Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Lately we don’t talk about what are American values as much as we seem to talk about who and who isn’t allowed to call themselves an American. For example, a few weeks ago, Congressman Coffman (R – Colo.) recently said at a fundraiser,
“I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”
Though he intensely backtracked on his comments later, why did he say them? Like many, by now, he knows that the president is a legal and certified resident of the United States. To be honest, that’s not what he really meant, nor did most of the listeners who cheered his statement at the fundraiser that Barack Obama isn’t “American.” What they really meant was that the president does hit all the checkboxes of their personal checklist and specifications of being an American. Some of those checkboxes range from being black to policies variations from conservative values. So in their mind, the fact his point of view differs from them, he does not deserve the title, “American.”
Senator Bob Bennett, Senator Orin Hatch and Senator Richard Lugar, once considered solid, even far-right Republicans in the 80s and 90s and were pushed out of office (Hatch fighting from being pushed out) because people in the party don’t consider them deserving of the name “Republican.” Instead they, plus many Republican moderates in that last five years were slapped with the put down RINO (Republicans In Name Only) and actively encouraged to leave office by members of their own party. Why? Despite each’s long and strong voting records in line with their party, didn’t get ALL the boxes checked of being a modern Republican. Namely working with a Democratic president on a particular issue every once in a while.
Or those who would simply ask a business to follow rules or ask the wealthy to give back to the country that allowed them to have some much, can’t be for Capitalism. Not when you say something that’s not complete, faithful praise of unrestricted free markets or leverage ratios. By the way, the father of capitalism Adam Smith, pointed out the pitfalls of capitalism-mainly its danger of concentration of capital. Is the father of capitialism, who brought up concern to be mindful of about capitialism not a capitalist? Yet, those who say them same, who aren’t Adam Smith are questioned as one?
The fuss about marriage is that gays don’t fill on checked boxes that heterosexuals think is important to be married. Being a man and a woman. Can’t use the term unless you follow hetrosexual trademark guidelines for marriage.
I’m a marketing. So I tend to think in marketing and brands. All this reminds me of trademarks. Because the people who come out and claim that people can’t use those terms as if they created and own the names “Republican,” “Capitalist” and “Marriage” outright. And that gives them the power to decide who gets to use it. And who can be threatened or sued with expulsion for using their term or making modifications without their permission.
Coke is a trademark. It’s a product that it’s owners actually work to control its perception and use. They don’t want you to alter it. Or allow another interest to define it in anyway that affects their desired perception of the product.
Stop for a moment to catch that key thought. You trademark a product. Not an idea. Not a vision. Being an American, or Republican or married is an idea. The founders of our country made the idea that defined this nation, our Constitution, a “living” document. Meaning that it allowed to grow and evolve. People are allowed to help shape and define it. Perhaps that’s why it’s proudly held up as the oldest surviving constitutions.
And perhaps marriage has been around so long because, it too has been allowed to evolve. We are far past the days when people in the Bible had ten or hundreds of wives. So imagine if marriage was trademarked back then?
Not a trademark, set in stone, but an idea that allowed itself to be redefined. On the other hand, Trademarks don’t allow change to protect the immediate interest and prosperity of their owners. Republicans have clearly stuck to a level of dogma to the point most Republican president before 2008 would likely never been nominated for the presidency.
In doing so, trademarks create a “my way or the highway” approach. And whether through time or tired of not being able to add ideas or variations eventually more and more people will pick the highway. And if you push people way, someday, your “trademark” will have nothing to protect.