GOP's Re-Invention Of Fear Lacks Creativity
Inventive ideas are supposed to be creatively different from what went before. When one uses fear to try and convince others they have a new idea to share, they're not so much inventing as they are re-inventing. When one is failing, judgement is clouded and folks often fall back on what they know. When fear grips you, it causes your inventive ideas to become emotional rather than logical, and runs the risk of losing credibility.
When those same ideas are used by powerful people to coerce others, what appears to be a new and inventive idea might just be an old stodgy strategy repackaged. Inventing an unfounded fear doesn't make one an inventor. It just shows one's lack of creativity.
This posting is not a political treatise. After all this is an 'inventor's' site. It is simply reviewing fear-packaging, holding it up to the light of day and allowing the reader to draw one's own conclusions. According to a Politico report on March 3, the Republican National Committee to raise money this election cycle is officially using the tactic of fear to drive acceptance from the party's base in addition to what journalist Ben Smith calls the "ego-driven" wealthy donors.
The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18.
The presentation explains the Republican fund-raising in simple terms: "What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate...?" it asks.
The scare-tactic answer according to the GOP: "Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”
Manipulating donors with crude caricatures and playing off of fear is a very old idea. But apparently the GOP thinks that a series of cartoons in which Obama is portrayed as The Joker, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid are depicted as Cruella DeVille and Scooby Doo, respectively are the 'new' ideas to strike fear into the hearts and soul of the party.
In fact this RNC tactic is very similar to what was done shortly after 9/11 to turn the Bush Administration's approval ratings around which subsequently led to the preemptive strikes against Iraq. When people are fearful, their chances of following the Pied Piper blindly are increased measurably. Not a new idea, but one that proved to work 8 short years ago. Aren't we a wee bit wiser today?
Outrage has ensued from both the right and left, after this presentation was leaked to Politico, for many reasons which I dont need to enumerate here. But to my point - one of which was -- it just wasn't a very creative idea.
UPDATE: March 6, Daily Kos - Fall-out has begun even from inside the GOP Tent. Several major RNC donors are pulling back on their donations.
No matter what side of the aisle one's sits on, and how offensive or non-offensive you think this attack was, you have to admit, based on its merits (or lack thereof), it just basically lacked originality. If the party on the right wants to be labeled as something other than the "Party of No," I think it needs to start coming up with some fresh new ideas.
For instance, aside from name-calling and alluding to a visual from a recent popular movie, does it make any sense to characterize Obama as the Joker while labeling him a 'socialist.' If any thing Batman's "Joker" was an anarchist, not a socialist. It's a stab at being creative, but really misses the mark in nailing it and driving the point home.
Again, I'll leave the politics up to the reader. Reaching for something outside of the box means just that. It doesn't mean it allows the less creative a chance to reach back into the box for the same old bag of tricks.