Hillary Clinton & The Marketing of Politicians

Politicians have always been motivated by a desire for power. Not so long ago, though, there were many of them who seemed to realize that that power could be used to influence people, to change their minds, to inspire them to noble (and sometimes ignoble) deeds and endeavours.  Gandhi, Churchill, De Gaulle, Kennedy, Mandela, they left their countries, and the world, a better place, often placing their careers or even their lives at risk.

The last few decades have seen the application of marketing concepts and tools to politics. Politicians have been turned into ‘products’, to be designed based upon the attitudes and beliefs of a”centrist majority” of the population. Few of them still tell us what they honestly believe, and almost none appear to have a vision grander than staying in power.

Even Boris Yeltsin, who brought a modicum of democracy to Russia, was desperate enough in his re-election attempt to hire a group of American consultants. Their focus group research showed that Yeltsin needed to add energy to his image and appeal to youth, which led to the incredible sight of Yeltsin cavorting on stage during a pop music concert. He did win the election.

This whole trend is now approaching the level of a farce, with Hillary Clinton jumping onto the ‘user-generated content’ bandwagon, inviting viewers to choose her campaign theme song.  Adrants has recommended the Darth Vader theme.

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