GOP Consultant: We Like It Simple, Stupid

GOP Consultant: We Like It Simple, Stupid November 4, 2011

Ed Rogers, a Republican consultant, says the primary race is really about Romney and Perry and the others are just momentary distractions. And along the way he spills the beans about the fact that Republican voters like things simple to the point of being utterly idiotic:

The other candidates are subject to the natural rhythms of what I call the Cinderella cycle of a presidential primary campaign. At any given time, someone is holding the magic slipper, trying to make it fit – until it pops off and someone else gets to try. Herman Cain has it right now but is bound to lose it. The way the Cinderella cycle works, he will probably get another round with it before the voting starts.

Even though Cain won’t be the nominee, his candidacy tells us a lot about the psychology of GOP activists. Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable. And we don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information. In politics, a bumper sticker always beats an essay. Cain’s 9-9-9 is a bumper sticker; Romney’s economic plan is an essay. Perry’s rationale for giving the children of undocumented workers in-state college tuition rates is an essay. No hand-outs for illegal aliens is an effective bumper sticker.

Creative, fresh, bold and likeable? Really? While admitting that Republicans like empty slogans, he’s using them himself. But he’s certainly right about the rest.

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  • danielrudolph

    The party motto should be “TLDR.” It fits on a bumper sticker.

  • Who Knows?

    Cain is likeable? Ugh, I cannot imagine why.

    It is no surprise the GOP base has no tolerance for facts or information. They’ve never let facts or information get in the way of their beliefs. They’re dislike and distrust of science is legendary.

  • lofgren

    This isn’t at all unique to the republican party. “Hope and Change” swayed a lot more people than the content of the proposed changes. More people are willing to throw a “Give peace a chance” bumper sticker than are actually willing to think about what it might take to make the world both free and peaceful. “I am the 99%” triggers a lot more unfocused rage at banks and corporations than any fact-laden examination of wealth disparity. When the momentum of the Occupy movement starts leading to actual changes, you can bet that most of its supporters will be unaware of them, and many of those that are aware of them will be quite surprised at what wealth redistribution actually looks like. This is just a reality of human psychology, one we all have to fight individually by being aware of how we can be trained to push the appropriate switch at the proper signal like monkeys looking for another hit of indignant rage cocaine.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed Rogers asserts:

    Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable.

    The ‘fresh’ assertion is both spot-on and should also be noted as being relatively novel. The Republican party since Nixon in ’68 has mostly favored those who previously reached for the brass rung and came-up just short. The base clearly seeks to break-out of this mold. However their idea of appealingly ‘fresh’ has become someone equivalent to a base which joyfully struggles with facts, competency, and sanity.

    I disagree with “authentic”, in fact the current base are instead clearly attracted to those most willing to lie and misbehave on behalf of interests tied to an ever decreasing window of time. Unless they’re conflating authentic with being joyfully and determinedly ignorant.

    Re “creativity”: Mr. Rogers, like most creationists, doesn’t seem to understand the scale of actual creative output beyond his own tribe, a level that has his tribe miserably failing whether graded normatively or on a curve.

    I see no creativity from any of the current candidates, including Newt Gingrich and especially from Herman Cain who Rogers references here. I do see easily conceptualized talking points falsely posing as actual remedies; I don’t perceive that requiring creativity, just a lack of a conscience coupled to nihilism. I would instead suggest the findings Mr. Rogers sees as examples of creativity to instead be a level of idiocy coming from Republicans where the best fictional analogy would be the rhetoric we encounter from committed potheads in 1970s stoner movies. I restrict the time frame because contemporaneous stoner movies’ potheads demonstrate far more intelligence than this band of Republicans.

  • Cain is likeable? Ugh, I cannot imagine why.

    “Likeable” in this instance means “he’s a black man, but not the scary angry kind.”

  • And we don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.

    That pretty much sums up the GOP platform, except I’d change that to “we don’t have much tolerance for any facts”.

  • imrryr

    Big words make brain hurt. Make want smash!

  • Like it or not this is the state of politics. “Change” won the last election. As a former school teacher that is getting old enough to see my former students into adulthood this is a commentary on the state of education in this nation. Read this for one example of many of the reason we have an ignorant public 20 years after educational “reform” movement.

    http://www.3rdwavelands.com/2011/11/rest-of-story.html

  • Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath “I would instead suggest the findings Mr. Rogers sees as examples of creativity to instead be a level of idiocy coming from Republicans where the best fictional analogy would be the rhetoric we encounter from committed potheads in 1970s stoner movies.”

    “I stand before you, the American people, and I say…I say proudly, ‘I…I looked at my hand’. And you can be sure…you can be darn sure…that it was all there. It was all there. It was right there. And with your help, I will take that message…I will take that message, with your support…I will take that message to Washington.”

  • jeevmon

    @Raging Bee – actually, he’s angry at the right kinds of people. Liberals, other blacks, Muslims, sluts, etc.

    Bumper sticker and sound-bite politics have been dominant for years – it’s not recent, and not limited to politics. As a culture, we dislike complexity except maybe in prime-time television serials. I mean, look at weight loss. Weight gain is a complex, multi-factor issue, and reversing it requires changes on a multiple fronts and an appreciation of balance. We’d much prefer magic bullets and simple maxims like “eat meat not bread.” We don’t want to acknowledge the complexity of the real world, so we gravitate to people offering simple slogans, even if they simply don’t work.

  • ManOutOfTime

    I like simple, too. It’s the economy, stupid. We can’t wait. Lockbox. Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time. Simple ideas do not mean simple minds.

  • The Lorax

    So Republicans have admitted that advertising is effective? Wow. What a revelation.

    We all know slogans are useful if you’re trying to sell a product. The problem is, like most products, these do not work as advertised. The American public needs to realize that this isn’t a new dishwasher soap or a back scratcher, these are the people who are going to be running the country. And these politicians should realize that too! They should know that slogans are intended to garner attention; attention that is unwarranted due to the lack of information that a slogan conveys.

    Listen, if you guys want me to shit in a box and put a shiny ribbon on it, we can vote that sucker into office and call it a day. But I think most of you would rather be educated about what’s going on, and that’s what it all boils down to: being educated. Intelligent people tend to make intelligent decisions.

  • I’m really annoyed with most political slogans and how most people seem to let those slogans shape their thinking. I’d pay more attention to presidential debates if they were done in written essays over an extended period of time. But I guess I’m not the target audience the media is out to entertain.

    For some matters, I’m okay with slogan-like statements, for example “the dose makes the poison” when dealing with detox or anti-vaccine quackery. A lot of scientific principles can be summarized and generalized. Politics and economics usually aren’t so simple.

  • scienceavenger

    Lofgren said: This isn’t at all unique to the republican party.

    Yeah, in the same way that upper body strength isn’t at all unique to men. Just because its not unique doesn’t mean it’s evenly distributed It’s not even close.

  • Dennis N

    Romney’s economic plan is an essay.

    Yeah, one written by an awkward 15 year old boy who just discovered The Fountainhead.

    Creative? Being opposed to the New Deal has been their platform for 78 years, how is that in any way fresh, new, or creative?

  • Jim

    I think that the important thing to remember is that even though the republican voter may be justifiably called an idiot, his masters are not. For example, republican gay hostility is not primarily about not liking gay people. It is about keeping people with similar economic interests divided. It is a proven strategy. Although the republican congresswomen and men who look like idiots when denying climate science, it is a proven strategy to keep the oil industry as unregulated as possible. Same goes with the anti-evolution crap: keep people with the same economic interests divided.

    I would like to just laugh at the apparent idiocy and brush it off, but the consequences of not keeping the interests of corporate masters ahead of the mindlessness of their sheep is important.

  • paulburnett

    jeevmon (#10) wrote: “Weight gain is a complex, multi-factor issue…”

    Not really – “Exercise more, eat less” easily fits on a bumper sticker.

  • Modusoperandi

    paulburnett, how does it work?