Saturday, February 14, 2004

NASCAR Dads?

Oliver Willis asks the question:
Is there any real difference between "NASCAR Dads" and the GOP's old "Southern Strategy"?
The answer is yes and no. Yes it is different in the sense that targeting NASCAR Dads is not about "race." Targeting NASCAR dads is about culture and regionalism. Race is not totally absent from it, but it is more about targeting southern white men (with their wives in tow) against the horrible "liberals" out to take away their "way of life." Minorities are a scapegoat blamed for much in this new strategy, but the old racist south is not what it used to be. It is more about championing bigotry, as opposed to racism. NASCAR dads, as the stereotype would follow, don't mind blacks or other races, as long as they talk, dress, act and believe just like every other NASCAR dad does.

This way of thinking, kind of a cultural balkanism, is not limited to the GOP or white males. This is an element of humanity. What makes this subgroup unique is the level of conformity. Being like everyone else is the underlying factor of what the GOP is after in this marketing target. Conformity is what drives their lives and the measure they use to value self worth. Unlike other elements in American, where conformity is part of more complex subcultures, here in the NASCAR Dad target market, the GOP has found the ideal point of convergence between cultural ideology and extreme uniformity.

In posting this I do not of course want to demean NASCAR fans. I am not one, and I have my bias, but I am bringing up the point because culturally it is a group with identifiable similarities that is being targeted by political campaigns, mostly Republicans.

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