Yale’s five stage developmental model gives us examples of what should happen from the beginning to end of a political campaign, product-line marketing scheme, or ideological campaign such as Christianity or Scientology. In the case of our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, you can see these steps put into action during his first run for the Presidential Office back in 1979. Yale’s model identifies the first step in the five stages as Identification.
According to the text, Charles U. Larson (2010) Identification is the position you establish in the minds of your audience P. 83-289. The audience can be a congregation, fans, voters, and potential converts. In the case of Ronald Reagan, during his first campaign he would have wanted to bring favor upon himself in the eyes as many Americans as he possibly could; especially the Electoral College. He did, in fact, win over the nation & the Electoral College. The second step is Identification. According to Larson (2010), Identification in Yale’s model refers to “establishing a position in the minds of consumers, voters, and potential converts” p. 283.
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To achieve making their mark on the minds of potential customers a product line may simply use a name that encompasses what they offer, Newsweek is the example used in Larson (2010) “It suggests that it contains the news of the past week” p. 283. Identification can also be established with the use symbols, as in the case with McDonalds. The unmistakable “golden arches” of McDonalds can be seen for what seems like miles by children. During the 1980 election, a bumper sticker the Reagan Campaign released was a simple design with a large impact.
The sticker’s basic blue background with the word “Reagan” in large white print sticks out along with “for president” down below the name; simple, yet effective. This sticker gives Identification to Reagan the man, the candidate, and Regan the brand name. Taking a step towards Yale’s first step, Identification, is also evident in The Reagan Campaign’s goals after he won the GOP July 7th 1980. As Michael Malbin noted, “Ronald Reagan had three strategic goals for the Republican convention. . . . He wanted to maintain the enthusiasm of the conservative supporters who won him the nomination.
He wanted to reach out to centrist and moderate Republicans, particularly to white-collar suburbanites who might be thinking about voting for independent candidate John Anderson. Finally, he wanted to build on his appeal to normally Democratic blue-collar workers. ” Skinner, Kiron; Bruce, Bueno de Mesquita,; Kudelia, Serhiy (2008) stated Reagan’s acceptance speech on July 17 was the most precise expression of these aspirations to date” p. 170. The Reagan Campaign takes the final step towards Identification by appealing to the American people as someone with peace on Earth in mind.
This is evident from his stance on foreign relations and the military. Reagan appeals to many Americans who are not happy with the current administrations performance over the previous four years. Reagan stated in Skinner, Kiron; Bruce, Bueno de Mesquita; Kudelia, Serhiy’s (2008) “Of all the objectives we seek, first and foremost is the establishment of lasting world peace. We must always stand ready to negotiate in good faith, ready to pursue any reasonable avenue that holds forth the promise of lessening tensions and furthering the prospects of peace.
But let our friends and those who may wish us ill take note: the United States has an obligation to its citizens and to the people of the world never to let those who would destroy freedom dictate the future course of human life on this planet. I would regard my election as proof that we have renewed our resolve to preserve world peace and freedom” p. 171. Although his contenders would try to portray Reagan as a warmonger, he repeatedly told voters that it was not his intent to make war but rather to create peace by building superior forces.
Legitimacy is the second step in Yale’s model and simply put is being considered trustworthy and believable by your target audience. An example in the text states that a candidate, Larson (2010) “gains legitimacy by winning his political party’s primary election” p. 285; thus us the case in 1979 when Ronald Reagan won the Republican’s nod as the candidate for president in the election of 1980. In fact, it was more the illegitimacy of the Carter Campaign that helped Ronald Reagan charm voters.
Voters that were upset over low employment, the economy, and foreign policy were a driving factor behind the fears Americans felt. Voters were ripe and the Reagan Campaign was there for the picking. Scheele, Henry Z (1981) “Ronald Reagan benefited in part from the conditions of his times, the unpopularity of the seemingly inept incumbent President, the division within the Democratic Party, and the resurgence of conservative thought in much of America” p. 274. Yale’s third step in the model is, Participation.
Larson (2010) states that “the legitimacy stage of campaigns usually blends so smoothly with the participation stage that it is almost impossible to tell when one ends and the next begins “ p. 286. The Participation step involves recruitment and involvement of previously uncommitted persons, although, this can be difficult to detect during political campaigns. The fine line between supporter and potential adversary can be as simple as the results of a primary election, as is in the case in the Republican Primary elections, which began in January 1980.
George H. W. Bush ran against Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Republican primaries. After George Bush was ultimately defeated, Reagan appointed Bush as his potential Vice President and running mate. The line of when George bush, previously uncommitted, became recruited by the Reagan Campaign is distinct. It occurred when George H. W. Bush accepted the offer to run beside Ronald Reagan. The fourth step in Yale’s model is known as Penetration. Larson (2010) “The penetration stage can be defined as the point at which a person, product, or idea has earned a meaningful share of the market, electorate, or other constituency.
Meaningful might be defined as enough to be noticed by the opposition brand, candidate, or cause “p. 289. Winning an election is not a prerequisite for having penetrated a certain party’s ranks as a contender. In fact, simply being able to collect a substantial amount of votes can suffice in establishing legitimacy and therefore penetration can occur. Once could say that George H. W. Bush was not a significant in the 1980 Republican primary because he came in second place with a mere 3,070,033 votes, 23. 81 % of the total.
However, this number was enough to earn Bush’s legitimacy as a Presidential contender and helped earn him the Vice Presidential position. The final step in Yale’s five step model is Distribution. This step involves the campaign or product showing a positive return to the voters or consumers in the form of success. Larson (2010) states that the distribution step takes place “as a campaign or movement’s succeeding and rewarding supporters in some way. The candidates now live up their promises. They signal their supporters that social change is going to occur” p. 289.
A moment that stands out as a time when Ronald Reagan delivered a positive return to those who supported him and voted fro him in the 1980 Presidential election, is how he responded to the assassination attempt on his life. Allen, Richard V (2001) “On March 30th 1981, President Reagan was shot by a young man named John W. Hinckley Jr. while leaving a Washington hotel. “ p. 64. But being shot by a would-be assassin is not what appealed to the American public, it’s the way he handled his ordeal and bounced back with such grace and professionalism; he took the entire ordeal in stride.
In fact, according to Langer, Gary (June 7, 2004) “the attempt had great influence on Reagan's popularity; the polls indicated his approval rating to be around 73%”. This shows that somehow Americans were pleased with the fact Ronald Reagan was able to endure the ordeal. The y must have felt that they were in some ways repaid for believing in the newly elected President. Kengor, Paul (2004) Reagan believed that God had spared his life so that he might go on to fulfill a greater purpose and, although not a Catholic, meetings with Mother Teresa, Cardinal Terence Cooke, and fellow shooting survivor Pope John Paul II reinforced this belief.
Reagan returned to the Oval Office on April 25, receiving a standing ovation from staff and Cabinet members; referring to their teamwork in his absence, he insisted, "I should be applauding you. " Steven R. Weisman (April 29, 1981) His first public appearance was an April 28 speech before the joint houses of Congress to introduce his planned spending cuts, a campaign promise. United Press International (April 25, 1981) He received "two thunderous standing ovations", which the New York Times deemed "a salute to his good health" as well as his programs, which the President introduced using a medical recovery theme.
It is apparent that the nation as a whole felt a positive return or, from Yale’s model, a distribution from Ronald Reagan during this specific moment just after his election. Sometimes it is not a product or tangible prize that your audience is looking for. Many times the feeling or emotional return is enough to provide hope and satisfy the masses. Although President Reagan probably did not wish to be shot, by retuning to office he filled America with good feelings.
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