Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New and Improved

A long time ago marketers figured out that in a consumer driven society the quickest way to sell a product is to put the “new” label on it. It doesn’t matter if the product has changed or not. A case in point is how many “new” Cokes have there been? Every couple of years we are treated to a new release of Coca Cola under some new ad campaign and packaging. Marketers have learned that the majority of Americans will buy anything so long as it is “new” just because it is labeled “new”. New and improved, under new management, and advanced formula are all familiar refrains of the marketers and have proven time and time again to be successful in attracting consumers. Unfortunately here in America we elect Presidents the way we buy products based on slick marketing and fancy packaging. Few of us have the time or the desire to investigate the people we elevate to the highest office in the land. The amazing thing about this is that we have just had the longest primary season ever and yet there are many people who claim they no nothing more about the candidates than what has been dished out by the tabloid journalists.

The latest instance of the new and improved marketing strategy is Senator John McCain. Let me get this straight Senator McCain spoke out throughout the primaries about how Barack Obama’s call for change was hollow and unnecessary, now this same Senator McCain is touting his own change theme. I’m sorry there are a lot of Americans who are gullible enough to believe that just because you label something new and improved that it actually is. Again, I’m sorry but from where I live this new and improved John McCain; he looks, acts, and sounds an awful lot like the old John McCain. The change he talks about bringing doesn’t appear like real change at all. I am still waiting for the McCain campaign and the Republicans to tell us where John McCain is different from Bush on the issues that matter; the war, taxes and the economy, healthcare, energy policy? You name it, where are the differences?

As for the “new kid on the block”, she is neither new nor improved. The more I hear her the more she reminds me of Dick Cheney in lipstick. Despite her homey delivery and I’m just like you salesmanship, she is acidic to the point of being scornful. The brand of politics she is espousing is anything but new, I thought this was going to be the election based on a discussion of the issues. It appears to me to be just more of the same with different faces, but the same game. And is it any wonder? Come to find out McCain/Palin are being advised by none other than Karl Rove.

Now that we see that Karl Rove is in the McCain camp it just shows that if McCain ever had any principals before, he has thrown them out the window. Isn’t this the same McCain who stated he would rather lose an election and stand on principal? Is it standing on principal to allow the man who not only defeated you back in 2000, but also authored the story that you had fathered a black child advising your campaign? I don’t think so! To me it is just a further indication of how McCain puts “Country First”, so long as he is elected that is.

It is amazing to me how much traction the Republicans are getting from this new and improved strategy. Are we that gullible as a nation? I mean you just can’t say anything. There has to be something said based in some sort of reality. Just because you say something everyday doesn’t make it true. Haven’t we seen this ploy before? If this ploy works then the myth of the independent voter is dead. This will prove that there are no independent voters, just left leaning Republicans. No one could be foolish enough to fall for the same thing election after election and claim to be duped. You make an error in judgment once that is a mistake, you keep making it over and over and it is now a lifestyle.

This election is too important to be decided by slick packaging and outright lies. The thing about democracy is “you get the government you deserve”. If anyone can look at these two candidates and not see a difference then they deserve what they get. No more “whining”, suck it up and take it cause when there was an opportunity to do better we chose not to. McCain and the Republicans are talking about running against the politics of selfishness, but the reality is that this is what they are hoping for. They are betting that instead of people looking to the future and the greater good of all of us, that the majority will choose the here and now and continue to rape and pillage the earth for short-term self interest.

Author Marianne Williamson said it very clear in her book, “A Return To Love”. She states that our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful. That it is not our dark natures that frighten us, but the light inside of us, that we would choose to remain in darkness because coming to the light was too scary. Here in America we have the opportunity to begin the process of reaching out to our better natures, to put behind us the fear, the division, and rancor of the past. The question is will we? Are there enough of us who have had enough of this? Are there enough of us who are willing to put an end to this despite how new and improved or how pretty the packaging? Are there enough of us who are willing to sacrifice realizing that this free ride cannot continue without dire consequences. America like all great empires will not be destroyed from without; it will be destroyed from within by a population that has become greedy and self-indulgent. I pray to God that there are enough of us.

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