Newly Discovered Document: Introductory Guidelines for Texas GOP Candidates

A portion of the training materials for Republicans seeking office in Texas has been discovered in a trash bin outside the Republican Party headquarters in Austin. It appears to outline the strategy for a winning campaign:

As you begin planning your campaign, we offer the following guidelines to help you navigate the process and maintain the standards of America’s Grand Old Party:

  • Being white is the great place to start. And male, of course. Middle age is a bonus. A pretty wife and some kids or grand kids will round out the image nicely. (However, if you happen to be black, Hispanic or Asian, play to the reality that the novelty shows the Republican Party is for everyone.)
  • Dress casual. Looking like a “regular” person is important. Jeans give a folksy charm. And don’t forget the cowboy boots. When you talk in public, give ‘em your best drawl. You want to come across more as a kindly country pastor and less like a snake oil salesman. Whether it’s ads on TV, billboards or signs in the yard, the most importantword to accentuate is “Conservative.” If there are other Republicans running for the same office, you will need to prove that you are the most Conservative one.
  • Smiling is important, but these are serious times. Regardless of the office you seek, emphasize that you are opposed to Obama. Throwing in words like “socialism,” and ambiguous references to the Constitution will add to your sense of outrage. People are not interested in empty promises of how you plan to improve their lives. (We’re Republicans, that’s not what we do.) They only want to know how much you dislike this President.
  • Jesus is your personal Savior and God called you to run for office. Never mind that some of your voters may hold to a different religion, or no religion. What’s important is that you come across as Christian, like our Founding Fathers.  (But as a disclaimer: if you don’t win, it’s not God’s fault; it’s those godless liberals. We’ll brief you more, if that contingency presents)
  • In addition to biographies of Ronald Reagan, the Bible is one of the important books you purport to read. Memorize quotes and put them in your speeches. (Side Note: Even if you haven’t read the Bible, you will need to familiarize yourself with key passages. Please plan to attend the Right Text Bible Workshop, where we will go over passages that support important GOP platform principles like capital punishment, traditional marriage, heteronormal, and women’s role in the home.)
  • If there’s a Democrat running against you, or worse yet, a Democrat currently holding the office, the word “liberal” cannot be overused. It’s even better if you can tie them to “Obamacare.”
  • It’s essentials to speak often about “protecting family values,” but don’t be trapped by the Liberal Media’s call to define those values. You can be vague, because God-fearing Americans watch Ozzie and Harriet, Donna Reed, and Father Knows Best, and they know what you mean; it’s like a secret handshake between you and your voters.
  • Throughout the campaign, you will be confronted by the Homosexual Agenda; their media representative will be everywhere, so be on guard. Here are several key points to keep in mind as you address the issue:
    • No informed, self-respecting homosexual is going to vote for you (or any Republican), so don’t worry about offending them.
    • Choose your words carefully. Don’t call them “gay” because that implies “happy.” Use such terms as "chosen lifestyle" or "homosexual behavior."
    • Whenever possible, throw in the word “sin” as well, because most people like to focus on the sin of others.
    • You are not opposed to gay people, but as a Christian American, you don’t approve of their chosen lifestyle or their sinful behavior. You are protecting traditional family values. If you know any gay people (even casually), refer to them as “friends.” It gives the impression that you are not a bigot, just a person unwilling to compromise your principles.
  • When it comes to “traditional marriage,” no matter how many times you’ve been divorced, or how many mistresses or boy toys you have on the side, you must proclaim that marriage is sacred, and therefore must be protected as one of our family values. Remember the simple math of “One Man + One Woman = God’s design.” 
  • Corporations pay our salary. The message is simple: if corporations are healthy, they will make our country healthy. When CEOs make good salaries, they project “The American Dream.”
  • Not everyone can have Ted Nugent, but you will need some catchy song for your campaign. Choose the music carefully, but don’t do too much research into the artists who wrote and owns the copyright because those artsy types are usually liberals. If they protest, just stop using the song. No apology should be issued.
  • A powerful website is essential. You can say just about anything on the Internet, so go for blood. Same with Facebook and Twitter. If anyone challenges your facts, it can be deleted or changed almost instantly and no one will know. And if it does become an issue, there are scores of hapless volunteers who can be blamed for their zealous, albeit unsupervised, communications.
  • Fear is your friend! Instill dread. Suggest doom. Predict destruction. Blame Obama. And then remind the voters that you (and the GOP) are the solution.

Best of luck in the election!

Yes, this is satire!

For years, I worked in Public Relations and Communication. One of my roles was to help prepare and train people for working with the media, particularly TV interviews. I did this primarily for executive leadership of organizations—CEOs, Board Presidents, etc. In addition, I have been involved in politics for many years, including working in local media relations for a presidential campaign.

All that to say I have a solid understanding of the methodology that goes into preparing someone to appear on camera, and I’ve done numerous workshops on the techniques of Public Presentations. As I’ve watched the many ads for GOP candidates in Texas, some of these recurring themes began to emerge. So, in my quirky mind, this post formulated. It's offered tongue in cheek, but with the disclaimer of my personal political affiliation, and the caveat that there is substantial truth contained as well. 


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