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NPR- All About Elections

I enjoyed this week’s On The Media. With Presidential elections only occurring every four years, there is an overwhelming amount of information being given to us. On a personal note, I have been using this election season as a measuring stick of my own political leanings and interest in campaign coverages. This is the third election that I have been eligible to participate, in the form of voting. While I’m choosing to refrain from sharing the evolution of my political stance, I will say that this is the most interested I have been.

Being that On The Media is an hour show, with a lot of material to digest; I am selecting a particular segment that I found to be interesting: the preparation and research involved in targeting specific voters. The show referred to the previous, and longstanding, strategy of targeting demographics. Elections, and subsequent campaigning and marketing, are so calculated in their every move. Politicians are merely a vessel for an entire political party to channel their wants and beliefs through. I wonder, what percent of words a candidate speaks do they even believe themselves? Before I go on a tangent, I want to bring it back to the point. This week’s show talked about how parties are now targeting specific people.It is scary how much information is available to campaign strategists about each and every one of us. I also find it fascinating, how much work a campaign puts in to every move, speech and appearance by its respective candidate.

The example of the mailing tactics studied by a university (can’t remember which one, or what state) speaks to the volume of information and research being conducted. Four mailings were sent to people of a designated area, each one with different content, but all with the goal of motivating people to vote. I don’t want to regurgitate the show, but if you didn’t listen to this part, I would recommend doing so.

Something I’ll be paying attention to, in the third and final debate, is when the candidates refer to specific people they’ve met along the way. Both men have met and talked to thousands upon thousands of people, so why do you think they refer to a selected few? My guess would be that the people they mention are calculated to a science. Either they represent voters who are commonly still undecided, or they are pawns in a political move I’m not aware of. I would put down all the money I have (full disclosure: it’s not much) that every person named in speeches, debates, interviews, etc, is calculated and tirelessly screened as the perfect selection.

Politics are a game of chess.

2 comments

  1. I completely agree with everything that you said. I feel that most candidates don’t even believe in everything they are saying. I feel that the campaign managers instruct the candidates into following a path, and ideal that they feel the American population will relate to, and want to be a part of. It is scary how we vote for candidates that i feel really don’t care so much about the individual, but more their place and power in the country. Campaign managers use the candidates as puppets for what they feel the Americans want to hear, and not really what the candidates actually believe in or what they feel is best for the country. It is scary where politics are bringing this country, and how everything is in stalemate and is about getting the vote for their party so that they can be in control. So much of the presidents role in todays society is power, and fame. I wish politicians actually had more passion for the country then they do on both sides even though i do feel Obama has way more than Romney. Romney is the ultimate , and and has no idea what he actually believes in as long as he is in power, and has fame. Everything is calculated to a science and the campaign managers use many tactics that aren’t actual real beliefs to get the small portion of voters that are going to decide who wins this election. I feel that politicians need to start getting more honest, and start having more passion to actually make a difference rather than getting a vote. Debates are almost like a game show these days and its very hard to take them seriously, although as a 22 year old, and voting in my second election i do have to take it seriously because although it may seem like a gameshow, and politicians may act like its a game show, and not take it as seriously and passionately as they should, I am still voting for the president of my country which is a very serious matter, and may dictate a job in a the future, or many different things in my life. The media has a lot to do with politics becoming “politics,” rather than people running for presidency to make a difference in the world and American citizens lives. I really agree with everything said above, and although i went on a rant off topic thats really how i feel, and that is where this weeks on the media led my mind. I do feel Obama has done well for the country, and that congress has caused so much stalemate in order to get a republican in office, and thats why we haven’t progressed as much as we should have or could have under Obama. However i do feel that he does care about this country and does have some passion, and certainly a lot more than Romney who i feel has none, and wants the power, and the fame, and to make himself richer than he already is just like the bush administration did for their families, and the big oil company families, who are the families that don’t even need the money. They got richer while everyone else went broke and something similar to that is going to happen if Romney is elected into office which is really scary. We need a politician who cares about this country in office like Obama, and not someone like Romney that is a puppet for the republican party who will ruin this country. I still feel that Obama’s campaign manager set him up for debates to get at the small votes he needs to win and not everything he says is from the heart, but Romney has nothing coming from the heart, and really treats these debates as if they are a game show. I feel that politics have become a joke after clinton left office, which is due a lot to the media, and its ruining a lot of peoples lives. It’s really sad and it needs to be taken more seriously on both ends, Republicans and Democrats.

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