Sunday, August 14, 2016

A billion dollars of manipulation...

Actions speak louder than words

So we will see in excess of a billion dollars spent on this year's  Presidential election. For those of you who believe that this money is being spent in an attempt to educate the public on the candidates positions, policies, and plans for the future, I have some nice ocean side property in Florida to sell you. The fact of the matter is that this money will be spent (in a fairly transparent manner) trying to manipulate the voting public.

Most of the ads will be negative attacks on the opponent. These attacks will sometimes carry a slice of the truth, mixed with a healthy dose of misdirection, misrepresentation, and flat out lies. Other times they will skip the slice of truth, and rely solely on misdirection, misrepresentation, and flat out lies. Those ads that might be considered positive ads, will say nothing of real substance, but will most assuredly be generically pleasing in nature, and generally include some form of emotional music to go along.

My favorite of the ads, are the hybrids. Generally starting off very dark and ominous as they tell you how much the bad candidate likes to torture kittens, and steal candy from babies... before turning heroically to all of the great things about the good candidate. How they help old ladies across the street, and find jobs for the homeless. I especially love the dramatic shift in cinematography and background music as they go from bad guy to good guy.

But regardless of how you look at it... the candidates spent a great deal of time, money, and resources trying to figure out which ads will produce the required about of apprehension and fear about the opponents, and which ads will produce the required amount of calm and reassurance about the candidate themselves. At the end of the day, it's rarely the candidate who wins or loses, but rather the candidate's marketing team.

The truth is that none of this matters. Nor does it really matter what the candidates say on the campaign trail. We all know who Donald Trump and  Hillary Clinton are. For the most part they are not going to surprise us much with what they advocate policy-wise (although Trump might be a bit of a wildcard in those regards). We know what the Republicans advocate, we know what the Democrats advocate. We know none of it will get done without compromise, which means it likely doesn't get done.

What they are doing on the campaign trail is just an extension of what they are doing with their advertising. They are manipulating an unwitting group of potential voters. The only difference is that the campaign trail is more of a chance to motivate the believers, rather than convince the non-believers.

Bottom line folks... almost everything you hear out of the mouths of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be an attempt to manipulate voters. If some of that overlaps with what the actually believe, well then that would be a bonus. But if the choice is between saying what will  help them, and saying what they believe... they will choose the former over the latter every time. (In spite of an argument that Trump does the opposite, I am not convinced that is true. Even the appearance that he shoots from the hip without regard to consequence is likely a deeper attempt at manipulation).

More to the point... words are just words. Even if they were not using them to manipulate the voting public, they would still be just words. Obviously when it comes to political promises, you are better off believing that the check is really in the mail. Politicians have issues keeping promises, even if they actually wanted to keep them (the political machine makes keeping promises almost impossible).

Which is why it really doesn't matter to me what either of these candidates have said, what they are currently saying, or what they say moving forward.  Much better to look at the two candidates, list their accomplishments and failures... and see how they reacted to them. What have they made of themselves. Who around them have benefited. How have they lived their personal life.

What sort of people they have been "prior" to becoming candidates will tell us way more about the sort of President that they would be, than what the candidates promise us. Certainly their own past actions would tell us infinitely more than what the media tells us. That being said, the public is gullible, and easily influenced. Which is why there will be over a billion dollars spent in order to take advantage of that fact. At the end of the day, we usually get what we deserve.


James said...

Ch, you say, "For the most part [the two candidates] are not going to surprise us much with what they advocate policy-wise (although Trump might be a bit of a wildcard in those regards).

Oh, Ch, Trump is SUCH a wildcard he constantly surprises me. He constantly surprises me that he can be so stupidly clueless as to how politics work in a democracy, clueless as to how he is turning off SO many people.

C.H. Truth said...

James - you are either easily surprised or buying into the hype that this election is just not the same as every other election we have had. As someone who has been paying attention to this from the start, there is nothing surprising to me (anymore) about what Trump says. Quite frankly, what Clinton and Trump "say" really doesn't matter much to me anyways.

The only "wildcard" is whether or not Trump actually follows along with the Republican platform. Many of his personal political views are at odds with traditional conservative values (which is what puts him at odds with many conservatives).

KD, Republic said...

politics work in a democracy"

Again, don't you just love the ill informed.

Jane , IF you are referring to the USA, we in this nation are a Republic, was founded as a Republic and as it stands today were are still a Republic.

James said...

Ch, why have you stopped putting Hillary's projected electoral votes in your sidebar? Too discouraging for you?

Isn't it true that she's now past the 270 she needs to win and Trump could win every tossup state and still not defeat her?

C.H. Truth said...

James -- my projected electoral votes are still in the sidebar.

Hillary Clinton +4.6

Hillary Clinton - 48.3% (273 ECV)

Donald Trump - 43.7% (164 ECV)

Other - 7.9% (0 ECV)

Toss Up states - 101 ECV

KD, said...

Ch, why have you stopped putting Hillary's projected electoral votes in your sidebar?"

Amazing, Jane is blind as well as ill informed.

I see it on the right of side of this page, how Jane does not see it, well, he does have his head under Hillary's pantsuit.