Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Political Power of Fear and Why Some Never Want Us To Be Free of Fear

Following up on the theme of my last post, What sanctity of marriage?, I found this quote on Crooks and Liars revealing:

Frist: Marriage is for our society that union between a man and a woman, is the cornerstone of our society. It is under attack today. Right now there are 13 states who passed constitutional amendments in the last year and a half to protect marriage.
This takes same-sex marriage (and relations) beyond the level of sinful and wrong in one or more religions into threatening the underpinnings of our entire society. Frist is using the same strategy used by commercials. He begins by selling the public that they have a serious problem and then he makes you feel good that someone has developed a solution to your problem.

He says it is under attack yet his proof of that attack are actions taken by his supporters, not his opponents. Also notice the linguistic sleight of hand? 'It' becomes 'our society' and the message is "Our society is under attack now." But because he didn't say that directly, he doesn't have to defend that statement, but I have no doubt by the way his statement is structured that he wants people to feel the threat really is of that magnitude.

It is noteworthy that at least one of the state amendments banning gay marriage reduces the scope of domestic violence laws. So heterosexual people who aren't married are nothing more than collateral damage in the war over the sanctity of marriage. But good salespeople never mention the side effects. Within their messages there are many problems and one solution -- theirs.

Part of the sales job is to promise a feeling the product can't possibly deliver. If a gay marriage ban became part of the US constitution, legal marriages wouldn't suddenly get easier.

Marriage has never been the cornerstone of our society. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would be better candidates for cornerstone designation. But as with all good marketing campaigns, you aren't supposed to notice silly little details like that. You are only supposed to feel the emotions being fed to you.

You are supposed to be Pavlov's consumer, if you will.

Here's a post from someone that many conservatives want voters to fear:

Jay Sennett: Truce is Better

The reality of my attempts to live my life in a principled manner means I get walloped on the head with reality more than I ever care to. And each bump serves to remind me of the all-encompassing nature of my own stupidity.
Those we need to be protected from, like transexuals, shouldn't be concerned with principles and they certainly shouldn't attempt to see people who see them as 'bad' in a positive light. Their role is to be the bogey man/woman. The truth that the political marketeers don't want us to know is that life isn't as one-dimensional as the marketing messages would have us believe.

If the public stops being afraid of people who are different from them in one way or another just because of who they are or what they represent, the marketeers who want to control the public will have a much tougher time selling their products.

After 9/11, fear was used to sell many packages that had been unsaleable. Yet what does it say about a sales force willing to exploit tragedy for political gain? The answer isn't moot because some of what was sold can be returned.

Those willing to use a national tragedy as a sales tool have a vested interest in keeping the fear level up any way they can, whether that is fear of gay marriages or fear of immigrants. Only with overwhelming fear does opposition to any and all policies continue to be considered treason by anyone in the public's good graces.

If people are actively generating fears that you didn't notice before, don't blindly accept that they see the world more clearly than you do. They may be giving you a carefully packaged sales job.

Or like in multiple level marketing schemes, they may have given that sales job to people who can turn around and sell to those who trust them. Sometimes those in the middle of the pyramid don't realize that they are part of a marketing scheme so they may be able to pull off sincerity when selling bogus products.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   0 comments links to this post


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