Republicans Need A Vibrant and Vivid Vision

There’s a megaton communication weapon the Republicans are missing in their arsenal for victory.  It’s a compelling, bold vision for the future of every state and the country.  I’ve asked well-known politicians and those working for them, “What is the vision for our state and our nation?”  Most mistakenly tell me it’s their platform. Others give me a blank stare.  They don’t know or have one.  More than ever, Republicans need an audacious vision that powerfully showcases imagination, conceptual solutions, commitment and, most importantly, innovative leadership.  Leadership expert and author Warren Bennis rightfully said, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

A political platform, as you know, is a statement of beliefs, aims, and values such as advocating for a smaller government, having a strong foreign policy, providing tax cuts to stimulate the economy and supporting the Second Amendment.  Of course, a strong platform is imperative, but without a gripping and lofty vision that paints a specific bright picture of how Republicans envision a better, more beneficial future for citizens, they are missing huge chances to win battles, encourage more party members to vote, and sway those wavering and independent voters.

Transformational political leaders are all about shaping the future.  So, they must have a far-reaching, soulful vision that inspires, motivates, excites, and galvanizes the support of the people.  In Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.”  The right vision by the right leadership gives people hope and sustains them during tough times, especially now with the deep, perhaps long-term impact of the coronavirus.  Developing a comprehensive vision, not just a catchphrase or rallying cry, is about communicating the impactful innovations that will happen over time in our cities, states and country.

Former President George H.W. Bush had no grand dreams of transformation and had trouble with “the vision thing,” as he put it.  This lack of vision was seen as a factor in his defeat by Democrat Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential race.  It is now used as a metonym for any politician’s failure to incorporate a greater vision in their campaign.  While President Trump has garnered loyalty and support with his “Make America Great Again” and now “Keep America Great,” Republicans need to put substance behind those slogans by communicating a level of vital detail that paints a more fulfilling and captivating story of how America will improve and prosper in 5 to 10 or more years from now and how the quality of life for people, businesses, and other organizations will improve.

A grandiose vision psychologically and emotionally impacts people immensely more than a political platform does because it focuses on how leaders will solve vexing problems, expand possibilities, and create wonderful opportunities that will make a big difference in all aspects of our lives and businesses.  The right vision will clearly demonstrate how Republican leaders will deliver something of enormous value that people want and need, especially to satisfy lingering, unmet needs.

An interesting example of visioning came from none other than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a seven-minute film set several decades from now depicting what the future would look like if they pulled off the Green New Deal.  It was telling a story that hasn’t happened yet.  While I’m definitely not a fan of Sandy O, her policies and especially her Green New Deal as stated, I think she at least creatively showed how it would unfold and make a difference for people from her perspective.  As someone who helps organizations be more creative and innovative, my opinion was that the imaginative effort of her utopian vision was impressive, though greatly flawed from a reality standpoint.  At least she had a vision.

With the unprecedented, tsunami-like changes predicted to take place soon with AI (Artificial Intelligence), quantum computing, electric vehicles, robotics, and other likely disruptive industrial, technological, medical and scientific changes, the fallout in terms of expected unemployment, shifting new industries, and new business and operating models need to be addressed along with those multifaceted strategic threats and competition from China, Russia, and others.  That vision has to address all those key structural changes and challenges.

Crafting an enticing, grand vision would project how America would look and bring about foundational improvements in transportation, infrastructure, housing, defense, energy, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing and the environment, among other sectors.  Articulated in a clear, complete, creative, and credible way, that vision will positively highlight what’s in it for all Americans in the future.  In addition, the Republicans would gain influence and power by developing another vision -- of how their party would change by making it more inclusive of minorities and youth, by reducing corruption and special interests and by shining the luster for upright politics with those disenchanted and disconnected voters.

Why haven’t politicians in both parties embraced developing such visions?  Many don’t think they need one -- that a definitive platform is sufficient.  Others don’t know how to develop and communicate a vision.  Most likely, they are afraid of being held accountable for making it happen.  It’s always easier and less risky to advocate small changes.  Finally, many Republicans fear being open to criticism of any big and daring ideas and strategies for the future.  

However, the right vision communicated in the right way will let people “see” and even “feel” it, and would be a powerful focal point to get new voters and supporters into the party. Republicans would appear more innovative with deeper insight and foresight than the Democrats.  A vision is essential for providing a “north star” to navigate and succeed in these turbulent, uncertain times and guides planning and decision-making, while helping to focus on priorities.  Helen Keller profoundly said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision.”  Right now, the Republicans can use that 2020 vision!

Ray Anthony is an author and speaker on creativity, innovation and strategic change for corporations, government agencies and the military. His email is

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