Has America's ruling class gone too far in exploiting things like religion and racial resentment in order to remain competitive in national elections? Most Republicans would say no, of course, especially with their national convention approaching faster than a hurricane. But my friend and radio co-host Michael Charney seems to be arriving at a different conclusion. He chose the topic for tonight's show: Is religion playing too great a role in shaping our elections?
SuperPAC attack ads and Dog Whistle Politics, marketing designed for a fervent, suggestible minority
Michael is fit to be tied over an Obama SuperPAC ad implying that Mitt Romney caused a woman to die from cancer. I agree that this is unfair, but my choice for worst ad of the general election so far is the "welfare" ad approved by Mitt Romney.
But is it enough to argue over which "side" is worse? Shouldn't We the People be doing something more to minimize the impact of false, alienating advertisements in the era of unlimited, anonymous spending? Let's talk about it tonight on The Middle Ground.
"Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have found that 'when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.' Think of it as a tipping point for the social mind.
"The implications for our political process are vast and I believe we have already seen some of the results. Politics in America is a a large-scale marketing effort, and the team that markets the simplest ideas the fastest gets that ten percent mind share. Maybe that's why a phrase like "death panels" survives despite the facts, or why assistance programs are always thought of as 'entitlements.'"
"Knowledge and awareness are key but how do we recognize when we're the targets of political marketing, when those with agendas are trying to hijack our logic and replace it with emotion? Perhaps most importantly, are there ways that we can reverse the ten-percent beliefs that today polarize us the most?"
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Listen to last week's show: Eleven presidents. Eighty years. So which presidents have done the best job of taking care of YOUR money?