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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Doug Schoen-Business Consultant

So I was struck in the head today by an idea that is in no way novel--but the implications of which had not really occurred to me.

So get this--Doug Schoen, the Democratic political consultant who helped Clinton get reelected in 1994 had worked with Dick Morris. Everyone knows that. Dick Morris also helped Clinton get elected as governor, and for his first term. Everyone knows that too. What I don't think we all knew was that Dick Morris worked on the 1994 campaign--while at the same time working for some very important Republicans in the Congressional run that same year!

All of which goes to prove what Doug was talking about in the preceding chapter of his book, The Power of the Vote, that advertising campaigns are political campaigns. They're not just similar, sort of passing likenesses. With the one immediate distinction that advertising decisions are rarely made on the fly. But sometimes they are too.

We all know that politics is a business. But are we all really prepared to accept that Democrat and Republican are really just brand names? On the surface, it sounds pretty obvious. To the extent that the consumer, I mean the public, buys into the advertising of a political campaign, then yes, name recognition, slogans, party ideology, and the endgame "the vote," are all facets of the identity of "The Party." But isn't having an ideology more than simply being a consumer? I mean belonging to a party doesn't necessarily mean that you share all the tenets of a certain ideology--but it is inavoidable to commute some of those tenets to a person when they claim membership in one of those parties. So then, "liberty, equality and justice for all," really are quantifiable objects--to be bought, sold, traded, inflated, refined and all the other fantastic things we do with products. Again, a cynic would simply state, "well...duh," and I get that. But that isn't my point. The point is the language of the thing. For an idea to be an idea, it has to share a similarity with another term, and it has to have a distinction, however grey. If ideology, government, and democracy itself are really just facets of capitalism at large, then the parallels must hold true throughout history--not simply just

This topic needs to be refined, but I have to work.

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