I get many e-mails from people portraying Barack Obama as a radical, a left wing extremist, a muslim - even as being foreign-born, and not really an American. It’s been a steady barrage since his election. And I’ve sometimes wondered : where does this all come from ?
The Brothers Koch : Rich, Political and Playing to Win
This 28 minute National Public Radio interview sheds interesting light on such a question. It describes what amounts to an expensive, well organized advertising campaign against Obama.
In advertising and marketing, there are basically two approaches. One describes products factually, and makes sure the message reaches everyone who needs them. The other uses seduction techniques, connecting a product to a wish, fantasy or emotion, and working that emotion to create a sense of need.
Seduction based marketing is used in almost every industry, and unfortunately, most also use it to influence the government or politics. Such tactics were used to anger and frighten the American public in the 80’s and 90’s, to accomplish deregulation in the financial and banking industries. They worked – opening the door to practices that almost collapsed the world economy during the past three years. They were used intensely this year in California by PG&E in the utilities industry, in support of Proposition 16; and they're used constantly by the pharmaceutical industry to discredit and limit use of nutritional supplements.
The Koch brothers have used seduction based marketing for years to channel the fears and anger of Americans to their own ends - particularly, to undermine environmental laws and regulations in this country. And they’ve been successful in a big way.
Seduction based marketing tactics in politics are usually well concealed; but their affect on the process is to :
- Block and frustrate the efforts of people working for real and long term solutions to the world’s real problems
- Delay or prevent solutions to those problems
- Speed and intensify the consequences of those problems
Midterm elections are November 2. If you believe what you’ve been told about a man like Barack Obama, you need to ask yourself : is there really room in a democracy for this kind of adversarial, fear and anger based approach ? People with big money and very selfish interests are counting on you to vote your emotions and not your intelligence.
If you don’t believe what you’re hearing about Obama, you also need to ask yourself something : can a democracy really work if I just stand by and wait for someone else to do it ? People with big money and very selfish interests are counting on your apathy on November 2.
Corporations and the people who lead them are an incredibly potent force in American politics. But again and again, their self interest endangers the safety and well being of our society. We need to notice this very consciously.
The world that gets spoiled will be the world we live in. This is no time to let ourselves be manipulated. And it's no time to abandon those who're working hard on our behalf. Think long and well this time - and get out and vote November 2 !
Interview Audio and Transcript
Background and Related Stories
Jeff Smith RN, born 1950. A registered nurse since 1984 - but holistic in my outlook to health since probably around 1968. Living Waters Wellness considers not just the health of the physical body, but our soul and spirit, our social forms, our environment - and as a matter of fact, our whole earth. It's a new website, and a work in progress - but by all means, have a look around !