Many Republicans qualify their political affiliation by saying that they are "Republican but socially liberal" or "fiscally conservative but socially liberal." This article will address two images of Republicans that drive Republicans to qualify their political beliefs.
Some Democrats and media members have created these depictions to prevent people from becoming Republican and instead vote for Democrats. Republicans need to discredit and eliminate these representations so that the Republican Party maximizes its followers and voter base.
One image of Republicans is that they are either are racist, white supremacist, anti-women, anti-LGBTQ, intolerant of non-Christians, or all of the above. This image is completely untrue.
Unfortunately, though, some Democrats and media members have been so successful at this propaganda that some people are scared that they would be seen as having these attributes if they state, without qualification, that they are Republican. By clarifying their Republican views with the phrase "socially liberal," they are implying that they are not discriminatory.
Another image of Republicans is that they only favor the rich and are not interested in helping others. This caricature was created by some Democrats and media members stating that Republicans only want tax breaks for the rich and/or do not want to fund social problems such as school lunches and healthcare.
The opposite, of course, is true. Nevertheless, some Republican voters use the phrase "socially liberal" to indicate that they want to better everyone's life, no matter the persons' socioeconomic level.
The phenomenon of individuals qualifying their political views as Republican has three consequences. First, since these people are reluctant to embrace the label of "Republican," many may not be strongly tied to the Republican Party and, therefore, may leave it.
Second, it harms recruitment into the party because people are unlikely to join a political party that has these two stigmas or is unpopular. Third, if the images are widespread among Democrats and other non-Republicans, they are reasons to vote against Republicans.
The Republican Party and Republican elected officials must consistently challenge the two propagandist views of Republicans mentioned above. They should do so by adopting three strategies.
First, whenever an untruth is spoken about Republicans, they should denounce it. Second, they should explain the truth about their views on issues and policy proposals. Third, they should point out the Democrats' record on the issues in question, which often hurts the group that Democrats purport to help.
Aside from using these strategies in interviews, the Republican Party and Republican elected officials should also take out ads on television, radio, social media, and various internet sites to debunk the myths about Republicans and highlight positive Republican accomplishments in those areas.
Refuting the false images using the three strategies is straightforward. For example, if a Democrat argued that Republicans were racist, the response would be: "Republicans are not racist. Republican policies and proposals, such as opportunity zones and school choice, empower minorities. Democrat control of large cities and education have resulted in high crime rates and dysfunctional schools."
If a Democrat argued that Republicans only want tax breaks for the rich and not helping those in lower socioeconomic groups, the rebuttal would be: "Republicans support people in all economic levels. Republicans want lower taxes for everyone. Republicans also favor social programs.
Republicans, however, believe that individuals can better themselves, become self-sufficient, and not remain on these social programs as a way of life. Democrat policies will result in people staying on social programs indefinitely rather than improving their situations."
Republican Party leaders and elected officials must reduce the propagandist impressions of the Republican Party. By doing so, ordinary Republicans will feel less of a need to qualify their views.
Moreover, the Republicans' silent majority may no longer feel the need to remain silent because they will not be portrayed as often by the false depictions. Following the three point strategy above is an effective tool. It is also a useful method for Republican Party leaders and elected officials to defend themselves, highlight their beneficial policies, and attack Democrats for their shortcomings.
Michael B. Abramson is a practicing attorney. He is also an adviser with the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. He is the host of the "Advancing the Agenda" podcast and the author of "A Playbook for Taking Back America: Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election." Follow him on his website and Twitter, @mbabramson. Read Michael B. Abramson's Reports — More Here.
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