“There is no doubt that the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is historic. But does framing him as America’s “first black president” show that we have not come nearly as far as we’d like to think?” — How Far Have We Really Come from the “One-Drop Rule”? by Judith Siers-Poisson, The Weekly Spin
A triumph of image over substance
Well, depending on your politics, it seems that either Obama is the best thing since sliced bread (or Mandela, take your pick) or, he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I lean toward the latter but with a lot of reservations and not just because of what he, Obama is but simply because of how and why he got to be prez. Thus I view Obama more as the shepherd, who, to paraphrase is instead leading the sheep to slaughter.
Vast forces were set in motion some time ago, a decision was taken at the very highest level, that an entire new reality had to be constructed if the gangsters were going to hang onto their ill-gotten gains. Bush and his half-arsed megalomaniac cronies had really fucked things up, it was time for the construction of a ‘break with the past’. And I said it at the time of Obama’s selection, that it was a stroke of pure genius, but one not without its opponents in the ruling political class who we might well term the ‘old guard’, witness the evil rantings of Hillary Clinton, who really blew her ‘feminist’ cachet, copious tears notwithstanding.
“Obama Wins! … Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year” — Advertising Age, November 5, 2008 and beating out Apple no less.
But it was a done deal, the Brzezinski posse triumphed, the State Department was on its way back to being in the driver’s seat, a process now all but completed. Really, Obama looks nothing more than like Bill Clinton in blackface.
It’s at times like these that one can really see the power of the mass persuasion machine in all its (dubious) glory working overtime and with consummate skill. So for example, it was immediately obvious from the getgo that both McCain and Hillary Clinton (forget about Palin, that was a disastrous mistake, trying to out-Obama Obama) were outmanouvered and outclassed by the Obama machine, but note too that Obama’s vice-presidential pick, Biden was kept firmly out of the public’s line of sight pretty well throughout the entire campaign and for the same reason as to why McCain was bound to lose: both jarred with the image of a ‘new generation’, unencumbered not just by the baggage of eight years of Bush rule but crucially, by the ancien regime that Biden is firmly embedded in.
“He’s going to be the first president to be connected in this way, directly, with millions of Americans” … Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who first helped integrate the Internet into campaigning four years ago.
“The nucleus of that effort is an e-mail database of more than 10 million supporters. The list is considered so valuable that the Obama camp briefly offered it as collateral during a cash-flow crunch late in the campaign, though it wound up never needing the loan, senior aides said. At least 3.1 million people on the list donated money to Obama.” — Under Obama, Web Would Be the Way, Washington Post.
The figures tell the story, with an unprecedented turnout by the 18-29s and whose vote for Obama was more than double that for McCain. The numbers dropped as the punters got older, so by the time you hit the over-55s, it was McCain all the way, but still not by as wide a gap as the youngest.
‘Authenticity, communication, connection, trust and identity’ — Richard Wirthlin
It is as I said, a formidable demonstration not only of media power but of how the various facets of the propaganda matrix work in close harmony, selecting the correct meme for the occasion eg, ‘Change’. These are people who have access to vast amounts of statistical data about the population, their likes, dislikes and above all, fears and desires. And they have been at it since the early 1970s.
Computer elects Obama to Whitehouse
“The voters are so fed up with the system and its inability to enhance their lives, that they are prepared to vote simply for change, whether it be extreme left or right.” — Patrick Caddell to Jimmy Carter in 1972.
Ever heard of Dr. Richard Wirthlin, Patrick Caddell or Joseph Napolitan? These three names transformed modern electoral campaigns the world over by introducing ‘sampling’ and the use of statistical analysis for the candidate running for office.
Finding out what the voter ‘feels’ about issues and about the candidate is absolutely crucial to modern political campaigns, indeed without it, it’s unlikely that any of the presidents or prime ministers who ‘rule democracies’ these days would be in power. Such polling techniques are called ‘attitudinal’ surveys and are concerned less with the voter’s thoughts on the candidate’s policies than they are with such things as their opinions on religion or the theory of evolution or whether they feel optimistic about the future.
‘Authenticity, communication, connection, trust and identity’ — Richard Wirthlin
Seemingly innocuous, surveys done over the telephone by an allegedly independent survey organization succeed because they flatter the voter, they are framed very specifically to appeal to the voter by seeking their opinions on things that are closest to them, family, home and church for example.
Ronald Reagan was the first president to succeed in using the computer to assay what the voter ‘felt’ about issues when he hired Dr. Richard Wirthlin, a Mormon and former academic at Brigham Young University, turned opinion pollster.
Wirthlin founded a company called Decision Making Information (DMI). Wirthlin, who was no computer geek (and remember, this was in the early days of the computer) nevertheless recognized the potential of the computer to compile and analyze vast quantities of data and produce very accurate forecasts about a voter’s intentions. But such programmes are expensive to conduct and require literally hundreds of thousands of interviews conducted over long periods of time. Thus programmes on this scale are only available to heavily funded parties such as the Republicans (in the early days even the Democrats couldn’t match the funding available to the GOP).
Armed with detailed profiles of millions of individuals, it’s possible to do ‘what if’s’; what if the candidate said this or promoted that, what affect would it have on how he or she finally voted? Predicting then became the core of the electoral process, forget policies and programmes, they’re for dweebs.
The way an individual may vote varies from week-to-week, even day-to-day, thus constant polling right up to election day is vital to the success of such operations. These vast and detailed databases of voter preferences are tailored right down to individual voting areas, so a candidate’s message can vary literally from street to street, depending on the demographics. Nothing is left to chance.
The media delivers the message
By themselves however, even the power of massive surveys with their detailed knowledge of the behaviour of individuals is not enough, the message needs to be delivered, nationally and perhaps even more importantly, at the local level. The results of local surveys give a detailed picture of how specific communities ‘feel’ about things, thus delivering the message at the local level is vital to the success of an electoral campaign.
Want to make sure the right message is delivered? Enter the corporate media and the connections the major political parties have to the editors and publishers, a process made even easier by the concentration of media ownership down to less than a handful of transnational corporations that own even your ‘local’ newspaper, radio or TV station (in the UK we also have the BBC, making the process even easier). All of this is ‘facilitated’ by the PR component whose job it is to sell the message to the media.
The most important thing is to present Obama as actually being in charge and not a puppet of those who wield the real power, thus Biden fulfills the same function as Cheney did for Bush and Rahm Emmanuel for the hardcore Zionists who seem to have a lock on the Democratic Party via the Democratic Leadership Council, the ultimate sponsors of Obama, for a price. Without the DLC’s backing, Obama could never have even been nominated, let alone win.
Is it realistic therefore to expect that a former ‘progressive’ like Obama who has sold his soul to the ‘Devil’s Leadership Council’ can be anything other than a puppet on a string?
Now the question is, having tapped into the desires of tens of millions of people, and especially young people for change, how can he be held to his promises?
1. For more on these guys you need to read ‘The Programming of the President – The hidden power of the computer in world politics today’, by Roland Perry, Aurum Books, London, 1984. Still available second-hand though out of print.
2. See, ‘Not Corrupted” by DLC, Says Obama’, Blackcommentator.com
See also, ‘Going Nowhere – The DLC Sputters to a Halt’, By Ari Berman, The Nation, 3 March, 2005 for background on the DLC and how it has reinvented itself to accomodate the ‘new reality’.
And, Media Lens latest: ‘Obama – Wiping The Slate Clean