Both Democrats and Republicans want you to believe they are right
The father of American political branding was Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda for the Nazis during World War II. Perhaps his best known quote regarding propaganda was, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Goebbels understood the power of communications and went to great lengths to choreograph the speeches of Adolph Hitler, including the venue, music, surrounding visual symbols, and the use of radio. He was a pioneer, and we are still feeling his influence years later in the midst of the 21st century.
As both the Democrats and Republicans know, elections are no longer about positions or policies, it’s about branding of the candidates to create indelible impressions in the minds of the people. Like Goebbels, American politicians have learned people can be conditioned to react to words and images much like Pavlov’s dog.
The intent of both parties is to assassinate the character of their opponent. For example, in the 2016 presidential election:
The Democrats have branded Mr. Trump a racist, sexist, xenophobic, demagogue who does not possess the temperament to be president. Ask any loyal Democrat to describe Trump and these adjectives will flow from their mouth instantly, even if they do not understand their meaning. Most do not know Trump’s policies, positions, or what he accomplished in his lifetime, only what they are told to parrot.
Likewise, the Republicans brand Mrs. Clinton as corrupt, incompetent, unaccomplished, the third term of the Obama administration, and someone who cannot be trusted. I would like to believe Republicans are more knowledgeable about her record than the Democrats are about Mr. Trump’s, but many here echo what they are taught as well, whether it is true or not.
Both sides demonize the other and, unfortunately, their tactics work too easily. To begin with, you have to understand the weaknesses of your audience. In the United States, it is threefold.
1. Most Americans lack the fundamental understanding of how our government truly works.
2. Most lack a grasp of American history and suffer from a short attention span. Some cannot remember what happened just last week.
3. Most do not take the time to research the background of the candidates, and rely on the media to give them their talking points.
It is this last item which illustrates the power of the press. You have to remember, the main street media is in business to make money, not necessarily to report accurate and unbiased news. They can be bought and sold, and will spin the news in accordance with the highest bidder. Consider this, the Media Industrial Complex will earn over $200 billion this election year, and such income is not as a result of fair and balanced reporting. This means the main street media has mercenary motives and are immoral in the handling of the news.
As Goebbels correctly observed, “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
This political branding wouldn’t be possible if the citizens were more responsible and better informed. The truth is, they are not, and many are simply unqualified to vote. For example, in the early days of this country, only land owners were allowed to vote in elections because they were considered responsible citizens, not shiftless rabble. Obviously, this changed over the years so any Tom, Dick, or Mary can vote regardless how “responsible” they are as citizens. As American history and civics disappear from our classrooms, the media and their masters will tighten their control over the American public.
The next time you are asked about your opinion regarding a candidate, before you answer, try to remember this quote from Joseph Goebbels, “Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.”
So who is pulling your strings?
Keep the Faith!