I've been thinking about this for a long time, and it is pretty clear that we have reached a critical state. I have some ideas on the subject that are actually going to be part of an article that I want to write.
However, I ran across an interesting item in "What's Your Brand Mantra?" one of the blogs that I try to visit on a regular basis. This quote pretty well puts the issue in focus. The scenario is Jennifer Rice, the author in residence, has asked Seth Godin, author of "All Marketers Are Liars," a question. This is his response as quoted in Jennifer's blog.
I don't know how to make it clear to US citizens that every successful politician is a big-time liar, and that we, as citizens, need to get over our desire to romanticize or demonize every story that comes along. We're killing people, destroying things and making more decisions than ever before that are nothing but irrational reactions to pre-sold stories. It's one thing to come up with a clever way to market Vosges chocolates. It's quite another, I think, to effectively tell stories that hurt people.
We have let two things happen to our political system. One is that marketers whose experience is in packaging items and convincing us to buy them even when we don't need them, now control much of the "image" that is in theory our candidates and the people who run our government.
The second thing is that we have let large corporations finance most of this. What we get back is a government designed to reward, not surprisingly, corporations and their ever richer CEOs.
I have a radical thought on how to effectively derail this mess but I'll save that for my article. Just think of some of the consequences of this kind of political process.
Remember those carefully scripted conventions last summer. The reality is that we had a competition to run the most powerful country in the world between two media groomed lackluster students. Check out my post, "Kerry & Bush Both Lackluster Students," for more details. Talk about a good job of packaging.
Of course the even worse consequence is that we had an unnecessary war "marketed" and sold to us. This is exactly the kind of stuff that can happen when the image makers take over government. We need to stop it.
I also found the comments on Jennifer's post very interesting. If we can't figure out how to fix government, we're headed for serious trouble. This is obviously something near and dear to my heart as I wrote in my post, "Keeping The Republic Alive."