The Ice Bucket Challenge and Liberty


August 29, 2014 12:34PM

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few weeks, you have seen, or at least heard of, the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS. If you haven’t, you can read a description of it here. The basic gist of the challenge is that people have to take a video of themselves getting ice water dumped on them, donate $100 to ALS research, or both. There have been many supporters of this campaign, as well as a fair amount of detractors, but the bottom line is that this has been a brilliant marketing campaign, which has already raised over $88.5 million for a very worthy cause. On top of that, I suspect many people who have never previously heard of ALS are now aware of the disease and may make future donations. This all brings me to my point: marketing is everything. I don’t just say that because my career is in marketing, I say it because it is the truth. The problem is that the other side of the political spectrum is much better at marketing their ideas than we on the right are. From “The Life of Julia” to Medicaid expansion, the Left does an incredible job selling ideas. There is good news though: we have better ideas! The Left does a great job selling horrible ideas, and the right does a horrible job selling great ideas. The principles of liberty and freedom are the ideals that will move this country forward, and we just need to do a better job selling them to the general public. Sure, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and expanding Medicaid for uninsured Americans sounds great on paper, but it’s our job to show that it means less freedom and opportunity for the very people these plans purportedly help. Even though pretty much all the statistics and facts out there back up our claims, Americans still believe that raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid are good ideas. This means that we cannot just win the argument by having the correct facts and figures, we have to win the arguments with stories and emotion. We can either embrace the Left’s approach to marketing ideas, or we can continue to lose. And when our ideas lose, so do Americans. -Mark Cunningham