Political truths shadowed by marketing

Keith Kaczmarek, Reporter

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In the Republican Party, there is an idea popularized by Reagan known as “The Eleventh Commandment,” and it states “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

This is not a gentlemen’s agreement, but a simple marketing strategy. Most importantly, this rule can be seen as a representative sample of the way that conservative thought works.

Conservative thought withers under discourse. Simply talking about the ideas, taking account of relevant data and viewpoints, and bringing light to flaws in the arguments for those positions diminishes their power to a great extent. The same techniques used to sell products on midnight infomercials form the basis of an entire wing of the American political system.

Conservatives know this on some level, so they work very hard to frame their arguments in ways that ignore the available data or employ other marketing tricks to fool the audience. Of course, liberals do this too, but it happens to such a huge degree among conservative thinkers that the public should take special note.

The current Republican primary is a prime example of this effect. Politicians who were considered front-runners have been forced to drop out of the race by the simple act of being forced to talk about their ideas and actions.

The propaganda is so weak that it cannot survive even the weakest challenge.

We never talk about “social programs” because the conservatives would rather talk about “entitlement programs.” The two things are the exact same, but one sounds terrible and the other sounds great. In fact, polling suggests that the American people are overwhelmingly in favor of social programs and against entitlement programs, and the joke is on them because the two terms apply to the exact same thing.

Republicans refuse to acknowledge that the Democratic Party uses that name, instead calling them “the Democrat Party” because it’s a way of isolating Democrats from the good press of being associated with democracy.

Leaked documents from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian organization, show a structured plan to blur the minds of young children on the basic facts of climate science by presenting them as a controversy.  Let’s be clear in stating that there is no controversy. The scientific community is overwhelmingly clear on the facts of climate science and in agreement that human activity is warming the world.

“Testimonials” are often trotted out to support the most bizarre positions on conservative publications, such Michelle Bachmann’s “vaccines cause autism because someone told me” or the mythical “small business owner” who ends up being a millionaire owning dozens of businesses and thinks he should no longer be forced to adhere to local health and safety codes. I’d cite a single example, but the “small business owner” is such a staple of conservative thought that it needs no citation.

As the election nears, people should take note of the marketing techniques that blur the facts. If a politician accuses someone of being a Nazi or a Communist, there is a good chance that the accuser is just using marketing tricks to hide the facts.

Look deeper and make your own choices.

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