The phrase “I am Republican” is hardly heard anymore. But what you often hear is “I’m a conservative,” and it’s usually said robustly. Not surprising, considering only 24.4 percent of the electorate self-identify as Republicans.
Here are some recent poll results of adult national party identification:
Now contrast those numbers with a recent Gallup Poll asking “how would you describe your political views.” The results are:
After examining those numbers one could easily conclude that the Republican Party should seriously consider changing its name from the Republican Party and its nickname the GOP (Grand Old Party) to the Conservative Party and CYP (Conservative Young Party) as its nickname. And I do mean young.
(If you attended the recent Conservative Political Action Conference and looked around, you would have assumed they were checking ID’s and selling acne cream.)
The argument for a party name-change is fifth-grade math for dummies.
Start with 40 percent of voters who consider themselves conservatives.
Then assume at least half, which is 18 percent of those 36 percent who call themselves moderates will vote your way. Add 40 percent and 18 percent and you have 58 percent of the electorate, a semi landslide.
Caution: Not all 40 percent of conservatives will vote your way, but you get the general equation.
Let’s face it: Politics is all about marketing and message spinning (just ask our current president). A name change from the Republican Party to the Conservative Party offers a perfect rebranding opportunity from toxic Republican to welcoming Conservative.
Concerned about the negative effects of a name change?
Let’s examine some of the most successful.
- In 1997 “Backrub” became “Google.”
- “Brad’s Drink” in 1909 became “Pepsi Cola” and in 1961 rebranded again as “Pepsi.”
- “Auction Web” became “e-Bay”
- “RadarOven” begot “Microwave.”
- “Stag Party” turned “Playboy.”
- Here you can find more amusing examples of “the power of a name change.”
So if “Backrub” can become “Google,” how hard would it be for the Republican Party to morph into the Conservative Party, especially when 40 percent of all adults already identify with conservative views, verses only 24.4 percent for the Republican moniker?
Officially renaming the GOP, the CYP, would mean more than just new stationery.
(“What’s stationery?” ask the youngsters.)
It would be a chance for the Republican Party to rebrand and define what it really stands for, because today does anyone know what it means to be a Republican?
(Except of course the main stream media who know it as “The Party of No.”)
Perhaps we should ask those 24.4 percent of Republicans for their answer by visiting their natural habitants: bingo parlors and early-bird diners.
But ask a conservative what it means to be a conservative and you get an earful of less government, lower taxes, and personal responsibility.
Conservatives take great pride in being well informed and engaged in the political process.
They are generally take-charge kind of people who are deeply concerned that
America the Great, the America they know and love, is slipping away.
Post-It note to RNC Chairman Michael Steel (who considers himself a Conservative.)
Think about this, seriously.
It would mean an earthquake of free press, more voters, envelop the Tea Partiers’, make Sean Hannity happy, and a chance to rebrand, reload, recreate and define a new party. A new Conservative Party with the potential to be more ethnically diverse, broader geographically, younger demographically, and all around more vibrant. A party that might just know what it stands for and where it is going.
The only problem is where are its leaders?
Problem solved: If you rename it, they will come.
Important parting note: There are several political parties around the county now labeled as the Conservative Party.
The Republican Party would have to work out some official naming rights.
But let’s leave all those minor details to the lawyers.
Myra Adams is a media producer, writer and political observer. Her media clients have included national associations, political interest groups and corporations. She was on the creative team with Mark McKinnon that created the now infamous John Kerry “Windsurfing” ad for the Bush 2004 presidential campaign and served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign. Myra’s Web site, TheJesusStore.com, contributes all profits to Christian charity.