Columns » Kenneth Cleaver

Kenneth Cleaver

Consumer Correspondent

October 24, 2005

Mr. William Westmiller


Republican Liberty Caucus

44 Summerfield Street

Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Dear Mr. Westmiller:

I'm concerned about the Party's prospects on economic issues, most notably health care. The continuing rise in premiums, coupled with a jobless economic recovery, has set the stage for the return of Big Government Liberalism.

The answer, I believe, lies in effective Public Relations. Specifically, we need a populist face to promote globalization and attack antiquated ideas of the employer as a welfare state.

I'm imagining an unconventionally attractive white male of the northern Midwest, preferably in his late 30s, who's unemployed but dealing with it stoically. Imagine Tony Soprano without the money, power or overt displays of ethnicity.

In unemployment this individual has not been humiliated, but has encountered a string of life-altering epiphanies. Perhaps he's ensconced in one of those fraternal orders named for a large land mammal. Or maybe he's come to know his children better? True, his factory relocated to southern China, but he has no time to whine about it. After all, he's a man with faith in the free market, if not God, who knows that what his former employer saves in labor costs will eventually benefit him in some abstract way he can't quite articulate. The important thing is to keep the message positive.

Or perhaps this new persona is someone who just transitioned from a union shop to Wal-Mart. While he no longer enjoys the wages and benefits of his former post, he's come to understand that job security is unrealistic, if not a crutch for those lacking a larger vision in life. The important thing is to keep the message positive.

If the GOP is to keep its majority, getting shafted on health care must become part of a new ethos of rugged Red State individualism. Troglodyte union members and others who complain about their surging premiums must become the new working welfare queens.

I look forward to your ideas on how this strategy can be put into action. I really think I'm on to something here.


Kenneth Cleaver Read the Response.

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