Last week Republicans discovered it’s a lot easier to complain about how the other side is getting it all wrong than it is to figure out what is right when their own health care plan went down in flames. I think a lot of that is because it’s a lot easier to get people to rally around generic slogans that fit nicely on bumper stickers than it is to agree on the specifics of a plan. Also, the specifics of a plan takes a while to put together and if you haven’t done any of the ground work for that, it’s hard to throw that together in just a couple of weeks.
“Repeal and Replace” makes for a wonderful rallying cry, but it’s not a policy you can implement. Replace with what is kind of a big deal. “Build the Wall” is a great representation that you are going to get tough on illegal immigration, but it’s not an actual immigration policy. “Make America Great Again” sounds awesome! But it’s not an actual plan. “Drain the Swamp” is easy to chant, but what does it actually mean?
That said, I think people heard those things and said ‘hey, Trump and the GOP is going to do something’ and they just either weren’t worried about the details and filled in the gaps with their own details. And you could make the case that why should the average voter be worried about details. Isn’t that why we have a government in the first place, to deal with the details? Meanwhile the Democrats may have better policy detail, they have lousy slogans and bumper stickers. “I’m With Her” is not really that much removed from “Vote For Me…Just Because”. “Stronger Together” doesn’t really point to any particular policy. More than ever, we are discovering that elections are really all about marketing, period.
The GOP may learn a thing or two from Democrats about policy making. But the Democrats could learn a thing or two from the GOP about marketing.