constructive attitudes. In every instance they should be described as 'regressives' or being regressive.

The GOP has usually branded it self as the party of limited government but that is dated and most people don't understand what limited government means to them as a benefit. The understanding of 'what this means to me as benefit' is vital for any sales strategy no matter how effective the actual product is. As such the GOP needs to creatively brand it self as the party for the taxpayer and taking government back for the people which will have a broad appeal beyond its base. To attain a tri-fecta electoral success all members of the GOP running for office from President Trump down to members of Congress should campaign on a crucial bill that would full fill this brand objective but can only be signed into law if there is a Republican president and GOP majorities in Congress. The REINS Act ( Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act). This bill was passed twice by a GOP led House of Representatives in 2017 and also last year. It would require congressional approval of any regulations costing the economy over $100 million per year. It would take back the government form the people from the ever expanding unelected bureaucracies such as the EPA, SEC, and other abbreviated agencies that every day issue regulations that cost the American taxpayer more and affect their quality of life such as mandates on their cars, appliances or energy uses. This is an issue most Americans resonate with. It would also restore an aspect of the GOP brand which it has been losing, which is to restrain runaway spending and government debt. Such a branding of protecting the interests of the taxpayer would also highlight the impact of other unelected but powerful bureaucracies which are key donors to Democrats such as teachers unions and their impact on education and their influence on the misuse of tax dollars .

The GOP also needs to brand it self not only as the law and order party but also the party that will keep America a first world country. Liberal laws that are degrading law and order and quality of life are turning blue cities and states into the likes of 3rd world countries people flee from, while their elite donors who support these policies are insulated from them in having personal security and living in gated communities or secure buildings. As such the GOP needs to aggressively counter by labeling the brand of the Democrat party as the '3rd World Party for the Elites'. It needs to be repeated loudly and often that as people are fleeing blue cities and states to red states, should Democrats succeed in turning the rest of America like these blue areas, there is no where else to go. Robert De Niro recently while mocking President Trump's at the sham trial against the ex-president said " Donald Trump wants to destroy, not only this city, but the country," This epitomized the elitist brand of the Democrat party. A rich liberal celebrity fear mongering about a Republican probably causing things that Democrats (who the same celebrity supports) are actually doing already to New York and America.

As this was being written, President Trump was found guilty on 34 felony charges. This case mirrors the political prosecution often seen in socialist and communist countries towards political opponents. While Mr. Trump may be able to reverse this in an appeal, and the impulse in the GOP and Trump campaign might be about retribution, this is also another opportunity to flip the script. President Biden campaigned on 'restoring normalcy and the truth' and that no one is above the law and to protect against threats to democracy, but the actions of this case shows the complete opposite. NYC D.A Alvin Bragg and the way Democrat billionaire donors have funded not only soft on crime policies but also the degrading of law, order and American ideals of justice, have been the ultimate threats to democracy and our Republic itself. Shame them! President Trump should campaign on reversing this type of weaponizing the justice system for political retribution and brand Alvin Bragg, Judge Juan Merchan, the democrat billionaire donors who fund them and the Democrat party itself the faces of the 3rd worldization of America and the real threats to democracy. While many people who followed this case could see the politicalization of it, most people don't know the details of it which made it so. The Trump campaign using simple points of the case should campaign on it.

The GOP needs to use a lot more simple messaging with billboards of statistics showing the contrast of red state and blue state policies to further show the contrast of the GOP versus the Democrat brand. The migration patterns of people and capital and blue to red states, educational and economic outcomes, crime etc and breaking them down by income and race. Also showing the correlations with respective policy changes over time. The GOP in branding it self has to circumvent traditional media and show casing its messages on various other mediums and in various communities.

The GOP also needs to make a contrast what kind of people each a party brand is attracting to demonstrate which really is the party of extremes. While the GOP has become more diverse, the Democrat party has proudly demonstrated to be the party brand that: Attracts self avowed socialists with the ideologies that have destroyed other striving nations. People who capitalize on stoking racial animosities. Hate America's founding, symbols and culture while promoting a culture of government dependency and also is diminishing our longstanding first world standards of merit in everything. It is also party that attracts supporters of Hamas and hate western culture or ideals. The party that has enabled modern day sex trafficking and slavery at the border while enriching cartels, and decimating existing laws on immigration to make the already broken immigration system worse and actually making it harder for legal immigration reform to take place. The party that has shown that it puts the interests of Americans especially taxpayers last, and while it is the party of abortion, it struggles or refuse to say what the limits on abortion should be.

To save a America and to keep it the pre-eminent Super Power and First World country in the 21st century, the GOP has a lot of catching up to do. Because liberal regressive policies have had a head start in doing the opposite a long time ago.

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