The Party Is Not Much of A Party
The party is a brand. But all brands need to evolve. As brands, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party do not adapt and change quickly enough to meet the needs of their audience. Also, because we only have two brands we flip back-and-forth between (R) and (D).
Since neither one satisfies effectively, we have a lot of independents. I saw today on CNN where someone started a party called the “Party Party.” But every party needs a platform. If you ask anybody who is an advocate for an existing establishment party what their top issues are, they probably can’t list very many. And the issues that they can list are probably only vague generalities.
The key here is that issues are dynamic but parties are not. If the party is a brand, then it needs to adapt to the changing issues. The party usually puts out a policy platform on a periodic basis. This is a high level think tank paper that people are expected to believe in and follow. But since the party doesn’t adapt well to the needs of every individual, it only sort of fits the things that you want, but not entirely. The one thing it is sure to do however, is leave you out.
And maybe you’re not sure why.
Often the party is not connecting with you specifically. There are several reasons for this. For example, the party platform may not encompass the issues that you think about or are concerned with. Or maybe the party only covers issues that occur on the national level but doesn’t capture issues on the state or the local level where party is much less relevant. Sometimes even when the party names some of the issues that you care strongly about, it does not clarify or identify where you stand. So what does this mean?
Your position on an issue is the point of view or side that you support.
And this is where the whole party platform thing begins to break down. The party has a general idea of what their position is on a particular issue and for your allegiance; they demand that you adhere to their same position. However not all issues are black-and-white anymore. Times have changed. Science continues to advance, new facts emerge, technology is changing and the economics underlying most of the issues we face have a complexity that goes beyond what the parties’ issues are.
So you could have people in Washington supporting the party platform but nobody really gives a damn.
Does that mean you should create a new party that has its own fixed ideas about what the top issues are and a general idea of where it stands as far as positional alignment?
As I said earlier, parties need to adapt.
Why are they called parties anyway? Isn’t a party supposed to be fun, engaging, interesting, and community oriented?
But the parties of today are none of this.
The political parties of today want strict allegiance and accordance to their policy platform. You do this by giving them money so that they can continue to propagate the same message they have been delivering for the past 25 years.
If that doesn’t sound like much fun, it isn’t.
If this sounds like a reason for people not to be affiliated with a party, well then I think you’re really onto something here.
Certainly, issues and granularity are important. Nuance is also important but a party, like any brand, must adapt to the consumer.
In this case, the consumer is the voter. We hear again and again that the party does not care that much about the voter, only that the voter votes along party lines. And of course many voters do this because they have very little choice. The rules are stated in a particular way so that you have to vote either Party A or Party B. There’s really no other choice.
Today you can either wear a black dress or a white dress, but nothing else. You can either paint your house blue or red, but no other color. You can eat cereal or eggs but nothing else. Now think about this. Does that comport to your view of the world? Does that match up with the way you live your life?
In Russia years ago, they only had two color choices of cars: black or black.
Well in America we have diversity. We have unlimited options of colors, brands, sizes, features etc. As an advanced culture we actually prefer having choices.
So isn’t it about time that parties begin to recognize that they are dynamic brands? And that dynamic brands live and die based on the appeal of their brand to the population? But more importantly, don’t brands open the opportunity for newer brands to emerge, come up with new ideas, stimulate creative thinking and bring in a cross pollination of ideas and cultures that can find new solutions?
Without this in American politics, we really only have a two-way dead end system that is unable to compromise, adapt, change or provide political efficiency to the consumer/voter.
So if you run a party, become a dynamic brand; learn how to adapt, listen to the voter and let’s start solving some of these ignored problems!
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