Like most young people who have no capital gains and play in a band, I was decidedly anti-Bush and looking for an alternative. And there was John Kerry. He (seemed) smarter, polished and presidential.
And he wasn’t named George Bush.
So…when my friend Sarah asked me to play at a Kerry fundraiser in LA I was stoked. (And when we were told a high-level Kerry operative was going to come to speak, I was even more jazzed.)
Excitement was high that night at the fundraiser. And after my band played a blistering 45-minute set–blistering mainly because my lead guitarist kept turning his amp up–the Kerry strategist took the stage to thunderous applause.
And for the next 20 minutes he talked about the flaws and failings of the Bush administration. And how voting for Kerry would send a message we don’t want Bush-era politics anymore. And how Kerry was…and here’s the clincher…not Bush.
Agreement. Nodding heads. Golf claps.
Nobody disagreed with the man. (You don’t pay $350 a plate if you disagree with the keynote speaker.) But Beatlemania had been repalced with a Yanni concert. The Magic was gone.
And that’s because…in my humble opinion…you’ll “fight” for something you’re against, but you’ll “die” for something you believe in.
I knew then that Kerry didn’t have a chance.
You’ll drive through an hour of traffic to go vote for somebody you really believe in. But for a guy who is “not” the other guy. I’m not so sure.
And that’s what I think the current Republican crop of candidates is right now. Is “Mitt Romney” or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum the “guy” who’s “not the other guy.” Absolutely.
Just don’t forget to tell the “crowd” what makes you special. And let them “figure out” how you’re not the other guy.