Tag Archives: Republicans

The Republican Party’s Trump Messaging Strategy – What’s Next?

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump has set off yet again another media firestorm. The Republican frontrunner has called for all Muslims seeking to enter the United States to be barred from doing so. This came as the focus of the presidential campaign has turned to terrorism after the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California and what many see as the Obama Administration’s ineffectual response to the war on terror. Polls show anti-Muslim sentiment on the rise in the United States as a result of the attacks. Trump’s Republican rivals many condemned his proposal as have other leading Republicans such as former Vice President Cheney. Florida Congressman David Jolly, a candidate for the United States Senate has called for Trump to withdraw from the presidential race because of his stand. Pundits believe that this stunt will cost both Trump and the Republican Party.

So what should the Republican message be in response to Donald Trump?

  1. Condemn him and his antics once and for all as having no place within the Republican Party. They have become a distraction from serious issues facing the nation.
  2. Refuse to let him participate in the debates. One of the sources of Trump’s success is his access to free media especially the debates.
  3. Have House Speaker Paul Ryan address the nation on the Republican position on the war against terror.
    1. Ryan should point out we are not at war against Muslims but radical Islam in the form of ISIS. In doing so, he should point out how during the Cold War, every President from Truman to Reagan made the point that it was the Soviet system of government not the Russian people that were opposed too. In World War II, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Dwight Eisenhower made it clear that it was the Axis leadership not the peoples of Japan, Germany, and Italy.
    2. That discriminating against any religion or ethnicity is wrong and goes against not only the values of America but that upon which the Party of Abraham Lincoln was founded.
    3. Explain that this is a war and there will be civilian casualties. It can’t be fought by words but by strong actions and define how Republicans if elected will differ from both Donald Trump and President Obama in prosecuting and winning the war.
    4. Arrange for Republican leaders and figures from the Reagan and the two Bush Administrations along with Tea Party leaders to address the Trump issue and state that his words are an insult to the memory of Ronald Reagan and if Reagan was alive today he would denounce Trump.
    5. Dare Donald Trump to run as an independent if he wants too but let him and the American people know there is no room for him in the Republican Party.
    6. Use humor to belittle him not his followers.

Donald Trump is a showman and also a bully. In some ways he is reminiscent of Joe McCarthy. Attacking him as Republicans have done by treating him as an equal and with seriousness has failed. Rather they should take a page out of their two greatest post-war Presidents – Eisenhower and Reagan. Isolate Trump and use humor at his expense, in doing that and the above mentioned strategy, Trumpamania will disappear and Republicans will be stronger with America at large and it will be their Sister Soulja moment.

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Midterm Communications Strategies

The midterm elections are history. Republicans retook the United States Senate for the first time since 2006. In the United States House of Representatives they increased their majority to the largest since the presidency of Herbert Hoover. The Republican campaign theme was one of opposition to President Obama and his policies and voters responded with one of the greatest repudiations of a sitting President’s party since Harry Truman in 1946.

A negative communications strategy of opposition to President Obama gave the Republicans their victory. But now that they have won, how must their communication strategy change if they hope to maintain and even expand their majorities?

  1. Republicans must change their communication strategy from one of simply being opposed to Barack Obama to one that offers positive conservative alternatives. The Republicans need to show voters what they are for and what they believe in. To be successful, Republicans need to communicate their ideas that they believe will solve the nation’s problems in a way different then politics as usual. They need to show a vision. In short, they need to take a leaf out of their icon, Ronald Reagan’s playbook.
  2. The Republicans need to communicate that they are willing to work with President Obama as a partner if he is willing to reach across the aisle to them. Many voters have complained about the lack of willingness of each side to try to come together to offer concrete solutions. By making that statement, Republicans would seize the high ground in terms of a communication strategy.
  3. Use effective spokespersons. Republicans have suffered lately because many of their spokespersons have come across as grumpy old white men. With a large number of female legislators such as Mia Love and Joni Ernst, and an African-American Senator in South Carolina’s Tim Scott, Republican leaders should put these leaders at the forefront in communicating the Republican message and showing minorities that their party is an inclusive party.
  4. Communicate their opposition to President Obama in positive terms. Many voters agree with the Republican message of opposition to President Obama. The voters don’t like it conveyed in harsh and biting rhetoric. Republicans need to frame their opposition in positive ways, keep it from being personal, and let voters know how their opposition to President Obama will benefit voters.
  5. Keep the message on results. One of the great failings Republicans in the House of Representatives have had is in communicating what they have accomplished. This failure has led many to dub the outgoing Congress, a do-nothing Congress and register some of the lowest approval numbers ever. The challenge for Republicans is to communicate to voters what they are achieving.

Republicans won a historic landslide with a communication strategy of negative attacks. As they now seek to maintain and increase their majority, they must change communication strategies or their majority will be short lived.