Falling into the “name game” trap

The Huffington Post laid out this piece which makes suggestions about ways to “brand” the Republican political party.

I don’t see the point.

I am an outsider looking in (as far as politics is concerned), but I’ve encountered a few folks that called politics a “business.” I’ve heard the inside scoop on that subject. It is a game of leverage, differentiation, and constant problem solving. If a company continually hires new leaders that don’t either change (or fix), the organization loses its competitive edge (or just dies). Smart boards don’t hire CEOs that don’t have a plan, and the proven ability to execute. And smart companies don’t spend their entire day mulling over their foes weaknesses, and thinking of ways to raise the awareness of them. They spend their day working on ways to exploit those weaknesses – and they rarely tell the world their intent up front.

Right in the middle of the post, Larry Beinhart calls the Republicans “The Name Calling Party,” which seems a bit hypocritical in its own right, since Larry is creating all kinds of labels for that side. Yes, the Republicans did it, and won an election using the approach, and Mr. Beinhart calls it a branding issue that needs to be solved. Name calling didn’t evolve into progress last time – why should anyone think it will this time.

There are a lot of tough social and economic considerations facing America, and sooner or later the public is going to realize that labels are all for show, and directed the wrong way.

Instead of expending so much effort “branding” the other side, why not take the high road. Seek out and recruit into the fold candidates that can be branded “solution providers” or “plan executors.” Throw into that fold adjectives such as “tenacious” and “forthright.” Then ignore the other side for a while and work on plans – strategic and tactical solutions – and pitch those.

Don’t fall into the “name game” trap just because it worked some other time, for someone else. There is no guarantee of duplicate results, it is not very creative, and it isn’t particularly productive either.


And if you can’t understand this simple concept, try taking a page out of Harry Reid’s playbook for starters.

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