Matt Yglesias over at Atlantic comments on the me-too-ism of the current Repubs:
“There’s really something bizarre about the growing number of constituencies to which your modern-day Republicans must pander in order to succeed in primary politics.”
Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly feels this is a function of the times. With the fortunes of the Dems running strong they seem more cohesive for the same reason a winning baseball team seems happier in the dug out.
The problem Repubs face is more systemic – and of course we think it is linked to story.
In Elements of Persuasion, we show why having the right Antagonist is crucial to motivating your troops. Antagonists release emotions that link to memory and lead to actions like getting off the couch and going to the polls. But there is a progression to stories. FIRST build Passion, THEN define your Hero, AND ONLY THEN is your Hero ready to tackle the problems represented by the Antagonist. You can’t really define a Hero in the negative – that is, you can’t define your hero solely by what they are against. The enemy of my enemy is rarely a trusted friend. Ronald Reagan was a catalyst for change not because he stood against big government but because he stood for a new “Morning in America.” Hence, the Reagan Democrats.
Over the last election cycles Karl Rove masterminded a strategy of wedge issues. Each became a litmus test of what it means to be a real Republican. Eventually he sliced the pie so thin there is no room for the current candidates to breath. They quite literally lack inspiration. Whoever successfully breaks out of this losing pattern will end up being a true Republican Hero.