What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
As the 2006 elections approach, our commutes and leisurely walks are tainted with the clutter of campaign signs.
As a Texas political organization puts it:
Simple name recognition is critical and may be decisive in local or “down-ballot” races. People are unlikely to vote for a candidate whose name they don’t know.
Consequently, just getting people to recognize your name is the first and main challenge of many down-ballot candidates.
And so, we are inundated with signs everywhere we go. This website offers a list of all the 2006 political candidates running for election in Utah. The total: 400 people. Granted, some may be in various parts of the state, but with that many people running for office the widespread promulgation of signs is inevitable.
This MSNBC article from Seattle puts it quite poignantly:
While many traditional forms of advertising can be tossed in the trash or ignored, a constant inundation of one simple thing — a candidate’s name — can be an effective way of reaching less-informed voters.
That’s what it all boils down to, folks. In our day of soccer moms, 60 hour work weeks, and busy bees galore, nobody has time to research the candidates. Nobody cares to investigate their voting history and see what they’re all about.
And so, the “less-informed voters” are bombarded with the “constant inundation of one simple thing”: the candidate’s name. Oh, and maybe a catchy phrase tacked on the sign as well, such as “Justice First”, or “Protecting Our Families”, or “Fiscally Responsible”. Give me a break. They’re supposed to be able to sum up their entire platform in 2 or 3 words? Please…