Republicans: Be “Coke” or “Diet Coke”, but never “New Coke”
The biggest selling soft drink brand in the world is Coca-Cola. It’s not just the biggest (17% of market share, higher than Pepsi and Mountain Dew combined), but it is reportedly the most recognizable and one of the most valuable brands in the world.
You might be asking, “What’s the correlation between soft drinks and political parties?”
Well, in 1980, when the standard bearer of Conservative Republicanism, Ronald Reagan, ran against sitting President Jimmy Carter, despite all of the detractors in the mainstream media, he won one of the biggest electoral (489 vs 49) and popular vote (50.75% vs 41.01%) landslides in the history of Presidential elections. Ronald Reagan knew the value of the Republican brand, and like Coca-Cola bringing back the “Coca-Cola Classic” formula and brand, he brought back the Conservative Republican brand. He basically reminded America that Conservatism was “The Real Thing”.
If his 1980 victory wasn’t “Coke Classic” enough for you, President Reagan managed to surpass his victory against Carter in his re-election campaign of 1984, by absolutely trouncing former Vice President Walter Mondale, with (525 vs 13) electoral votes and (58.77% vs 40.56%) of the popular vote.
If you listen to the mainstream media, and especially those who call themselves “Independents” (but routinely and habitually vote Democrat), they say that if Republicans were to become “more moderate” and essentially ignore the Conservative base of the RNC, then they would strongly consider voting for a Republican candidate.
As U.S. Representative Joe Wilson (R- SC 2nd District) said of President Obama, “You LIE!”
Pandering to “Independents” has NEVER worked for the RNC, and it never will. When Republicans try this strategy, they just end up losing their own base. In November 2013, Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker spoke to the Heritage Foundation, and made it clear that Republicans don’t need to move to the center to win, he said,
“Look across America today. One of the best stories untold by many in the Washington media, is that in America, there are now thirty (30) states with Republican Governors, nearly as many states with Republican legislatures. So how does that happen, particular in states like mine, or Iowa, Ohio, Florida, New Mexico…those are all battleground states historically, that the President carried, yet they have Republican leadership in their state government. Why? Because we’ve got optimistic visionary approaches moving forward; we’re talking about REAL REFORM in ways that are relevant to real people, and most importantly, we’re showing that we have the courage to act on our convictions. That’s what people want more than anything. They don’t want you to move to the middle.”
If Conservative Republicanism is “Coca-Cola Classic”, and Leftist Democrats are “Pepsi”, then time has proven that Republicans don’t win statewide, let alone national elections, by trying to become some “Pepsi-like” product in a foolish attempt to be “The Choice of a New Generation”. In a nutshell, the RNC needs to stop trying to be “New Coke”. The results of the 1976 (Gerald Ford), 1996 (Bob Dole), 2008 (John McCain), and 2012 (Mitt Romney) elections should show beyond any reasonable doubt that this “New Coke” style of Neo-Whig, Rockefeller Republicanism taste pretty crappy, and nobody wants to drink it.
It must be noted that in 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush ran on the coattails of the “Reagan Revolution,” marketing himself as somewhat of a “Diet Coke”, semi-Conservative product, and yes, he won handily.
However, when he ran for re-election in 1992, he let his true “New Coke”, Neo-Whig, Rockefeller Republicanism shine through, and he got his behind handed to him by a slick talking Democratic Governor, whose record in Arkansas was atrocious, but was able to “feel your pain”.
The RNC wins by staying true to the Constitutional roots of Conservative Republicanism. At the very least, they have to be like George W. Bush in 2004, when he won strongly by being “Diet Coke”, as opposed to trying to be “Coke Zero” in 2000, where he nearly lost to Vice-President Al Gore.
If the RNC wants any hope of winning back the White House in 2016, it needs to promote candidates who:
- TRULY UNDERSTAND CONSERVATIVE VALUES.
- Because they TRULY UNDERSTAND, they subsequently TRULY BELIEVE IN CONSERVATIVE VALUES.
- Combine their UNDERSTANDING OF and BELIEF IN CONSERVATIVE VALUES, with a certain talent, or learned skill to CLEARLY, PASSIONATELY and CONVINCINGLY ARTICULATE THOSE VALUES.
When the RNC promotes candidates who embody all three of those things, statewide, and certainly Presidential elections will be just like 1980 & 1984 with Ronald Reagan. In other words, the RNC will once again be selling ice cold “Coca-Cola Classic” on a hot summer day, and everyone will want it, because “It’s The Real Thing”.