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Talking points and slogans

SBu

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Talking points and slogans have always been present in politics, but today it seems like we are constantly barraged with them. Do you think these are positive devices used to quickly inform the unconnected voter? or Do you think these are negative devices used to confuse and herd the unconnected voter?

Examples from campaigns/pundits: Forward, Hope and Change, take-home pay, Obamacare, Red line, "old rich white guy", "illegal immigrant", war on terror, a video causing Benghazi incident, etc.

My personal take: The latter. I think that modern politics is more a branding battle than a battle over the issues. The parties understand that the vast majority of voters are uninformed and/or unconcerned. Because most Americans can't be bothered to find out more about issues or develop meaningful opinions, the quick slogan or 30 second or less talking point is now used to confuse and herd the unconnected voter to one side or another. This is part of a branding war in which the Democrats have been hugely successful; not only in branding themselves favorably but also in branding the Republicans unfavorably. What's particularly fascinating is we are now seeing these talking points/slogans proclaim flat out lies at worst or misleading information at best (important to note from both sides). The important thing is to stick to your story no matter how false or true it is, hoping that if the voter hears it enough...it will eventually become fact.

Lastly, what are some of your favorite examples and why?
 

MaggieD

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Talking points and slogans have always been present in politics, but today it seems like we are constantly barraged with them. Do you think these are positive devices used to quickly inform the unconnected voter? or Do you think these are negative devices used to confuse and herd the unconnected voter?

Examples from campaigns/pundits: Forward, Hope and Change, take-home pay, Obamacare, Red line, "old rich white guy", "illegal immigrant", war on terror, a video causing Benghazi incident, etc.

My personal take: The latter. I think that modern politics is more a branding battle than a battle over the issues. The parties understand that the vast majority of voters are uninformed and/or unconcerned. Because most Americans can't be bothered to find out more about issues or develop meaningful opinions, the quick slogan or 30 second or less talking point is now used to confuse and herd the unconnected voter to one side or another. This is part of a branding war in which the Democrats have been hugely successful; not only in branding themselves favorably but also in branding the Republicans unfavorably. What's particularly fascinating is we are now seeing these talking points/slogans proclaim flat out lies at worst or misleading information at best (important to note from both sides). The important thing is to stick to your story no matter how false or true it is, hoping that if the voter hears it enough...it will eventually become fact.

Lastly, what are some of your favorite examples and why?
Very effective form of damage control . . . and inflicting damage. Very effective at getting out the truth. And the fiction. All depends on one's perspective. FAX machines and email -- those are the real culprits. Ha!
 

Starbuck

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I've been saying this for a while now.

We, as a nation, are promoting politicians in the same manner that we advertise for brand-new cars or stereo equipment. Flashy commercial with thirty seconds of good-sounding content.
 

Starbuck

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For me, the last and final blow to the absurdity of political campaigns was the Brow-Whitman governors race in California a few years back. During that election, where Meg Whitman spent more than $170 million on the campaign trail, people in California were barraged with many ill planned sound bites.

Sure most of the money was her own, but the idea of spending that much on an election is preposterous, especially where it only buys commercial time.
 

Starbuck

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Lastly, what are some of your favorite examples and why?
When Meg Whitman was selling herself as the next potential Governor of California in 2010.

I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something like this"

"I want to return California to the land of opportunity that it once was. When I moved here in 1981 there were jobs and California was on the right track. . . let's return to that."

Sadly enough, her opponent Jerry Brown was the Governor of California in 1981, when she moved to California.
 

opendebate

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Talking points and slogans have always been present in politics, but today it seems like we are constantly barraged with them. Do you think these are positive devices used to quickly inform the unconnected voter? or Do you think these are negative devices used to confuse and herd the unconnected voter?

Examples from campaigns/pundits: Forward, Hope and Change, take-home pay, Obamacare, Red line, "old rich white guy", "illegal immigrant", war on terror, a video causing Benghazi incident, etc.

My personal take: The latter. I think that modern politics is more a branding battle than a battle over the issues. The parties understand that the vast majority of voters are uninformed and/or unconcerned. Because most Americans can't be bothered to find out more about issues or develop meaningful opinions, the quick slogan or 30 second or less talking point is now used to confuse and herd the unconnected voter to one side or another. This is part of a branding war in which the Democrats have been hugely successful; not only in branding themselves favorably but also in branding the Republicans unfavorably. What's particularly fascinating is we are now seeing these talking points/slogans proclaim flat out lies at worst or misleading information at best (important to note from both sides). The important thing is to stick to your story no matter how false or true it is, hoping that if the voter hears it enough...it will eventually become fact.

Lastly, what are some of your favorite examples and why?
Good post and good points. Politics is a treacherous arena, there is too much money and power at stake. Seems as though if you don't start out corrupt you will almost certainly end up that way because people are forced to fight fire with fire to survive. So yes, people turn to whatever tools will promote them and their actual agenda, which usually ends up being to put more money in their own pockets or more weight in their pants.

For day to day people working your way past the crap to the truth is harder than it sounds. There is so much conflicting information out there. For instance, it is difficult for someone who works all day and has small children to attend too, to will sit down after the kids are put to bed and sort through the mountains of **** available to read regarding even a single current issue. I don't condone it at all, I'm just saying I can see how some feel overwhelmed so they rely on the soundbites and slogans of people or institutions they have decide they "like" or "trust". They then become part of the herd. Recognizing this reality both parties crank up the BS to capture larger numbers.

The problem is that those slogans take on so much more meaning because of how they are cultivated through the media and people tend to adopt all the baggage or additional crap that those promoting themselves have layered into it. It becomes easy to be led away from truth. So Bush says something like "stay the course" and suddenly that represents all these noble qualities that really were not present in the man or the action that phrase was endorsing.

It's become an enormous cluster****.
 
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SBu

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When Meg Whitman was selling herself as the next potential Governor of California in 2010.

I don't remember the exact quote, but it was something like this"

"I want to return California to the land of opportunity that it once was. When I moved here in 1981 there were jobs and California was on the right track. . . let's return to that."

Sadly enough, her opponent Jerry Brown was the Governor of California in 1981, when she moved to California.
Haha, oops.
 

SBu

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For me, the last and final blow to the absurdity of political campaigns was the Brow-Whitman governors race in California a few years back. During that election, where Meg Whitman spent more than $170 million on the campaign trail, people in California were barraged with many ill planned sound bites.

Sure most of the money was her own, but the idea of spending that much on an election is preposterous, especially where it only buys commercial time.
I thinks it's probably easier to sift through the bull at the state or local level. Even in "off year" elections for national offices, the people who vote are more informed. In the presidential election (and other national elections taking place at that time), you get a whole new type of voter that is largely unengaged until a few months preceding the election...and that is the most exploitative time for these techniques.
 
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