Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why are "Wedge Issues" Key for Republicans?

First of all, wedge issues are emotional in appeal. Name any Republican wedge issue from immigration, to abortion, to gay marriage, to flag burning, not to mention the granddaddy of them all: "the war on terrorism" and FEAR, and you run head into an emotional, not a reasoned, hook.

In short, the Republicans are TREMENDOUSLY SKILLED AT EMPLOYING THE ART OF THE DEMAGOGUE TO GET AMERICANS, AROUND HALF AT ANY GIVEN TIME, TO AVOID,REASONED DISCUSSION OF PUBLIC POLICY,(WHICH IS SO TRUE!). They do this by appealing to emotional, instinctual reactions that are not processed through a thoughtful process. It's called pressing a hot button.

Second of all, the Republicans use wedge issues to, essentially, pickpocket the American public.

While they have the public and the media distracted with red hot emotional topics, they go off and make the wealthy wealthier, increase our national debt, and take away government social services. Wedge issues are a powerful distraction and allow the right wing to accomplish their goals while the public is preoccupied with some trumped up emotional issue that the Busheviks could care less about.

Finally, wedge issues are a tremendous fundraising tool for the right wing. In fact, the campaigns of right wing candidates were financed by the money generated by right wing wedge issue direct mail. Richard Viguerie was the guru who started the direct mail juggernaut for GOP candidates and organizations and he's still going strong. It was said to me that Rove came to the fore in Texas politics as a direct mail consultant.

In short, wedge issues that press the hot buttons of right wing donors sell big time. In essence, these are topics like "gay marriage," "abortion," and "war on terror" that you include in the first sentence of a GOP direct mail piece and you are guaranteed a good response because they have such visceral impact on Stepford GOP followers.

Progressives and Democrats have far fewer "pre-sold" appeals, except for the mention of Bush and Cheney (or even now Sarah Palin), because progressives and Democrats think more before acting. That may sound snobbish at times, but it's true from a direct mail perspective.

Basically, the Republican "rule by emotional appeal" boils down to a big brother elitism whose message to Americans is simply this: "Don't think. We'll do the thinking for you. Just follow."

Hey, if it didn't work, the GOP would have left that Boat behind years ago. But it works! And as long as the American Public gets all caught up in that rhetoric, it will always be part of the American Political Arena.

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