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Local Opinion: Dems fail to sell winning message
Tucson opinion

Local Opinion: Dems fail to sell winning message

The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

I grew up in the Eisenhower 50’s. Whatever the party of your folks, that’s what you were. Mine were Republicans. At the University of Arizona I was a wild right-winger; member of the Young GOP and Conservative Club. Barry Goldwater was our hero. Our mantra was, “Government cannot give you freedom, it can only take it away.” We thought the professors were all commies and socialists.

Fast forward to owning an ad agency in the 70’s. I did TV for mostly Republicans, but, why refuse money from Dems if they wanted my services? It was an eye-opener. The GOPers thought everybody was against them. All media was the enemy. But, they were smart, they knew marketing and how to present the message. Say it over and over and over again. Did they care about minorities? Sure, if they could get their vote. And that’s what mattered: getting the vote. The ends justified the means. Do anything to win.

The Dems were a fun group, not uptight about much. They believed in equality for all, not because they wanted the minority vote so much as it was just the right thing to do. They thought everybody could really get along. They knew nothing about marketing and messaging. Just being on the side of justice was all that mattered. That ad stuff, well, it’s a necessary evil. Just be nice.

I switched parties 30 years ago. Now I’ve seen inside politics from both sides What an eye-opener. I’ve learned how incompetent the Dems really are at winning.

So, why did the Republicans lose the presidency in 2020? They had an awful candidate who for four years proved his incompetence. He was so bad that a great body of Republican operatives who had engineered past victories bolted and started The Lincoln Party. Steve Schmidt, Stuart Stevens, Rick Wilson, and Reed Galen were now on the other side working for Donald Trump’s defeat.

Trump is still spinning his wild tale of the “rigged election” and that he really won. Most Republicans believe him. They also believe Jan. 6 was just a patriotic political rally not an insurrection. They fall in line. Even the targets of the rioters are downplaying the event. No matter how crazy the theme, they accept it, and march in lock step.

Then, there’s the flag. They have commandeered the American flag as their own! When we see the symbol of our country flying in front of a house, as a bumper sticker on a car, or a lapel pin, we think, “Republican.” Now that’s marketing.

Our new president, Joe Biden, has done a good job with the virus, an infrastructure bill has finally passed, employment and the stock market are up. But, where’s the message from the Democrats? There is none. In the meantime, the GOP is pushing Critical Race Theory, and Parents Rights. The masses are lapping it up and polls show Biden’s popularity is down.

Now we look to 2022 and 2024. Michelle Obama says, “When they go low, we go high.” Isn’t that sweet? But it doesn’t win elections. Rick Wilson of the Lincoln Party says, “We go low so you don’t have to.” The only way for the Dems to have a chance against the GOP messaging machine is to bring in those folks in the Lincoln Party who bolted in 2020. They are the marketing geniuses who won for the Republicans in the past. And can do the same for the Dems in the future. But, they won’t, that would be the smart thing to do. They would rather fight among themselves for “justice and purity” than bring a winning message with everybody falling in line.

Want to win an election? Get some Republicans. Want to throw a party and have some fun? Get some Democrats.

Ray Lindstrom grew up in Tucson and is a member of the Arizona Broadcaster’s Association Hall of Fame. He is a nationally known entrepreneur/marketer, now retired in Oro Valley.


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