I’m happy that peanut butter is a nonperishable food item. The jar I have open and eating out of this evening has been sitting around the pantry for months. So, I’m not too scared of being poisoned. And I can continue to enjoy my PB&J sandwiches.
A Texas peanut plant has been shut down because of the possibility of salmonella contamination.
(Read the story here http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/6264491.html )
What does peanut butter and salmonella have to do with political power? I’m glad you’ve asked.
There are so many things to write about in the political sphere these days. But I find it absolutely divine when something happens like what happened this morning. In the midst of getting dressed and preparing to commute to church, up popped an ad on the televison. It was a peanut butter ad for a very popular brand. The business of peanut butter and peanut products have been plummeting with the recent salmonella scare with hundreds of people getting sick and some unfortunate deaths. In the midst of this peanut panic, one company responded rapidly with the television ad calming the fears of the public by stating its products are salmonella free and that their company will continue to take every precaution to make sure that their products do not become tainted.
This isn’t anything remarkable. This is just classic, standard public relations for a corporation that doesn’t want to see its bottom line reduced any further by the scare. They rapidly responded with damage control. The peanut butter company was reactive to the condition and proactive in getting a message out quickly so that its reputation and brand would not be tarnished.
In the midst of watching this commercial of only a few seconds, it dawned on me that the conservative-libertarian movement lacks the same type of responsiveness. During the laxative debate (I’m sorry, I meant stimulus), lefty organizations and unions plastered the airwaves with ads encouraging its passage and vilifying the GOP congressional members. I could very well be mistaken, but I can’t remember seeing any ads airing from our side of the political spectrum.
Rapid response and mass media is something that is sorely lacking when it comes to our tactics in the War on Socialism. As endorsed by Karl Rove in an article written in the immediate aftermath of November 4, 2008, Republicans are going to have to form more independent groups to do the work that either the party apparatus is unable or unwilling to do. We can’t depend on friendly talk shows and television networks to do the heavy lifting for the message. That audience is primarily made up of the faithful. Thus, when Michael Steele gets on Fox News, again, his message isn’t reaching those that are faithful to MSDNC.
To get to the wider audience, the peanut butter ad is the model. Ads have to be bought and aired (or, printed) on a variety of outlets to let a wide-range of the electorate see/hear the message and rebut what could be a held belief contrary to the position of liberty and conservatism. The peanut butter ad was created to keep customers. GOP ads must be created to get new voters and help accurately define socialism. If this basic PR move is not followed, the name of the GOP will continue to be tarnished like a peanut butter factory that has been found to have dead rats in its air ducts.
This is why supporting an organization like RagingElephants.org (http://www.ragingelephants.net/) is critical. It’s designed to be rapidly responsive and aggressively proactive. And while others undoubtedly see and understand the wisdom of this commentary, probably a long time ago, there is a hindrance to making it work. The lack of willingness of conservatives to fight back with their dollars. Democratic organizations are winning when it comes to raising the funds needed to produce these ads and submit them to the public. Let the conservative-libertarian organizations complete their task and do what they have been formed to do. But, you, the purist of liberty, the concerned members of the electorate, you MUST support these organizations with generous and continued donations. The War on Socialism is a war of ideals, ideas, and the ability to communicate. If not RagingElephants.org, find an organization that appeals to your sense of urgency and get behind it with all your might.
2009©Claver T. Kamau-Imani