“He has suggested that same-sex marriage should be referred to as “the right to marry.” Trial lawyers like vice presidential nominee John Edwards should instead be called “public protection attorneys,” and the term environmental protection, which brings to mind big government and reams of regulations, should instead be termed “poison-free communities.”
Stop laughing, they’re serious.
Some overly bright people believe that you can change how people think about something by changing the name attached to it, but as Shakespear pointed out, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The physical properties of the rose that we find attractive do not change just because we change the collection of phonemes used to symbolize the plant. No matter what melodious name you give it, nobody is going to stick his nose in a carrion flower more than once, and the odds of its playing a widespread role in any human romantic courtship are just about zero.
Marketing types know that clever renaming only buys you something when the competition is on the margins of a product’s value. If two competing products are substantially the same functionally, you can gain a market edge by putting a little spin, with some clever phrasing, on how people think about your product, but if the products differ functionally then you can’t.
The Democrats and leftists in general still can’t seem to figure this out. They keep insisting that they’re losing because those stiff-white-guys-who-never-had-a-creative-thought-in-their-lives who run the Republican Party suddenly turned into the Andy Warhols of political marketing! If never seems to occur to them that people don’t buy into their solutions because they have lost confidence in the ability to deliver social good with huge, centrally-managed government programs. The Democrats lose on substance, not marketing.
The attitude of the Left today reminds me of a scene in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, and, and, and the wheel. What about this wheel thingy? Sounds a terribly interesting project to me.
MARKETING GIRL: Er, yeah, well we’re having a little, er, difficulty here…
FORD: Difficulty?! It’s the single simplest machine in the entire universe!
MARKETING GIRL: Well alright mister wise guy, if you’re so clever you tell us what colour it should be!
Remember, it’s the substance stupid. First make it round, then make it roll and then worry about what to call it.