It was fascinating to watch all of the post-election finger-pointing and self-denial in Republican camps yesterday. I found myself particularly mesmerized by the Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity shows on Fox & Friends.
The former grilled a number of pollsters. Billy (as his sidekick, Dennis Miller, affectionately calls O’Reilly) kept asking the numbers-cruncher the exact same question, “Why do we (read: Republicans) do so well with married women and so poorly with single ones?” Each expert, in turn, responded in more or less the same way. Each made the case that Republicans had done everything possible to send single women the wrong signals (read: Republicans are not interested in a single woman’s wants and needs). O’Reilly would have none of it. He even called one statistician delusional.
Hannity took a different tack when he interviewed Bob Woodward on his program. Hannity was convinced the liberal media had won the election for Obama. Woodward immediately interrupted Hannity, saying his newspaper, The Washington Post, had actually analyzed the coverage and found it to be fair and balanced (as Fox likes to say about its own reportage). In fact, he cited the savaging of Obama by any, and all, media in the aftermath of his dismal first debate as proof positive of balanced coverage. Like his cohort, though, Hannity would have none of it. In fact, he went on to accuse the liberal media of a vast conspiracy that “covered-up and completely overlooked” the Benghazi terrorist attacks.
For the record, I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. I choose, instead, to vote for the candidate. Indeed, my personal votes on election day were evenly divided.
If I were a Republican, though, I’d stop talking and start listening.
Indeed, I’d stop preaching and proselytizing altogether. Instead, I’d literally put myself in the shoes of the voting bases I need to attract in 2016.
I’d take the time to study Emily Yellin’s book, ‘Your call is (not that) important to us’ and start experiencing the Republican Party brand from the outside in (as voters do). I’d sit alongside a single woman as she experiences the messaging and platforms of both parties. I’d accompany a Latino family as they listen to stump speeches from both sides and I’d be all ears as college students discuss political priorities.
The best brands are those who take the time to listen to their customers, walk in their shoes and experience the brand from the outside in. If the Republicans start doing the same, you might, just might, see less ranting and more empathy the next time around.