Observations, Direction and Vision

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By Hon. Joseph Mondello, Chairman, New York Republican Committee
 
You know those new young voters who came out to the polls for the first time to find the name Barak Obama and then voted Democratic? They are Republican voters. They don’t know it yet, but they will find themselves looking at the Republican line in due time and voting for candidates who reflect their values and work ethic. That’s because the Democrats created a wonderful political product, packaged it amazingly well, found the right “buzz” words and then marketed it using the latest information technology. If Ford could have been as effective as the Democrats we would all be driving Pintos.

In the end, marketing can only take you so far. Once you open the packaging, dig past the euphoria, consume the hype, there still needs to be something there that will stick to your political soul. The Democratic ideology is, and always has been, the creation of big government, requiring an ever increasing percentage of your personal disposal income. Newcomers to the work force don’t appreciate the implications of that simple constant, but they will over time as their take home salaries reflect the realities of their vote. Wisdom acquired through life experience creates Republican voters. Ask the generation of Democrats who left New York City’s five boroughs in the 1950’s to settle in newly built suburbia only to create the most vibrant Republican party in the nation.

In the harsh reality of the 21st Century, the GOP did not get its message out and it can’t wait for the Democratic agenda to create new Republicans. It needs to coldly analyze its missteps, its communication strategies, its ability – or inability – to reach our newest American citizens, and the party’s role as a thoughtful, compelling force in the ongoing political debate that will shape our state and our nation.

In New York, and on Long Island, that transformative process begins with some very basic questions. To get there, we need to push past any recriminations about who did, or didn’t do what during the last election cycle. We need to ask the more basic question: Who are we? What do Republicans believe in? And how do we more effectively transmit the strength of our message to friend and foe alike? What profound changes in mass media and the Internet have affected our ability to be heard? Where is the balance between focusing on the message versus the medium needed to deliver it? If blogs and text messaging were the answer during this past election cycle, what will their replacements look like in the next election cycle?

As New York State Republican chairman, I will be appointing a strategic review committee that looks at all aspects of who we are, who are our candidates, and how best to communicate to our audience. This committee will be a diverse group, both in terms of age and ethnic background, but all holding the common Republican belief that most of what we earn we should keep, that government is defined by how well it protects our quality of life, not its size, and that our nation remains the hope of a world looking for freedom, opportunity and equality.

Dr. Frank Lutz, an internationally respected political commentator, has written about the power of words and the ability of language to motivate. New York Republicans have a strong, compelling message. It is also a party of substance, ethics and vision. We will come back to the electorate better able to communicate who we are and why their values are best represented by those who honor not just the power of words but the personal accomplishments of voters throughout New York State.

Reprinted as originally e-mailed on November 24, 2008.

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