It is a common fact that advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry. I remember learning in 5th grade the different approaches that advertisers use to convince the public that their product is better than another. They have been studying human nature and individuals’ reactions for many years figuring out how to make them believe that buying the right brand of peanut butter or cleaning product will add to the quality of their life.
We are in effect brain washed into thinking what the advertisers wish us to believe through the use of their very effective methods. The scary part is that the people using these techniques aren’t just trying to sell us tuna fish anymore; they are being used to sell us our moral ethics, affect our civil liberties and make us decide as one mass unit what is best for each of us as individuals. It is killing our free will and our optimism about future potential. It is causing us to have heightened reactions on very personal issues that should be kept personal. It is stripping us of our free will and ability to make choices for ourselves.
Some of the techniques used that politics use as well are:
- Repetition – Seeing the product over and over. This is why we see so many debates right now and why we see so many advertisements before an election.
- Celebrity Identification – By using a certain product you will be tapping into someone you idolize or admire. This is why it is important to politicians which celebrities endorse them.
- Demonize the Enemy – Some advertisers present before the public a comparative study between two brands and bring out the superiority of their product in comparison to the competitors. This is why we believe that the other party is ruining the country when they are in office. This is dangerous because these tactics are splitting our country so drastically.
- Stroking the Ego – A point of view is stressed upon the masses that one viewpoint is superior and ones with an opposite standpoint are made to feel inferior. That is why one group with a certain political belief is deemed as ignorant rednecks and the opposing side is depicted as Godless socialists.
- The Use of Human Psychology and the Herd Mentality: Religion is being pulled into politics because many people who run for office would come up very short if they ran on their own merits. They are trying to use God to win over public opinion.
- The Plain Folks Strategy: Based on the idea that common people can easily reach out to the masses. This is why Clinton playing the saxophone on Late night televisions was so effective. This is a tactic made to promote the other side as either elitists or out of touch with the “pulse of humanity”.
The problem with the use of these techniques is that they have become so prevalent that they take on characteristics of truth and become main stream. The advertising politicians (because that is what they all are) use what is important to us to plant seeds of fear and outrage within us, to sway our point of view into one big mass consensus.
The only way to opt out of this plague of coercion is to think for one’s self. For some it never really happens. Ideas and opinions are grandfathered in and are never really addressed as options. So here are some things to consider:
- Everybody sees truth from a little bit different vantage point. Just as no two people look alike, no two people think exactly alike. So every point of view is valid.
- Every movement, establishment, organization began with a thought or a free thinker. The people who think for themselves and help others see a different point of view bring growth to any culture.
- The fear of great loss is a tool used to get people to react in a predictable way. When ever someone tries to manipulate with fear, ask yourself what is the gain for them and what are they trying to propagate?
- You have all the answers within yourself. If you develop your gut feeling, you will be able to feel a lie as it is introduced to you. Your whole body may feel uncomfortable when introduced to an untruth. If you ignore that feeling, you just teach yourself to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I used to have such a bad reaction to political issues. But then it occurred to me, if there were others that had such a drastic different vantage point than I, that maybe there was something I was missing. I was relieved from being right. It was a very freeing feeling. Now I just observe from a different vantage point and from that place of neutrality, I learn so much more about life, society, myself and God. I invite you to join me in a place of neutrality.