Following the 2012 presidential elections, Republicans recognized the need to diversify their voting population after Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, 67 percent of single women, 60 percent of 18-29 year olds, and 93 percent of African-Americans.
More recently, the California GOP recognized the dire need to reimage themselves, sparking the “rebuild, renew, reclaim” campaign seen at the 2014 California GOP convention.Luckily, the new Republican National Committee (RNC)
advertising campaign aims to tackle this issue head on.
They’ve created 12 new ads, each one running around 30 seconds. The ads include Americans of varying ethnicities making generalized statements that they are Republicans because they support typical American values like opportunity for all, investing in childhood education, a strong military, religious freedom, and an all of the above energy policy.
On a positive note, these ads may represent a shift away from the attack ads which dominated the 2012 election. Also, the people in these ads make rational claims which most people would agree with.
Unfortunately, the ads make sweeping generalizations without acknowledging any GOP ideas or proposed social programs legitimizing these claims -- a dangerous precedent for future elections.
A quick glimpse into Paul Ryan’s budget plan in 2013-- which threatened to cut Pell Grants, school lunches, and temporary assistance to needy families -- highlights the contradictions between recent GOP policies and the new ad campaign's promise to invest in the future for our kids.Recently, the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, spoke about new electoral primary policies regarding debates.
“[W]e’re proposing to have fewer than 10, and this time around, we’re going to pick the moderators,” he said.
Rather than establishing an open platform for discussion and debate, Priebus is limiting the candidate’s means to participate in real political discourse. And as chairman of the RNC, he’s also working to simplify the Republican identity to basic American ideals such as religious freedom, opportunity, and equality.
The intention behind the GOP’s ads is not definite, but it’s worth investigating whether their claims to supporting the aforementioned values are a smokescreen designed to gain political support while disengaging their candidates from articulating their stances on controversial issues, which could alienate voters as seen in the 2012 elections.
Instead of finding a way to connect with voters on policy-based issues, it appears the GOP have redesigned their campaign to hide their actual policies behind the values intrinsic to American national identity.