Rebranding the GOP

Neil Girrard
Nov. 27, 2020

A phrase used in the first zoom meeting of this year’s grassroots effort was “rebranding the GOP.” Nearly everyone in the group recognizes this as a vital need. The friction comes in when we start to define just how the GOP brand should be modified.

Overall, most of us have few, if any, major problems with the stated philosophies, aims and goals of the GOP as stated in its platform. What we are grappling with is a deeper issue – much like a person with personality issues grapples with his hidden motivations that drive his actions.

The upcoming election for state chairs provides an excellent insight into this need for party introspection. Here are three of the problems with how this election is structured.

  1. The people are excluded from voting for the state chairs. Only county party officials and delegates (anywhere from 300 to 800 people) get to elect the people who will determine the course of the party for the next 2 years.

  2. The list of candidates is not published until a week and a half before the election. Each candidate will get 2 minutes to speak at the meeting. Any candidate who waits until the last minute to declare will not have time to gather support but also will not have to endure or answer objections which will never be heard by the people voting!

  3. Unless you’re already a county GOP chair or a previously selected delegate, the rank and file of the party, the general registered GOP voters, the people, are excluded from being able to vote for the state chairs. The previous group of active GOPs, no matter how well or how poorly they’ve performed in the latest election, get to vote for those whom they feel will best lead the party for the next 2 years. Many GOP officials are reluctant to share this information with those who want to learn how the party works.

This arrangement resembles the Politburo more than it resembles a valid expression of the will of We The People!

One of the deepest needs for rebranding GOP is exposed here – there is a very visible and very real disconnect between the GOP party and We The People. This is seen in the not completely inaccurate generalization that GOP = rich white men. We know that this is more true of establishment GOP than it is of grassroots GOP but it does have some accuracy nonetheless. Stated more diplomatically, GOP is better at attracting donations than it is at attracting votes.

Perhaps the most needed element of rebranding is that the elected officials need to return to being representatives of the people. Every establishment politician knows how to say the right things, to listen to a constituent’s complaints, nod and reply understandingly and then walk away with no intention of doing anything that was just said. This too is a prominent disconnect between the people and the elected officials of both the party and the government. As Joe Biden intimated, who needs the people when you have Dominion?

In line with this element is the notion of superiority. While the liberals exude and wallow in their delusional elitism, GOP is not entirely free of a similar strand of it. The elected official is the expert, certainly smarter and wiser than the constituent in front of him being tolerated and manipulated. Experienced politicians have long since learned to feign true interest so this elitism is usually well hidden and is almost never spoken. But to one who has learned to recognize it, it is nauseatingly apparent.

All these things work together to ostracize the less wealthy, the less educated, the working class, the people. Until New Mexico GOP truly becomes the party of the people, any rebranding that focuses only on “platforms” and “issues” and “planks” will only be a bandaid applied to a deep-seated cancer.

Neil Girrard can be reached for questions or comments at or on Telegram @Neil_AFP_NM. His other political articles can be found here.