Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why are Republicans so uncool?

I know there's an argument that says that Republicans are cool because of something, but in popular culture whatever that argument is doesn't seem to hold water. Take for instance this 'Rock the Vote' contest on MySpace. The winner gets to perform at the Democratic National Convention. Two questions arise, 1) why is it desirable to perform at the DNC (as opposed to the RNC) and 2) why is it that the DNC is bringing in rock bands to perform? I believe that both of these point to a critical flaw in the way the GOP has marketed itself - particularly to the younger, hipper, more tech savy portion of society. The GOP does not have a considerable web presence - especially compared to the gauntlet that both the DNC and the Obama campaign have put up. A nominee that says he barely understands computers isn't helping either. Because of this the Dems have found a way to connect with young voters in a way the GOP hasn't. Since the DNC looks more cool, those younger voters are more likely to listen and be swayed by the arguments of the left. It goes beyond simply having a web presence, but I think that this one area along with things like the contest mentioned above are emblematic of why the Democrats are seen as so much more cool than Republicans.

I am in no way saying that we should replace competence for coolness. I simply believe that it's possible to have both with Obama being a living example of this and McCain being the ultimate contradiction. The GOP has a lot of money, so why can't they hire a competent marketing strategist to at least get a cool factor for the party, if only to bring in younger voters - even if they seem incapable of nominating somebody that is completely competent (and cool).


Nomad said...


I agree that having a computer illiterate is a bad start for the GOP, but frankly I think you're looking at this backwards. It is not about technology.

There is an old saying "You have no heart if you're not a Democrat at age 18, but you have no brain if you're not a Republican at age 40." It has a lot of truth to it, and not for merely pejorative reasons.

When you are still in school, you are used to living under authority, not yet used to thinking about non-obvious root causes, and used to solutions being imposed from above. i.e. Problem: You have ants in the house. Cause: Food on the floor. Solution: Mom forbids all eating of food except in the kitchen and outside. Thus, the Democratic tendency toward more authoritarian and collectivist solutions makes sense.

But when you are older, you have some life experience and you are used to discovering non-obvious caused and solving problems from the ground up. Example: Problem: Ants in the kitchen. Cause: Ants have built a nest close to the house, and are coming in thru a hole in the wall and finding food particles. Solution: Spackle up the hole, put down poison or repellent around the house to force the ants to move. Thus, the Republican tendency toward letting people solve problems themselves and a more individualistic approach.

And again, please note that (1) neither is better or worse, merely differences in approach and (2) we're talking tendencies here rather than absolutes.

Thus, Democrats tend to be "cool", because they appeal to a younger demographic who are more visible, because of the youth culture and the fact that they have time to spend on this. And Republicans often do have bands at their rallies, but they tend toward Country or Christian, because of their support-base.

I am not sure this is solvable, except as the general culture and audience of the media changes.

CRCHAIR said...

Sean- Good thought. I'm trying to put together my own thoughts on this subject.

"Nick" said...

Could it be that it's the "Grand OLD Party";)