Will Americans Be Fooled Again?
In 2000, George W. Bush promised to restore dignity and honor to the White House. He then proceeded to take cronyism, bravado and incompetence to a new level of impact on our national well being. In 2004, they played all the same persuasion cards, and repeated their success.
Now, it’s a new day dawning. Yet, day after day, ad after ad, as talking TV heads talk with other talking TV heads, opinion pieces instead of news get a pass as news in newspapers, magazine covers and radio rants. The same tactics that have dominated our national and state elections continue to play themselves out with predictable effect. Joe Biden? As hard to find as Bigfoot. Issues? What issues? Instead of candidates engaged in reasonable dialog about the problems we face and ideas for resolving them, challenges we face and ideas for overcoming them, opportunities before us and how we can best take advantage of them, the nation is fixated on spinning personality and arguing about LIPSTICK!
It’s a gross oversimplification. Not my use of the word LIPSTICK, but the overall tenor of the campaigns, here in my state, back in Ohio (I had the displeasure this past week of watching the same thing going on there that’s going on here in Oregon) and everywhere across this land. With less than two months before our fateful election day, it seems increasingly likely that the smears and jeers that accentuate our fears will continue to raise cheers from the people sitting on their rears blithely watching us tumble further towards oblivion. It’s the effective use for the sake of abuse of the art of persuasion. I wrote my book to warn you, prepare you, train you and encourage you to put these tools into good use for good cause, instead of leaving them in the hands of people who are only up for no good to bring us all down. Well, consider the who, the where, the when and how of it, and here is what you’ll find.
People now talk about the position of President using the narrative supplied by McCain, which now frames the discussion. How it is possible that, with all the difficulties of this time in our history staring us in the face, the stock market and housing market and unemployment rate and war projections and potential conflicts looming, our voting systems still dysfunctional and capable of shaving off percentage points at the whims of their creators, that we not only tolerate but encourage by our silence the slinging of false accusations and slurs by innuendo and implications?
It’s persuasion, dear reader. It’s not by accident. This campaign is not about intelligence. It’s about emotion. It’s about rousing voters from the stupor of too hard labor with the false stimulation of fear, the entertainment of character assassination, the turning of our heritage as a free nation of the people, by the people, for the people into a tabloid contest of who can do the best by behaving the worst. And without an effective counter using the same persuasion principles, the result is predictable.
We have raised our foolishness to new heights. My post today is to share with you a video of one of the all time great rock bands singing an all time great song to remind us of who we are and how we got here and how the past is perpetuated into the future through our present neglect of what matters most. Ladies and gentleman, I give you THE WHO singing WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN!
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.