Random Thoughts

Ads, Polls, Focus Groups & Irrelevant Diversions

Many Americans work long hours to earn extra pay for monetary necessity. Others do it even without pay for job security or in the hope of advancing their career. They return home and have routine chores and family interaction that leaves them exhausted and susceptible to passive entertainment provided by television. This puts this specific medium in the premier position as being the sole source of political and general information. Its ready access to the minds of voters and consumers enables it to charge exorbitant fees for thirty-second spots. The brief time for pitching the message dictates distortion of the truth and incomplete information to captivate attention of tired minds. The repeated doses of sound bytes on television decrease attention span and by lowering the threshold to boredom, discourage serious or prolonged and careful thought about issues.

The habit of reading, discourse and thinking atrophy and boredom, loneliness and a desire for self-importance makes such persons ideal candidates for telephone pollsters to exploit to make a rich living by charging corporations and election candidates hefty fees. This drives up the cost of products and election campaigns. The former is of small significance but the latter corrupts government by making elected politicians beholden to and agents of vested interests and unresponsive to or oblivious of obligations to the people. Candidates are not consumer products and not to be chosen as fads, whims or by chance. The concept of being electable is a Trojan horse created by focus group consultants on the basis of name recognition. This newly developing worrisome trend is like the Indian caste system and has led to election to the Senate and Presidency of the children and spouses of former office holders. The bestowing of such positions on the basis of name recognition on the basis of family ties, unaccompanied by other significant merit, confirms the faulty choice and judgment of an unthinking electorate. There is no reliable way of predicting the voting patterns of a thinking people who cannot be manipulated or brainwashed by media spin-meisters. This is what we need, to truly educate voters in their high school years.

How one votes, must be decided on a sound basis. The choices are selfish and personal like when the candidate's position on vital issues agrees with your own and is beneficial to you or altruistic and principled like when the candidate's position on vital issues once again agrees with your own and has the good of society or the nation. The second essential is the reliability, integrity and character of the candidate. It is unlikely that we will be fortunate to find a totally upright candidate with views identical to ours, and then we have to choose the best compromise between these two essentials. The manipulated images that television commercials project and the contrived images that focus group leaders evoke for their paymaster candidates, are irrelevant diversions to obfuscate both, the truth and our intelligence to perceive it. Money is the mother's milk necessary for the survival and flourishing of all politicians who are by nature infantile. The media's job is to make us aware of this. They are to our misfortune and our silence and apathy, controlled by big corporations with their own axe to grind. The Center for Public Integrity is one nonprofit public institution that fills the gap. Most persons running for office are intellectually capable of doing their jobs, which are within the intellectual capability of a trained retarded monkey.

While it is human to vote for candidates who are against ethnic or economic groups that one dislikes, it is crucial and far more sensible to vote for those promoting our agenda or economic interests, even if it serves those whom we abhor. We must see through the coercion by straw demons created to generate fear and the false appeals to patriotism by scoundrels who avoided military service themselves when there were genuine threats facing the nation. These are mere camouflage inks released by preying octopuses to cloud our vision, as they sacrifice our youth and our national wealth to tighten their grip on power and enrich their crooked corporate cronies. There is an unnatural preference for Republicans by poor and middle class whites. It is reminiscent of the story of Pat, a Catholic Irishman who was told by God that he could have what he wanted, as long as he realized that Mike, a Protestant Irishman would necessarily get twice as much. Pat then asked God that He should take away from him one, eye, one ear and one testicle thus ensuring that Mike, his enemy would lose both of his corresponding body parts!  


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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