Republicans Embrace Listicles as Key to 21st Century Success

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus released an “autopsy” a couple of weeks ago that suggested the party’s woes were mostly due to poor optics and weak use of technology. Apparently the NRCC, the committee that funds Republican House races, agrees.

Yep: they’re doing the thing that every flailing organization does when they can’t think of anything actually constructive to do: redesigning their website. In this case, they’ve decided that cat videos and mindless listicles are the key to political success:

“BuzzFeed’s eating everyone’s lunch,” said NRCC spokesman Gerrit Lansing. “They’re making people want to read and be cognizant of politics in a different way.”….The NRCC’s redesign includes a list of recent and popular posts. Other changes include shorter posts, fewer menu items and a heavy helping of what now passes for social currency on the Web: snark.

The new site comes a few months into the beginning of a broader strategy to capture more of the social Web’s attention. To that end, the NRCC has begun dropping blog posts with headlines like “13 Animals That Are Really Bummed on Obamacare’s Third Birthday.” A recent image macro the NRCC posted on Facebook featured a photo of President Obama laughing below a caption mocking voters for believing his claims about health insurance premiums.

Well, who knows? It might work. They suckered me into writing about it, after all. Still, I have to say that the screenshots of the new site don’t really look all that BuzzFeedy to my professionally trained eye. In honor of the new site, then, I think we should come up with a list of listicles for the NRCC to try out. I’ll get us started:

  • 12 Ways That A Capital Gains Cut Will Benefit You
  • 10 Best Tea Party Costumes From CPAC
  • VIDEO: Republicans Promote Cat, Dog Adoption as “Antidote to Partisan Bickering”
  • 7 Heartbreaking Letters To Obama From Schoolchildren Asking Him Not To Destroy Their Future
  • GALLERY: Five Gruesome Abortion Photos
  • 17 Ways That Obama Has Made America Less Safe

Your turn. Give the NRCC your best ideas.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate