RICH KIPER: Masters of marketing at work
I have to hand it to Democrats. They are the masters of marketing.
Their mastery was quite evident after Trump and Biden were certified as the major party candidates.
We saw Trump garnering thousands of supporters at rallies across the country, often multiple rallies a day. I witnessed miles-long caravans of vehicles with Trump flags and signs. We heard him at press conferences and impromptu questions and answers as he stopped to speak to reporters when walking to and from his helicopter. We read a deluge of tweets from Trump about his plans as president, and from his tweets we always knew what he was thinking.
Democrats realized that Biden could not compete with Trump’s energy or rhetoric. They never knew what gaff would come from Biden’s mouth. His exaggerations, plagiarism, falsifying his academic record and belittling common people derailed his 1987 campaign.
That could not happen again.
The solution was for the Democratic candidate to rarely leave home or meet with the media. When he did, only softball questions from sycophantic reporters were allowed.
The brilliant marketing goal was to keep Biden out of the spotlight and use the Trump-hating media to do the dirty work for him.
When Biden mispronounced the names of cabinet members, forgot the name of the secretary of defense, lost his thought process and delayed holding press conferences as long as possible, the so-called journalists made nothing of it.
Immigrants pouring across our southern border is a problem. How do you market the fact that in Fiscal Year 2014, Vice President Biden declared the apprehension of 68,541 illegal aliens to be an “immediate crisis?” In March 2021, border apprehensions were 168,195, but Democrats came up with the brilliant idea to market the 100,000 increase as a “challenge.”
Democrats marketed the March 2021 $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as the “Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act,” also known as the “American Rescue Plan.” Who could object to rescuing America from the virus? Cleverly, the Democrats did not tout the money that went to union pension funds, unemployment benefits that were more than people had been earning, commuter rail services, the Cyber Security Service, consultation services for federal agencies and $4B to illegal immigrants. Marketing says those are essential to COVID-19 relief. One study revealed that only 10% went to health-related spending.
Marketing himself as a uniter, Biden dismissed a $650B Republican alternative and quickly enacted a procedure that allowed Democrats to pass the bill with no Republican input.
Biden touted the bill as bipartisan. For decades “bipartisan” meant that members of both congressional parties supported a bill. In this case, no Republicans supported the bill. Therefore, Biden simply changed the definition to mean that Republican voters supported the bill.
If truth won’t work, market a new definition of the word.
Congress is now debating “The American Jobs Plan” to “rebuild our country’s infrastructure” at a cost of $2.3 trillion. Market the plan as a jobs plan. People need jobs.
Estimates are that about 40% of the $2.3T goes to roads, bridges, airports, waterways, ports, the power grid and clean drinking water. Most of those items probably are accepted as infrastructure by most Americans. Republicans are on board for true infrastructure, even up to 40% of the bill, but not for Biden’s add-ons.
How do Democrats market the add-ons that include electric cars and 500,000 charging stations? How do they convince taxpayers to expand broadband into rural areas where internet companies cannot make a profit? It’s easy. Hide such projects under the term “infrastructure” and the public will never know the difference.
Again, by changing the definition, Biden’s infrastructure includes “good middle class jobs,” “job training initiatives” (undefined), a “Climate Corps,” child care, “ambitious projects,” “federal buyer power” (whatever that means), a new Commerce Department office, mandated unions and Green New Deal projects.
Like your single-family zoning? Too bad. An apartment building is coming to your neighborhood marketed as providing affordable housing.
Taxes are going up. Biden markets that by saying corporations will pay more. He ignores the fact that those taxes will be passed along to consumers (us) in the form of higher prices.
As Democrats are wont to do, Biden markets the American Rescue Plan as an investment. Sure it is. Get ready for a tax tsunami. How will Biden and the Democrats market that?
Rich Kiper is a Leavenworth Times columnist.