The First Priority: Rebranding America

by lestro

The new administration faces a daunting task. President-Elect Obama inherits a country in crisis on almost every front. While the economic crisis dominates, it is a piece of a much larger puzzle, all intertwined and all completely fucked up by the Bush administration.

As talk turns to priorities for the first 100 days, the true scope of the mess we have to clean up really comes into focus. The economy, health care, education, energy, climate, a growing debt and deficit and, oh yeah, two wars.

So what we all want to know is, what will they attempt to take on first? What should they take on first?

Some will say the economy, some will say energy, some will say defense.

But the real first priority for the new administration needs to be a catchy slogan. They need an overriding theme and message to encompass the full shift and shuffle of government that needs to occur.

Like FDR’s New Deal. Or Kennedy’s New Frontier. Or LBJ’s Great Society. Even Bubba’s New Covenant.

All of those were coherent packages ranging over multiple issues and linking them under a single, simple brand name. Each was a collection of legislative proposals encompassing a wide range of agencies and interconnected issues that when taken as a whole represent the full scope of change.

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The Red Dawn Difference

by lestro

For all the talk of the youth vote being the demographic that put Obama over the top, the truth is that while their energy and legwork was unmatched, the real revolution in this election came not in the 20-somethings, but in the 30-somethings.

It is the Red Dawn generation, the forgotten demographic, that made the difference this time around. We are the 30-somethings who in the past eight years have grown into not only the dominant demographic in the media and commercial sectors, but have also started raising families and buying homes – the time when people start to seriously vote.

We are also the first generation to be raised completely under the ideals the Baby Boomer worked so hard to establish. We are done fighting battles of the 60s and don’t see the world the in black and white ways of our parents and we have reached the point in our lives when people become politically active.

The proof is in the exit poll results. This was not a youth movement, but one led by the tail end of Generation X and the Red Dawn Generation, those of us who came of age in the era of Reagan and Thriller and Mutual Assured Destruction.

In 2004, the youth vote made up 17 percent of the electorate. In 2008, they made up 18 percent. In 2004, they went to Kerry 54-45. This year they broke 66-32 for Obama.

The 30-44 demographic, however, where the real Change took place. In 2004 and 2008, they made up 29 percent of the vote, but in ’04 they voted for Bush 53-46. This year, they went 52-46 for Obama.

THAT was the group that won this election for Obama, not the youth vote. Fifty-two percent of 29 is way bigger than 66 percent of 18.

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