The problem with the political party brands of today.
Brand reveals a great deal about those that embrace it. We know that the most powerful brands in the world are those that express the positive aspirations of those that adhere to it.
There are many brands at play in the United States today and, while the political party brands are mere sub-brands of the US parent brand, we need to be careful as to the values of the sub-brands and recognize that they reflect upon the parent and often change the parent brand.
As an example, Volkswagen, the parent brand of the German automaker, has been adversely affected by a breach in trust from one of its automobile sub-brands. The diesel emission controversy has affected the Volkswagen brand itself. We all wonder how trustworthy any claim made by VW itself might be taken. This loss of brand luster is not felt just by the purchasers of the cars and the dealerships that sell them. Rest assured that the workers and engineers that make and create the cars also feel let down and betrayed.
Both political party brands are guilty.
My comments today are aimed directly at both main political party brands today because they are both guilty of the same offense. They both besmirch the parent brand. The United States itself.
Recent polling indicates that most citizens in the US today are furious at the government’s ability to work. Shelby Foote, the late great Civil War historian, once said that the Civil War was a result of an inability to come to peaceful compromise. To which, he added, “had always been our genius.” We all know that the vitriol being eschewed by both parties, while entertaining, is at its root destructive. Look to history to see examples of change agents who created a sense of American accomplishment while correcting government ills. Both political party brands can lay claim to this.
Ronald Reagan, one of the most revered of American Presidents ignited a powerful desire for corrective change while instilling in Americans a sense of accomplishment and destiny. No one could accuse Ronald Reagan of meanness or pettiness. He was at the same time passionate and affable.
On the Democratic side, look to FDR as an example of a President elected in a period of great problems. His positiveness and affable personality guided the nation through its most challenging times. No one could accuse Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan of the meanness and woe is me politics we find ourselves subjected to today. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil were friendly adversaries. They liked each other and found a way to be united in purpose. As a result, government worked.
Is it possible to be a proud American and think our nation is on the verge of ruin? Can we elect officials who tell us that government can’t be trusted? Do we wish to be party to the sort of rhetoric that is in many ways responsible for the very state of affairs to which we all complain?
Let’s demand more from our emotional sub-brands. Let’s remember that all is not bad in America and that by working together, building bridges and not by constructing barriers we all benefit and our proud parent brand— the United States of America — is no longer sullied.