November 12, 2010

We Need a Bigger Tent: On Rebranding "Conservative" and "REPUBLICAN" with "AMERICAN"

An American, one of the roughs, a kosmos,
Disorderly fleshy and sensual . . . . eating drinking and breeding,
No sentimentalist . . . . no stander above men and women or apart from them . . . . no more modest than immodest. 

-- Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)

“I am not an American I am THE American.”
-– Mark Twain

Remember when Hillary Clinton, during her last attempt to bite the apple, stopped calling herself a “liberal” and rebranded herself as a “progressive?”

I do.

It was the Hill's attempt to crawl out from under the vast heap of crap that the “liberals” had piled on themselves

– notably during her own husband's administration.

And who wanted to have that old liberal ball and chain around her thick ankles?

Not Hillary.

By 2007 “Liberal” had come to have such extraordinary baggage it started to seem like they could only get rid of it through “rebranding.”

The new/old brand name chosen was 'progressive.'

And it worked for them and for Obama just long enough to get them elected by a credulous public who had seemingly never heard "progressive" before.
“Progressive...” it sounded so, well, hopeful.

After all, who can be against “progress?”

Who, that is, except the vast majority of Americans who had seen the wreckage that the progressives' “progress” had wrought wherever it touched down on the American landscape.

Still, the recloaking of ye olde “liberal” wolves inside of the “Progressive Sheeps' Clothing” worked well enough.

It really caught on because it junked “liberal” but didn't say “socialist” in so many syllables.

Now of course, “progressive” as a brand has become synonymous
with cheats, control-addicts, the walking brain-dead, and the power junkies that want to tell you all about the bad Happy Meals in condom chewing San Francisco.

As a brand, Progressive is as dead as Hitler's charred corpse smoldering in a ditch outside the bunker on Pennsylvania Avenue.

But “progressives” don't know they're crispy critters because they can't entertain any ideas that were minted after 1965 in the Soviet Union.

So let's let them keep it.

Let those bitter aging boomers cling to their Darwins and their "progressive" programs and labels.

What we need to do is a little “rebranding” of our own

in order to blunt the brain-dead attacks that keep coming from the attack poodles of the left.

If you look at these attacks they all come back to the label “Conservative” or “Republican.”

Now we all know that these two categories are not the same.

Not all “Conservatives” are “Republicans,” and – unfortunately for the life expectancy of the Republican party – not all “Republicans” are “Conservative.”
Let's dump both brands.

I don't know about you, but I do not consider myself either a “Conservative” or a “Republican.”

Never have.

I consider myself to be one thing and one thing only.


Always have been.

Always will be.

Nothing less.

Couldn't be anything more.

To call me a Conservative is to miss the point.

To call me a Republican is to mistake me by a mile.

To call me an AMERICAN

is to know me down to the bone.

I suspect this blunt fact is true of all those who term themselves “Independents,”

who call themselves “Conservative,”

who joined the Tea Party, they and all the others who,

Came from the hills and mountains, 

The valleys and the plains

Some were kind and gentle, 

And some too wild to tame.

That's who we are and that's who we shall always remain

-- Americans.

A single, obvious, and overarching word to cover a wide, wide tent:


Americans all

regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin.

Let's rebrand ourselves from this point forward:

When you are called a Conservative, you reply,

“No, I am an AMERICAN.”

If someone tries to tar you with the label “Republican,”

you must correct them by saying,

“No, I am an AMERICAN.”

If they say you are arguing from Republican or Conservative views,
point out to them that you are arguing from AMERICAN views only.

Do that consistently and we can all look forward to future disputes and elections to pit

the “Progressives” against the AMERICANS.

I know which way I'd bet.

Posted by Vanderleun at November 12, 2010 4:13 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Why did those stupid, clueless liberals think that calling themselves "progressives" would be an improvement? I know "stupid, clueless liberals" is a triple redundancy, but still . . .

Are they aware of the Scientology-like creep factor in the term "progressive?" Many people have considered progressives to be worse than liberals for quite some time, especially those older folks who vote in greater numbers than anyone else.

And if "liberal/progressives" needed a bigger clue bat than Nov. 2nd that the rebranding was a breathtakingly stupid move, then they are hopeless.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 12, 2010 4:35 PM

I suggest that the current crop of Puritanical Progressives should re-brand themselves "Regulataxabanarians" They want to ban everything that they can't tax or regulate.


Posted by: jwm at November 12, 2010 4:52 PM

I guess GDI, my preferred appellation, short for God-d***ed Independent, is a little too in-your-face.

Posted by: Scott at November 12, 2010 5:11 PM

Hillary may think of the term progressive as a prettified word for liberal, but a communist will tell you progressive means communist. Which she is not. She's fascist.

Posted by: james wilson at November 12, 2010 5:53 PM

Very well put.

An American is to be by choice, and it is a wonderful thing. And I know this by the old question - "Which way are the rafts headed?"

Posted by: Mikey NTH at November 12, 2010 9:29 PM

American First

Posted by: ELC at November 13, 2010 8:00 AM

I think the paradigm of "American" vs. "Progressive" is a good one.

Indignant progressives will accuse you of implying they're not American, to which you can reply: "OK."

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 13, 2010 11:51 AM


Posted by: dr kill at November 14, 2010 7:09 AM

Neither fish nor fowl, lib nor conservative, but...
American! If we must be moderate, can we be
aggressively moderate? The middle of the road is reserved
for yellow stripes and flat armadillos. Quo vadis?

Posted by: Robert at November 14, 2010 9:15 AM

That's a great idea, Gerard. I'm on board.

Posted by: rickl at November 14, 2010 10:10 PM

Genius. Simple, pithy and powerful. Thanks Gerard.

This type of reframing of debates and viewpoints is sorely needed, and has been for a long time. Another reframing that I point to, and that most of us ignored until this election: taxpayers vs. the alliance of government, lobbyists, rent-seekers and other blood-suckers. I wrote this about that: When cynicism is a virtue.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at November 15, 2010 6:15 AM

Conservatives rebranding themselves as Americans? If only they'd take it to heart.

I suspect that it would be more accurate to rebrand yourselves as academic nihilists.

For example, on DDT, do you take the position that we can help other nations beat malaria the way we did, by improving housing by improving incomes? Or did you bite the old anti-science (that is, Not American) dogma that because DDT doesn't cause cancer in humans, it must be effective against mosquitoes, never pausing to ask for any evidence?

On creationism, do you defend the religious rights of a few to subject the many to inanity, or do you condemn creationism as morally repugnant because we shouldn't lie to children?

American? Not yet, not by a long way.

Posted by: Ed Darrell at November 22, 2010 7:58 AM