GOP Message Misses the ‘Everyman’

Friday, 06 Jul 2012 01:07 PM

By Robert Davi

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By now all the pundits are in full swing, spinning, bobbing, weaving, and providing their respective takes on how the Obamacare decision may or may not impact the election, why Roberts did or did not vote the way he did, how this is going to hurt the economy, the effect it will have on healthcare in America, and a litany of important repercussions that are rippling across our way of life.

But add to that a much more harrowing and deeper issue at stake — the survival of America. More specifically, the survival of America devoted to the “inalienable right” for the “pursuit of happiness."

The operative word is “pursuit.”

jessica-alba.jpg
Jessica Alba was among the A-list celebrities singled out for contributions to health and environmental issues.
(Getty Images)
We may no longer need to pursue our own happiness since the long arm of government appears intent on doing it for us.

How fitting that the Mayan calendar ends this year!

We all know we are at crossroads in America — the end of the Free Market and the march toward Socialism?

One may ask, how did we get here? What brought us to this point? Well, a ton of smart people have attempted to answer these questions. But my perspective is slightly different.

The problem is every time I bring it up, my compatriots reprimand me and I am told "but we have to get Romney elected."

While that may very well be true, why is it that at least half the country thinks otherwise and some are highly successful people? Though I may not agree with them, I do respect them.

So my question is why? Why do politicians stew in corruption and a nasty sty of complacency — all for the sake of staying in office? Why have I been hearing about healthcare, energy, education, the environment, taxes for more than 30 years, but yet nothing gets done?

Why has our very way of life — initiated by men and women who sought to break away from the long arm of the British crown, now find itself being torn apart over an internal struggle to cast an even longer government shadow. And why do a majority of everyman Americans not see it? Why is this country founded on the pursuit of liberty yet so divided on this overwhelming question?

My dear reader, I am a man of modest intellect as you can probably tell by just reading what I have written. I am not a Harvard grad nor do I have blue blood in my veins.

I am as close to an everyman as anyone can be. I have foibles and struggles that have at times made me feel frightened and alone, but I have a group of wonderful friends and family that are supportive and helpful.

Also, I have a deep faith in God that has assisted me in "the dark nights of the soul." My parents were humble and hardworking members of the lower middle class.

My father served in the Navy in World War II as a gunner on a Merchant Marine ship. He spent three days in the water on a raft after his ship was torpedoed and received a Purple Heart.

He raised the American flag and wore his Navy uniform every Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day until he died at age 57.

Italian was his first language. English was his last. His father was in the U.S. infantry during World War I and he received two Purple Hearts and an Oak Leaf Cluster.

Sicilian was his first language but he died speaking English. I remember the struggle my family went through but they never felt that government should take care of them.

They understood that to be enslaved by a system that has the potential to control everything is dangerous.

Today people feel differently.

As the government has grown — and more people depend on it for their well-being — it is very hard to get free — or even want to be free.

Loyalty is grown over entitlements and job security. We are facing a bulldog's locked jaw of government entitlements.

Couple that with a terrific PR campaign and you have a winning combination. On the other hand, the free market has a very bad PR campaign — portrayed as the self-interest of a bunch of Greedy Fat Cats who pillage society to hold the masses down — the individual against the collective.

Well now the collective wants its piece of the action — even if it has done nothing to earn it.

The feudal lords have been usurped by the serfs — and it’s time to pay up.

The PR campaign is being won by the left, and perhaps rightly so because "nobody does it better."

And it has been doing so for years! Here is a new item I came across in the The Hollywood Reporter about a two-day conference in New York that was streamed worldwide on health and environmental issues.

Notice all the wonderful A-list celebrities involved. Recognize any of them?

There are some terrific forward-thinking talents in the group. You see, this is how the left campaigns and reaches the youth. It takes issues like health and ecology and gives them pizzazz!

This appeals to the youth — and rightly so with hip, cool, intelligent, attractive celebrities receiving awards. So if you are a young, 20-something, how cool would you find such a media event? It is how the left continually widens its tent and captures media attention.

It is the party of the new age — the touchy feely, we-care-about-people, not-just-the-country party. For the most part, this is what conservatives are not able to accomplish.

How do I know? Just ask the mainstream media.

While conservatives passionately support the troops and continue to battle pro-life issues and mandate who should marry who, there is seemingly a disconnect with the everyman.

Look, I am a man of deep faith and I believe in "one nation under God," but we must have the GOP and our faith-based programs get out front on issues that bring conservatives into the 21st century with a non-partisan profile that can attract a multitude of people.

The GOP must lead on issues, and not continually get caught behind the eight ball.

For years we knew something had to be done on healthcare, immigration, energy, education, but we kept kicking the ball down the court.

The GOP comes out with some stodgy pronouncements and the "young guns" try and turn it into a snazzy message. But guess what? It doesn't feel human. OK. There is something lacking.

Something is not connecting. I am not saying the ideas are bad. But the messages are not connecting. The messages are like a bag of stale potato chips. They are essentially not revolutionary enough.

Look, those of us who agree with the issues are not who we need to reach. It is the broader population that needs to hear our message. But unless the GOP takes bold new steps and leads on issues that are both pressing and popular — with strong, healthy, exciting alternatives for voters — we may all be in for a shock.

We need a brainstorming session of own conservative thinkers.

We must find the issues that threaten our current way of life and communicate an alternative approach to what the left may advance. They are defining issues for the youth that will in turn affect how people view American society in the future.

The most blatant example of this is the new immigration policy put forth by the White House.

Now most of us knew that Marco Rubio had something brewing in terms of immigration, but the White House superbly jumped out in front with the president’s policy change and trumped Rubio.

This tactic is nothing new. It comes straight from Hollywood. It is quite common for the studios to check out what their competitors are doing, and then start developing similar projects.

Usually the movie that gets to the theaters first, reaps the greatest box office rewards. I have been on record imploring the GOP to get its head out of the sand with respect to immigration as far back as 2010.

About a year ago I briefly spoke to Marco Rubio whom I like a lot. He is smart and has the ability to think on his feet — almost like watching Fred Astaire, who was able to shift weight in mid air.

Sen. Rubio is nimble and resonates with younger voters. This is not the case with some others who are seemingly out of touch. They are not able to resonate. Their ideas may be better but they are unable to convey them in a compelling manner.

This is how the tea party was born. Unlike the Dems, the GOP has an almost perfunctory attitude toward Hollywood.

There are many who may not be big donors, but can offer invaluable insights into the communication and campaign strategy — people who look at things differently and have a more interesting handle on cultural influences and a way to communicate ideas to people who may not necessarily be in the tent — but who can be brought in.

Remember what Ronald Reagan was able to do. President Obama himself recently alluded to the importance of celebrities in influencing culture and winning elections.

It’s not just the money. People vote for ideas that resonate with them.

How does one reach those who feel disenfranchised? How can the GOP present a unique message in its convention coming up in August — a message that speaks to the heart of a nation in crisis? A message that resonates to the everyman?

There is always some truth in whatever side of the fence one may sit on. We must unite the country not divide it, but still hold true to the principles that inspired our founders to stage a revolution.

Take heed. Unless the GOP begins to come out front on today's pressing issues and not worry about keeping the status quo they may eventually find themselves irrelevant.

Robert Davi has worked with the biggest names in Hollywood from, appearing in such iconic pop culture movies as "Die Hard," "Showgirls," and "The Goonies." He is considered one of the top three Bond villains — Franz Sanchez — of all time in "License to Kill." His television credits include the hit NBC television series "Profiler," "Stargate: Atlantis," and "Criminal Minds." A classically trained singer, Davi recently released the album, “Davi Sings Sinatra, On The Road To Romance.”

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