I have a real beef with the Republican Party. In a media-driven culture, they apparently have no clue about perception. In a world of instant communication, where cell phones, text messages, and email can be sent globally, the first impression matters. As I look at this election – and past ones as well – it’s pretty obvious that the Democrats get it. They’re turning out women, minorities, young people – looking for a well packaged candidate that can connect with the American people. But Republicans keep sending out the old white guys and expect them to sell ideas like “original,” “innovative,” and “change.”
The truth is, I’m becoming an old white guy, so I’m certainly not against that crowd. And for the record – the best ideas win – whether they come from the young or old, white, black, or whatever, and male or female.
But from a very real point of view – perception matters. I know there are young, vibrant women and minorities in the Republican party – so why aren’t they being groomed for positions of responsibility?
And this frustration runs through the party like a laser beam. I’ve always admired George Bush for his ability to lead and make a decision. Particularly after all the Clinton years, when we had a president who let the polls make his decisions for him. But even great leaders have to respect perception, because if the people they lead aren’t behind their decisions, they’re not leaders at all. As John Maxwell says, “They’re not leading, they’re just out for a walk.”
That is why President Bush will not be remembered as a great leader.
From our growing monster-sized government, to excessive spending, to the nanny state, to so much more, the Republicans are destroying their legacy, by ignoring their perception.
If the Republican Party hired me to consult with them, the first thing I’d do is give a top-down lecture about perception. What do the American people think of when they think, “Republican?” Why does it matter? What should they do about it?
The answers to those questions should shake them into reality, and force them to make real change happen…