For the first time in my lifetime, and GOP may have accidentally veered into messaging.
Last night, Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave the Republican response to Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. In it, she did something you rarely hear from any Republicans.
She had a concise message that resonated: Democrats and Republicans give you a choice between “crazy or normal.”
She didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked, and only mentioned it two more times, but she cited as her examples CRT (which she should have defined), racism, indoctrination, use of LatinX, COVID mandates, and authoritarian lockdowns.
The Republican Party is traditionally horrible at messaging. They don’t know how to articulate themes in a concise and meaningful way that resonate with Americans, choosing instead to play defense with minutiae facts against sweeping democrat attacks that are already five attacks old.
This was a break from that, and conservatives should seize upon it.
In the last year, I’ve come up with two such messages: The GOP should run against government corruption (in both parties), or start branding Democrats as a choice between sinister or stupid.
This gives them another viable option. There’s plenty to build on with “crazy or normal,” and she started to in her speech in the examples above.
She went on from there to articulate the real, on the ground, problem with illegal immigration in a way you seldom hear from Republicans. She defined it as killing our children through drug overdose because of all the drugs (fentanyl, in particular) pouring over our border.
That was a way to connect Americans to the very real problem open borders causes.
Conservatives need to start sharing their message in short, easily understood and credible ways that people can hear and believe. Laying out a theme like a choice between crazy and normal gets attention and is easily supported.
If done well, this will become a phrase you hear hundreds of times in the coming months.