How to Win Votes and Manipulate People
May 6, 2010 7:06 AM   Subscribe

This strategy seemed to have worked on healthcare, so why not? There is no upper limit to the ability of people to believe what TV tells them.

They aren't naming candidates in these ads, but come Sept / Oct I bet that they will.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:17 AM on May 6, 2010

My main worry is if we'll have a big enough wall to put them all against when the revolution comes.
posted by DU at 7:19 AM on May 6, 2010 [5 favorites]

Guys, I'm starting to worry there won't be a revolution after all.
posted by The Whelk at 7:20 AM on May 6, 2010 [14 favorites]

Just keep watching television!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:24 AM on May 6, 2010

@chillmost: The metaphor works even better with Cheney as Fudd.
posted by schmod at 7:43 AM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

@chillmost, it's depressing how true that is.
posted by PigAlien at 8:19 AM on May 6, 2010

What I don't get, is the government, in theory, is supposed to be out there for the people's interest. Big business is out for its own interest and the interest of its shareholders, best defined as profits.

Yet it feels like more people are prone to trust big business over the government. Do people really enjoy putting the interest of large companies over there own? Do people really believe in trickle down? is that what it is? if i keep GM alive somehow that money will come back to me (bad example as my bank account is in fact directly connected to GM, but you get what i am saying).
posted by djduckie at 8:20 AM on May 6, 2010 [4 favorites]

their, not there, for prosperities sake, even though i fear my statements make me look angry and ignorant all their own (did it right that time).
posted by djduckie at 8:26 AM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Big business is out for its own interest and the interest of its shareholders, best defined as profits.

Big business has successfully convinced most people that they are shareholders regardless of whether they own any shares or not. So, yes, people completely believe in trickle down. Also, they are relentlessly battered with imagery, stories and propaganda about how the only source of reliably efficient, cost-effective and fair management is big business and that public servants are all cretinous, lazy, drug-addled, mentally deficient, buck-toothed, unambitious boobs while MBAs are god-like. See this is because most people have been to the DMV many times in their life, but most have never been to Harvard B-School. Perhaps we should ask the top 20 B-schools in the country to start renewing drivers licenses. Soon enough people would lose their regard for MBAs, I'm sure.
posted by spicynuts at 10:24 AM on May 6, 2010 [6 favorites]

The government is bought by big business - every member of congress walks into the Capitol with a myriad of strings attached. This is true of both parties, but one of the parties is also, now, opposed not to just to the idea of an efficient government, but to effectiveness of government in practice.

In other words, when Republicans get their hands on power, they deliberately appoint to posts that involve regulatory oversight people who disapprove of the regulations themselves. They also will cut government revenues and expand military spending to the point that the budgets that allow for the effective functioning of government enter crisis conditions.

This second technique means that, when Republicans do lose power temporarily, their Democratic replacements are compelled to govern in conditions of exploding deficits, that in itself can be exploited politically.

The two parties are going to trade power for the foreseeable future, I think, since the media atmosphere is always going to paint the picture in terms of adversaries of equal merit, and the party out of power as the underdog or potential correction to current problems.

All this is to say that our democracy seems not that different from the Soviet kind (and much of it sets aside the question of just how liberal the Democrats are anyway.)
posted by Philemon at 11:06 AM on May 6, 2010 [3 favorites]

I get their RARR MAIM THROTTLE HURT GRR RIP strategy now. It's to get all their critics so incredibly angry enough so that they all die of heart attacks. I know my own personal anger is so great that it's an effort GRAAR KILL STRANGLE KICK to avoid degrading into rage talk. I'm approaching apoplexy here. This is nothing less than full-bore evil.

The worst thing is that, now that they've found a successful astroturfing strategy, they look to be repeating it every EVERY time. This hole needs to be plugged now to preserve public discourse in this country, which of course means it'll be around for a couple of decades to come. And now the Supreme Court has effectively removed the funding caps that would prevent an individual astroturfing group from having too much influence.

The only positive thing about this is that the Daily Show is going to become absolutely hilarious as the election season heats up, because the swiftboating is going to reach epic levels.
posted by JHarris at 11:07 AM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Guys, I'm starting to worry there won't be a revolution after all.

The revolution is on hold while we negotiate the naming rights and the exclusive TV deal.
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:44 PM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

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