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Why the facts don't matter to the Republicans (or to the Democrats)

11/15/04 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General
Democrats have an unfortunate tendency, he says, to see campaigns as product launches, believing that if they roll out a candidate with the best features, or positions on issues, voters will support him. Republicans understand that people vote their identity, not their self-interest - that they seek out candidates whose values appear to match their own.

From an editorial by Adam Cohen speaking about linguist George Lakoff's ideas on framing the topic.

Nobody (except maybe the lone swing voter) uses the facts to arrive at a choice. The choice is made via who the voter identifies with -- identity politics -- and then the facts back up those choices.

The latest in marketing is a thing called lifestyle marketing where items are packaged to fit into someone's lifestyle. It's giving away the free bicycle with the sporty SUV, or offering some opera tickets as a thankyou when you buy a Mercedes. If you can identify the lifestyle to which someone fits, and you can convince someone that a particular product you're trying to sell fits within that lifestyle, your hapless consumer will swallow it up.

Political affiliations are becoming lifestyles. You're a conservative? How bout you accessorize with this NRA sticker, or this anti-abortion stance? A blue stater? Here, this pro-affirmative action opinion will match your outfit perfectly!

Kevin Drum makes a very salient point when he says that once people choose a team, then they'll start adopting that team's trappings without thinking.

there's an even bigger potential danger sign here for liberals: once people change teams, they tend to adopt their new team's views on lots of issues, not just the one that caused the switch in the first place. That's bad news for liberal principles beyond just those associated with national security.

1 comment

Comment from: Angry Joe [Visitor]
Blah Blah Stupid Democrats Stupid Republicans.
Vote Libertarian you ninnie sheeps of the fascist teat of america!
11/16/04 @ 08:46
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