Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ak-cen-chu-ate the negative

Ya gotta, if you want to win elections, says Karl Rove, because in the recent election;

Turnout dropped by 7.9 million voters, falling to 123.6 million this year from 131.5 million in 2008. This is the first decline in a presidential election in 16 years. Only 51.3% of the voting-age population went to the polls.
While the Democratic "ground game" was effective, President Barack Obama received 90.1% of his 2008 total while Gov. Mitt Romney received 98.6% of Sen. John McCain's vote. Neither party generated a higher turnout nationally.
.... a postelection survey shows that the Democratic campaign ground game was more effective in communicating negative information.
 In politics, if you can't say something not nice...better to say nothing at all, and leave the campaigning to someone who will.  Politics is mostly a negative activity; one party attempting to gain advantage over perceived competitors, by fair means or foul.  Nice guys finish last.
Also in todays Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger sees the problem too;
The Obama "turnout machine" wasn't faceless. It was real people living full-time, some much of the past four years, in battleground states such as Ohio, Iowa and Virginia. They attended full-time to targeted racial, ethnic and labor constituencies, as the campaign did in 2008. Obama adviser David Plouffe calls them "the persuasion army." I would call it a skilled propaganda machine.The job of the Obama persuasion army was to make sure that those targets never stopped having their heads filled via emails, phone calls, meetings and such with what Barack Obama was saying as president.
Which is Willi Muenzenberg for the 21st century.  As Stephen Koch put it in his biography of the master spin doctor of Lenin and Stalin;
He wanted to instill the feeling, like a truth of nature, that seriously to criticize or challenge Soviet policy was the unfailing mark of a bad, bigoted, and probably stupid person, while support was equally infallible proof of a forward-looking mind committed to all that was best for humanity and marked by an uplifting refinement of sensibility. 
 If a propagandist can do that for Lenin and Stalin, it's not much of an accomplishment to put a gloss on a dime store socialist like Barack Obama.  What is amazing is that even Wall Street Journal writers don't appear to know the history of propaganda.

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