And a Political Addition

There’s a new BCS post below, and since the original post received more comments than all the other posts over the last three years put together, I thought I might mention it so you can be sure to look. All four of you.

But this post is about politics. I read an article yesterday about the relentlessly negative tone of the political debate, and thought I’d post some of it and urge you to read the rest.

Imagine, if you will, what your taste for Miller beer would be if Anheuser-Busch spent half of its annual advertising budget describing all of the various Miller brands in the most unsavory terms. Or, what your taste for a Budweiser would be if the lads at Miller unleashed a $500 million negative ad campaign against “the King of Beers.” Imagine both at the same time and you get some idea of what domestic politics is like for most Americans.

This is absolutely accurate. even those that know they should be involved are not only reluctant to do so, but actively avoid having to be. I’ve been asked to run for everything from City Council to the State Legislature, and my response is always the same: may a just and loving God forbid.

The net effect of this constant and unrelenting assault on politicians and the political process is voter resignation and ultimately a kind of doomed acceptance. It must be true. They must all be hypocrites, fools, thieves and scoundrels. They’re talking about themselves, after all. It’s $1 billion of self-portraiture.

Is it ever. My experience is that most politicians are decent people. You’d never know this unless you hung around with them, because frankly, their PR sucks.

The reaction to the onslaught is aversion; qualified, capable people avoid politics and the political process at all costs, thus diminishing the talent pool. The New York Republican Party was unable to recruit a qualified candidate for state comptroller, even though the race was there for the taking, because they literally couldn’t find a qualified candidate to run. Nor could the Republican Party find a qualified candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. No sensible person would do it. Part of corporate advertising contains a subtextual message; come work for us, we’re in an exciting business. We’re growing and it will only get better. The subtextual message of political advertising is: You’d be crazy to get involved. It’s bad and it’s only going to get worse.

Please read the whole thing.

2 Responses to “And a Political Addition”

  • Holly Hanberg says:

    That’s amazing and so true. I have a complete disdain for politics and no faith whatsoever in literally anyone in power. I like to think that that’s because I was raised in DC and went to school with the children of senators and congressmen and therefore I know. but let’s face it I don’t know anything. I called my father (yours too) tuesday evening to ask who to vote for because I find the issues, but more specifically those who present them, too filthy to waste my time on. And I wouldn’t believe a word they said even if I did bother to listen to them.
    Why do I feel that way? Probably because I have been force fed the idea that those with anykind of political power are corrupt. I’d love to believe that I’m not that susseptable to advertising but I know I am.

    And budweiser IS the king of beers.

  • Cj says:

    It’s relentless. There’s no way not to believe it. Look, what’s the easiest computer to use? Apple, right? And why do you know that? Because Apple says so. And has been saying so for two decades. It helps that it’s probably true, but even those of us that haven’t used an Apple since the IIe believe it because we’ve been told over and over.

    Politicians do lie and they do cheat and they do steal. But most of them don’t do these things, and none of them do these things very often. Even Ted Kennedy, as my father says, does not wake up contemplating how best to destroy the Republic.

    But I do not know how to solve the problem. Good men are desperately needed to serve in public office, perhaps now more than ever before. But good men won’t. Anyone that will is already suspect. Too bad.

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