Okay, so the title of my blog is a bit misleading. But the spirit of it, from a brand perspective, is on point. Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to the Democratic Party from a long-term perspective. If the Republican Party has Donald Trump as its nominee in the upcoming presidential election, the Democratic party would have reason to celebrate. I doubt if you will hear this even whispered publicly. But be assured that both democratic camps (Clinton or Sanders) are whet with anticipation of a Trump nomination.
Brands are powerful when they represent the target audience they wish to influence. BMW promises its adherents that they are deserving of the ultimate driving machine. Coca-Cola promises drinkers that THEY are the real thing. Jiff peanut butter reassures the marketspace that they are choosey. What does the Republican Party brand represent if Donald Trump carries its banner? Think about it.
What is at risk with a Trump nomination?
Can the party of American Exceptionalists afford to risk its brand with a candidate that tramples so blatantly on the US Constitution? Does the desire for bold leadership excuse any statement of opinion regardless of its recklessness? Can the party of Reagan risk becoming the party of whim? Ronald Reagan’s political beliefs were honed over decades of experience. He governed on a few simple ideas: smaller government, balanced budgets and winning the cold war. His personal beliefs formed, led and CONTROLLED his political agenda. Regardless of your political opinion of Ronald Reagan, his actions never demonstrated recklessness. Voters on both sides of the spectrum trusted him to have his finger on the button.
Democrats have been trying unsuccessfully to label the Republican Party as being hijacked by extremists. The strategy has failed because, en masse, the values exemplified by the party as a whole don’t seem extreme anymore. While it it a TRUTH that Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and George HW Bush would have to run as Democrats today to have a chance at a nomination. (Goldwater would have to be a Democrat also as he felt that Christian Fundamentalism was a political abomination.) But the politics of Rubio, Jeb Bush, Paul, Christie, Cruz, Carson and the rest look familiar because they seem to represent the public debate we have all witnessed in the past eight years. Compared to Trump, even Ted Cruz, who rose to national fame through disrespectful rudeness when he called Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor, seems like a moderate. If Trump does not win the nomination, this internal comparison will help the Republican nominee. Any extreme position will seem gentle in comparison to the unfiltered brashness of Donald Trump.
Let’s face it. Trump can’t win a general election (regardless of the current poll numbers). When push comes to shove, all the Democratic nominee needs to suggest is that no one of right mind would trust such an emotional bully to have his finger on the nuclear button.
(Look what LBJ did to Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Goldwater was no reactionary. He was a politician driven by deep-seated beliefs. No one could accuse Barry Goldwater of political maneuvering).
What a Trump nomination delivers to the Democratic party is an unconquerable brand position served to it on a silver platter. Presidential nominee Donald Trump says that Republicans don’t care about the future of humanity. Kind of makes the claim that they only care about the rich rather insignificant doesn’t it?