Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Political Propaganda Done Well: Pat Powers Edition

I should be a better person, but I admit that I love seeing political propaganda done well. Something about seeing a paragraph that layers negative political implication upon negative political implication promotes a smile. This Pat Powers offering should be considered contemporary classic:
How else do you explain democratic activists abandoning a proven campaigner in former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in favor of Brendan Johnson to replace his outgoing father. Despite the fact that charges of nepotism and a seemingly Kim Jong-Il like manner of political succession will dog him at every turn?
Let's break this masterpiece down a bit. First, there's the loaded term "activists." Countless politicians have made their careers running against "activists," but Pat's audience will have a special antipathy for the term; after all, most Republicans learn in the cradle that "activist" courts that have lead America to the edge of ruin. The term "activists" also connotes effort not merely desire

Second, Not only are Democrats "activists." They are rash, quick to reject the "proven." If there's one thing conservatives believe they embrace; it's tried and proven verities. Democrats now stand convicted of embracing the dangerous and rejecting the proven.

But there's more. These Brendan Johnson supporters are elitists who have created a hierarchical system that systematically supports sons replacing the father. Couple that implied elitism with "nepotism," a term heavy with negative connotations, and Johnson becomes the boss's undeserving son that nearly everyone despises.

The coup de grace is the allusion to Kim Jong-il who did indeed inherit rule of North Korea from his father. Americans are hourly reminded that Kim Jong-un, who inherited rule of North Korea from Kim Jong-il, is threatening nuclear war with the United States or South Korea or both. Transferring power apparently leads to dictatorships, the Bush example be damned.

Powers could have used a club and simply stated, "Democrats who support Brendan Johnson are dangerous elitists who actively seek to nuke America's traditional values." Instead he used the scalpel of allusion, connotation, and implications. It's propaganda done well indeed.

No comments: