The assault on the US Capitol will hopefully prove to be the low point in the divisiveness of US politics and self-inflicted damage to democratic credibility. The biggest risk for 2021 identified by the Eurasia group is now vividly clear and the Democratic party’s mandate to deliver a more inclusive alternative much stronger.
Deservedly, the biggest losers will be Trump and the Republican party. The disturbing events are the culmination of Trump’s behaviour and senior republicans who have aligned to incite division and doubt in US democratic integrity. Let’s not forget their action follows an election that achieved the highest voter turnout in over 100 years and gave Biden a margin of win that was celebrated in 2016 as a landslide.
As the New York Times observed, “Wednesday’s episode of violence, incited by Mr. Trump’s remarks, could linger for decades as a stain on the party — much as the Watergate break-in and the Great Depression shadowed earlier generations of Republicans.”
From my brand perspective the challenges facing the Republican party look extremely daunting. Trump (enabled by a dominant social media following) has ensured the party has reflected his interests. Republican identity has become tied to an impulsive, inconsistent and untruthful President. Senators, such as Lindsey Graham, now pivoting from the role of Trump cheerleader must now face questions on their judgement and consistency.
Right now the Republican party needs a lot of help and I would suggest this includes an exceptional brand strategist. They would clearly require considerable resilience to revive the party’s fortunes…
They would need to insist on engaging deeply with the younger, female and black voters who have rejected Trump and their party. They would seek to collaboratively assess the principles that have historically defined the party and how they should be developed into a shared purpose for the future. They would establish clear guidelines for the behaviour, values and associations of those representing the party. They would continually caution the brand or party is not defined by one person.
In making the case for an enduring strategy they would be forced to confront campaign managers and the likes of Ted Cruz who will see the retention of Trump’s followers and populist playbook as the obvious platform for personal and Presidential ambition.
I won’t be applying.