Move over, Naomi Klein: There’s a new effort afoot to obliterate brands.
But unlike the “No Logo” initiative targeting corporate brands that the liberal activist and writer launched a few years ago (or the apparel brand), this new campaign — called “No Labels” — is an attempt to obviate the need for political brands.
It boasts an anthem by Akon. It also has about as much chance as Klein’s anti-branding efforts to actually succeed.
With a tagline of "Not Left. Not Right. Forward," the No Labels campaign was launched this week in New York by a group of politicos who might best be described as the losing camp in November’s elections: centrist Democrats and Republicans.
Their headliner is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who continues to probe the possibilities for a wildly improbable bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 — and perhaps the more likely but just as quixotic third-party candidacy.
Other “names” in the No Labels stable include Senator Joe Lieberman, who hates the Democrats who exiled him but still usually votes with them; Senator Evan Bayh, the Indiana centrist who’s quitting the Senate; and David Gergen, the ubiquitous media and political maven.
Other media figures in the group include David Brooks, the “conservative” columnist for the New York Times whom true conservatives regard as anathema; and Joe Scarborough, the self-professed Republican who hosts a show on left-careening MSNBC.
What does the No Labels crowd hope to accomplish? In its rallying cry, getting “leaders to put the labels aside and do what’s best for America.” Who will determine what’s “best for America”? Why, the enlightened charter members of No Labels, of course!
In other words, tank your convictions and come up with compromises that no one really wants.
While it's unlikely Sarah Palin or George Soros will sign the No Labels pledge, the movement is trying to influence the next generation of voters, including kids such as those below, to be more non-partisan.
If actions speak louder than words (or labels), however, the launch was a disaster on that front: for an organization resisting labels, its graphic designer admitted plagiarizing the group's design.