Political Theater

Most ads we see on television or in the newspapers, for soap, vitamins, and automobiles for example, must meet certain test of accuracy and relevance.  Have you ever heard, “Brand X can make you younger again.  Look around, everyone is getting older but if you buy Brand X, you will get younger”?

Probably not.

What you have heard would go like this.  “Brand X can make you look younger again.  Look around, everyone is getting older but if you buy Brand X, you will feel younger”.  Two words, big difference.

Advertising is all about what things appear to be (look) and what impressions (feel) they make upon us.  Advertisers know this and the create their commercials (ads) to capitalize on this.

Tom Smith is the GOP Senate candidate in Pennsylvania.  He has spent a boat load of money repeating the same story about Democrat candidate Bob Casey…  “Unemployment is high (the economy is too weak), the debt is increasing (government is spending too much), I (Tom Smith) am not a career politician, I’m a business man, and I know how to create jobs, and Bob Casey has done nothing to fix either”… or words to that effect.

These are all relatively true statements but taken together are completely irrelevant.  Unemployment peaked at 10.1% in 2009 following the onset of the financial crisis which occurred during the previous GOP administration.  Why should anyone believe Tom Smith would put in place policies that could dramatically reduce unemployment, especially since Smith offered no concrete examples?

It is also true the debt continues to rise.  The Bush tax cuts and rising entitlement expenditures account for over half of the yearly deficit (and therefore the additional debt).  Why doesn’t Tom Smith say, “if elected, I will raise taxes and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security”?

Smith’s last claims (I’m no politician, I’m a businessman) is what you want to make of it.  It is a true statement but there is no connection between being a businessman (who creates jobs in his own business) and being one vote in 100 and causing the creation of jobs across the country.  This statement’s irrelevance is even more dramatically illustrated when one learns that Tom Smith is a Tea Party favorite.  This GOP faction believes there is no roll for government in the economy.  So how exactly would Tom Smith create jobs?

The art of advertising is to avoid additional clarifying information while creating the illusion of providing truthful statements.  Political ads are about creating the appearance (like when someone on television is wearing a white lab coat and tells you Brand X is good for you).  This is an intentional design to entice you to feel you would be better off if you followed the advice.

Advertising is never about encouraging anyone to check on the truthfulness or the relevance of the ad.

Political theater today is not your mother’s theater.

Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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