What Shall It Be? Us versus Them? Or Them versus Us?
Once again, as we do at least every other year, we see Democrats (aka "Progressives" or "liberals") using the electoral attack strategy of "Us versus Them."
According to the political left, US is defined by their mythology as the little guy, the ordinary person, the powerless citizen. US is also frequently used to identify with minority groups based on race, gender, geographical location, language spoken, legal status, religious affiliation, and so on.
THEM is invariably defined as Big Bankers, Big Businessmen, Wall Street, and the Rich. Since the majority of voters tend to identify themselves as one of the little guys, the result is an electoral win for Democrats.
This is especially true when the Democrats are getting major contributions from Big Bankers, Big Businessmen, Wall Street, and the Rich.
These shameless Democrats simultaneously claim that Republicans are supported only by the very same people who are the oppressors of the little guy. They claim that Republicans don't support US.
Republicans, on the other hand, have historically defined US as everyone qualified to vote. Now this is an admirable position. It portrays a mindset that we are all in this together, that we're all equal, that no one should be advantaged at the expense of another.
Sadly, every thinking voter realizes that this is as much of a myth as the Democrats' definition of US.
Perhaps Republicans should steal a page from the Democrat playbook and begin campaigning on the same basis -- the "Us versus Them" strategy -- but with a twist.
The US under this variation would be nearly identical to that used by the Democrats. (Perhaps after the results are in on November 7, the RNC should send the DNC a thank-you note.) But the THEM definition would change radically.
If US is ordinary Americans, then who, you might ask, is THEM? I'm glad you asked.
Republicans should identify THEM as the self-described intellectuals who are denizens of faculty lounges all over the nation. The people who don't have the slightest practical clue how anything really works, and try to force-fit the real world into conformity with the last scholarly paper they wrote. A paper which was written in a desperate attempt to achieve academic tenure and life-time job security. These are the same people who charge the ordinary American huge amounts of tax dollars not to teach his kids, but to indoctrinate them as fodder for the Liberal/Progressive/Democrat machine.
For Republicans, THEM should include the Hollywood glitterati, the people Barack Obama likes to party with, the incredibly wealthy on the Democrat fundraising circuit whom Democrats never seem to include in their description of the rich THEM.
While academics are frequently delusional, almost everyone would admit that they are at least intelligent. One might admit that it is possible -- not guaranteed, but possible -- for academics to actually have an original thought. Their opinions might, just might, provide food for thought.
How many ordinary Americans would feel the same way about Snooki's opinion -- on anything? Or Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Michael Moore, Janeane Garofalo, Bill Maher, and countless others? Obviously being able to pretend to be a genius on screen doesn't actually mean that you are one, right?
If Democrats believe that using successful people as the boogie man in their scenarios is a winning tactic, the Republicans might have better luck using people in an industry that runs about 90% unemployment but pays millions to those 10% who are lucky enough to find work. These are the folks qualified to advise Obama on reducing unemployment and helping the economy?
Teachers and professors would also be ideal poster children. If they can't educate our kids despite demands for enormous amounts of taxpayer money, one might surmise that they are incompetent. Who would want to take advice from an incompetent person, except perhaps another incompetent person?
This is only a suggestion, obviously. Republicans from Mitt Romney to the local county dog catcher should toss out the playbook that they have used for decades and try something that might actually work.
Not that Republicans are necessarily the polar opposites of Democrats, but if ordinary Americans voted for "change" in 2008, don't they deserve a second chance to go to the polls in November and actually get some things to change?
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a Vietnam veteran, and an independent voter. Jim blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.