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Zombie Nation
By Joseph Branco


February 03, 2005

In business school one of the first concepts in marketing class we recognize and work with is called Brand Loyalty. Now, you don't have to have a background in business to have a pretty good idea of what is meant by that term. Obviously it has to do with the power of a brand to retain its customer's loyalty to their products or services and insure repeat purchases. Strong branding can tend to engage the consumer on a subconscious level, occasionally leading the consumer to make less than wise purchase decisions in the name of brand loyalty. The consumer, in many cases, forgoes common sense in decision making simply to pick a brand they have a history with. Comfort and blind loyalty outweigh the actual purchase specifics. This is great news for business hopefuls, but not so great news when this same principle of consumer behavior is applied to our social and political environment in the United States.

In many cases, we have become a Zombie Nation when it comes to brand loyalty for our respective political affiliations. Democrats defend and support nearly every idea and spoken word of their fellow Democrats regardless of content or absurdity. The latest example can be seen in the absolutely appalling crusade of John Kerry in late months and Senator Ted Kennedy's latest insults. No Democrat has publicly denounced their treasonous statements or even dared to state that they think it was a poor choice of words. These party members are following their party blindly far beyond the edge of reason and accountability. Republicans also suffer from this disease to some level. Even as a Republican, I see some mistakes in policy recommendation or public statements in my party, but it is embarrassing to admit the weaknesses and miss-steps of your representatives. It is true I am a Republican. But by saying I am a Republican does not mean I blindly accept every idea or bill proposed by my party leaders. Nor does it mean I automatically discredit thoughts or suggestions presented by the Democrats. It simply is a reflection of me more often than not agreeing with the conservative arguments in most debates.

It is true I have strong views on several subjects, and I have no difficulty debating my side with passion. But I also listen to people. I am one of those rare people who have been known to change my mind about topics I once battled strongly for after taking the time to listen and see that my view contradicted my basic belief in American liberty. Don't get me wrong; it has only been two topics in 26 years, so I wouldn t say I am weak in my convictions in any sense. So when your party introduces an idea that sounds so fun to say like FREE HEALTH CARE - be mindful of the cause and effect and effect and effect of decisions like that. Take into consideration what decisions like that will mean to the economic status of our country, the quality of care provided, and who pays the bill. Some Republicans and several Democrats have suggested this concept, but I clearly disagree with it regardless of who proposes it.

I suppose I am simply reminding everyone not to just follow your party without due consideration given to each topic discussed. I fear that if we continue to be a Zombie Nation in reference to political loyalty we may end up meeting our maker over a nice cup of Kool-Aid.

Joseph Branco
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
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