Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Death of a Salesman

In less than 4 weeks, the sale of the century will be over. Both salesmen with the best inventory are promising low, low discount prices for the highest quality. They dance and sing, put out commercial after commercial, to lure the American people into buying into the fabulous deals they are offering. And we do like those deals...and fads, and getting caught up in the frenzy; just look at the original Cabbage Patch Kids and Beanie Babies. Then the sale goes on for too long, and the ads become as annoying as "Bob's Discount Furniture" or "Head-On." We're ashamed of falling for the tawdriness of it all but keep defending our purchase because it seemed good at the time.

OK, what??

Let me explain. If you look at it, really look at it, you can see how the two presidential candidates are basically pimping themselves out for a few votes and to earn the crown as King of the World. They preen themselves, have a few cleverly written lines and catch phrases, talk about what they can offer, and what their competitor cannot, and once they're done with their sales pitch, keep nudging people to buy in. And we've bought into it...basically because there is no one else selling right now.

Back in college, I took a statistics course for marketing. Why, I couldn't tell you because I was a psych major and already fulfilled that requirement. Anyway, I ended up doing an independent honors project on top of the course that examined political marketing/campaigning and what is done, what works and what doesn't - statistically. It was during the 2000 Bush/Gore presidential election year. Basically, it showed that established incumbent candidates relied on talking about experience, while challenger relied on negative ads against the incumbent because they had no experience to speak of. Unfortunately, in this day and age - even during the 2000 election - negative ads come at us from all sides.

Now, I previously addressed my overall feelings of this year's election season. So now, debate #2 is over and there's only more to go. We have a relative new-comer in Obama and an experienced Senator in McCain; then we have an experienced VP-nominee in Biden, and an inexperienced VP-nominee in Palin. So, the negativity is flying around like poop on a spin-art machine. Yeah - it's gross. Yeah - it's unappealing. Yeah - it makes me want to run the other way.

The thing that I think is amusing is that people are so fiercely protecting their candidate of choice, mostly because people don't want to venture from their own political parties. If you're a Democrat, more likely than not, you'll vote for Obama. He's attractive, speaks well, has catchy ads, is marketing himself in all the cool places like the Internet, and most importantly, is not Bush. A good salesman all around. An overwhelming number of Americans are buying into him like the second coming of Jesus Christ Himself. Do you support everything he's proposing? Do you even know what he's proposing? If you're a Republican, it's McCain for you. He's experienced, he's a war hero, he's a soft speaker but takes action, he's like the Cloris Leachman of the national dance floor. What about his policies, his voting record, and his proposals? Get the facts: Candidate Comparison; Senate Voting Records.

In our troubled times, we really need to do a little comparative shopping, and select the things that we truly need and will improve our lives, not fluff that will in time collect dust and be thrown out. Buy wisely, shoppers! The sale will be ending soon!

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