We are in an era when many people are following politics a little more closely than usual, that’s a good thing. However, for many a paradigm shift is needed:
Modern GOPe presidential politics are not dependent on winning your vote, we are in an era when presidential politics is focused on “winning the office” – there is a big difference. The former is irrelevant when the latter is achieved.
Current political science classes are focused on teaching political theorem through the prism of history, but historical references are less accurate than ever before. The new age of the Atwater/Rove approach is based on using the foundation of ‘Citizens United’ to protect the professional political class.
When you understand the goal of the professional candidate is to achieve the office, and not to necessarily win your vote, we can find increased clarity on campaign behavior.
A vote for a given candidate is valuable. However, when you are inside the professional political class, a non-vote is just as valuable.
Traditional, meaning ‘historical’, presidential candidates focused on winning your vote and support. Modern professional political candidates focus less on retention of their existing party-line block, and more on stopping support toward the non-insider.
As a direct consequence the majority of modern GOPe campaigning is negative toward the opposition, and not advancing a positive message of their own candidate..
The closest reference to this approach was evident in the primary of 2012 with the candidacy of Mitt Romney. Team Romney was less focused on winning votes than they were on destroying opposition votes against them.
This is because in the new paradigm a vote stopped is more valuable than a vote gained. If the GOPe can create a sense of frustration and anxiety, they win – because they already have the party vote in place.
In essence this approach is underpinning of the “Splitter Strategy”, where gaining support is less valuable than fracturing the support held by the opposition; this is also the explanation for the GOPe behavior of antithetical legislative action in direct opposition to the platform the electorate base wrongly believed their party candidate held. Disenfranchisement, like all other negative attributes, works in their favor.
When you accept this approach as the foundation you understand why the Virginia GOPe team deploy a party pledge intended to diminish turnout, not enhance it.
When Ronald Reagan appealed to conservative Democrats, “the Reagan Coalition”, he was admonished and marginalized by the professional political class within the Republican Party. Current candidate Donald Trump faces the same opposition, because he represents a similar populist and center-right risk.
Additionally, when you see reports that Team Jeb is dispatching 50 members of his professionally political staff, we must immediately recognize this is not some willy-nilly reaction to polling or weak positioning – this is simply what they intended to do, at the time they intended deployment, all along.
[…] On a Wednesday afternoon staff-wide conference call, top campaign officials, including campaign manager Danny Diaz, informed employees that the deployment would be staggered throughout the month of January. The campaign is expected to dispatch between 50 and 60 Miami-based staffers, with 20 going to New Hampshire and 10 or more going to Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada. (link)
Two goals: the smaller goal is to retain the position of their candidate, the larger goal is to diminish opposition.
It is quite humorous to see current punditry ponder whether a professionally political candidate “will go negative“. Of course they go negative, the structural foundation of modern political science is based on negative campaigning to diminish opposition.
When you fully understand this, you also gain an ah-ha moment as to why Team Jeb is so horrible at positive campaign messaging; it is simply not the forte’ of modern political campaigning. Almost no-one in the professional consulting class has any experience creating positive campaign messages, it’s just not done any longer.
Compare and contrast the professional campaign messages (ads) you see within the current presidential field, against the non-professional messages created by ordinary supporters via U-Tube. It’s easy to see the difference.
The non professional is focused on a goal of support, advancing their candidate. You feel uplifted when watching. However, even when the professional constructs a “positive message”, the professional constructs are dependent on broadcasting the weakness of their opposition there is no positive emotional sense attached.
When the modern political approach is deployed you find they benefit by creating a climate of inaction. It takes positive activity to defeat this approach; meaning the only way to defeat the professional political class is to take assertive action to defeat them. If the status-quo is maintained, they win.