G.O.P. S.O.S.

Marketing is all about discrimination. The idea is to carve the marketplace into various segments – often demographic, including ethnic ones – and then:

  1. Focus special attention on those with a history of patronizing the category, with

  2. an offer and message tailored to the segment.

Due to the risks of pandering to, condescending to, stereotyping and patronizing various communities, there needs to be some sensitivity brought to bear, but targeted marketing to minority groups makes sense for advertisers and customers alike.  Gefilte fish indexes low in El Paso.  Curry just doesn’t move off the shelves in Montana.

This is not complicated.  All you have to do is look at census data, and the strategy just writes itself.

So, yes, if you were a major political party, and you wished to succeed in a presidential campaign, of course you’d want to look at the same data a beer, food, auto, diaper or banking marketer would consult.  Then you’d want to be discriminating in how you speak to various slices of the electorate.



Which is just what Donald Trump and the Republican Party are doing: discriminating.  But, to paraphrase the great Inigo Montoya, I don’t think that word means what they think it means.

You discriminate by learning about a segment’s common attributes, marketplace behavior and cultural values and cues -- not by, say, deporting them to Mexico.  Or stopping them at the border from entering the Land of Opportunity.  Or smearing them. Or denying their rights.  

Putting aside how hateful, unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American that is, do you really want to antagonize so many segments of the population?  Do you see Pepsi calling Coke drinkers rapists and murderers and terrorist? You do not. Because some people chafe at that kind of treatment. It’s just poor customer relationship management.  

Remember, the presidency isn’t even a Coke and Pepsi sort of proposition.  It’s not like one party gets 60% of the Oval Office and the other gets 40%.  This is winner take all.  So if your marketing strategy is to demonize one part of the population to impress another part, you’d better do the math, or else you’re not only being loathsome bigots, you’re being dumber than an anvil.  Vastly stupid. Historically stupid. Suicidally stupid.  

So let’s have a look at some population trends, shall we? According to Census data, minorities now comprise 38.4% of the population.  Now let’s say the rest of the population -- the white folks -- split evenly between red and blue.  Which party will the 56.6 million Hispanics support?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Hey, Reince Priebus. Hey, Paul Ryan.  You’d better hope all your years of gerrymandering still assure you the House of Representatives, because unless Hillary Clinton is discovered in Benghazi destroying email servers with ISIS, you will be destroyed in national races in November. And you most likely will have no chance to control the Senate or the White House for a generation.

Or ever. Because, according to the same data, 48% of the population under 18 is minority.  Gentlemen, in your support of a racist demagogue -- in the craven, cynical name of preserving party unity -- you have taken your intellectually, morally bankrupt party to the brink of insolvency.  You have looked at the future and pissed on it.  

There are only two reasons you cling to any relevance whatsoever:

  1. The Democrats are spineless and ineffectual themselves, and

  2. The Koch brothers and the NRA have bought you so many statehouses, you can still control Congressional district maps for the foreseeable future.

But you just keep on doing what you’re doing.  Keep on supporting that repulsive ignoramus you’re about to nominate.  Keep on singling out the constituencies you most need -- not for understanding and common cause, but for hate speech.  Then in the second week of November, you and your 40% can think about what Supreme Court justice is coming your way.

I know you’re a little dim when it comes to math, but do you understand 5 to 4?
6 comments about "G.O.P. S.O.S.".
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  1. Laura Daly from MediaPost, July 11, 2016 at 2:36 p.m.


  2. Elisabeth Gleckler from Tulane University, July 11, 2016 at 6:24 p.m.

    Now, Bob, how do you really feel!?

    This election is bad for all around. There needs to be debate and back and forth to keep ideologies in check. The GOP is clearly harkening back to a lost fantasy past (thank goodness) so their future is to dig deeper into luddites and the fringe and giving them a platform. Yet, the Dems need to have a contest of ideas. Everyone loses.

    I have lived through some depressing campaigns, but this one takes the prize.

  3. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, July 11, 2016 at 9:34 p.m.

    Bob, I would rather read your comments on business, advertising and even space aliens but give up on politics. Both Trump and Clinton are tiresome to many even if the election is 3 plus months away. If there is anything worse than boring politicians it's a boring columist.

  4. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc replied, July 12, 2016 at 12:29 p.m.

    No, No No...this is not boring...its our country at stake and kudos to Garfield for taking a stand.

  5. Andrew Ettinger from Ad Agency, July 12, 2016 at 2:16 p.m.

    This may be the best piece of writing I have ever read from Bob. Even better than his Comcast Must Die pieces from several years back. Kudos!

  6. F.G. Hall from Movement Media, July 12, 2016 at 3:31 p.m.

    First, no Trump supporter here, but the current Commander-in-Chief has been deporting more illegals (no PC "undocumented" terminology here), than ever seen before. But Obama does it on the sly, nice and quiet. Trump does, rightfully, point to the fact that we have a problem (if we didn't then why would Obama be doing it?) Trump's solution is, of course, totally wrong-headed.

    Second, while much of the demographic info does bode ill for the Republicans in 2016, a recent Atlantic article about Hispanics and their voting behavior, calls into question the whole idea of "losing the WH for a genearation" argument.

    Third, the worst thing about this article is the blatent partisan nature of the author. If I wanted to read a liberal pile on, anti-Trump article, I'd go to the pages of the NYT. You ruin the professional nature of MediaPost with your sophomoric name-calling in pursuit of a political objective.

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