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Campaign Insurance

It’s a campaign year and advertising’s already blitzing.  The candidates and their super pacs are spending millions trying to influence you and me.

So, our challenge will be to live in relative peace while these tea pot skirmishers whistle all around us. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to avoid their de-civilizing influence, since their campaigns require us to become more than passive observers.

I won’t minimize the danger. These peddlers are experienced professionals. They know which heartstrings yield maximum emotional response, and they know how to pull every single one of them. Their curious science of consent engineering leverages normal human cognitive facilities to cruelly manipulate belief. 

They could make me vote for a chicken if I let them in. You, too.

So, I’ve adopted a few tried-and-true defenses, I call them My Campaign Insurance, which I re-deploy every campaign season.

1- I stop watching television. Since it’s the primary medium by which the noise machine reverberates, they can’t touch me if I’m not there.

2- I lie to all pollsters. Who are they to presume that I’d tell an anonymous caller the truth? This throws off their windsock machine, encouraging them to fruitlessly spend in the delusion that spending might help. I call this my grassroots stimulus strategy.

3- I more closely monitor my emotional responses and stay skeptical. When I hear something that seems just too good to be true, I question it. Whenever some haircut claims he has the solution, I become confident that he simply doesn’t understand. When he starts in with another “all ya gotta do,” he’s flunked the test. I’m old enough now to remember the good old days. They weren’t that good.

4- I’m always sensitive to the shop-worn combination of religion and politics. I figure any candidate gauche enough to talk up his own righteousness should be discounted as the hypocrite the Bible says he is.

5- And I s..l...o...w down the conversation. I try to stifle the snark and engage in thoughtful conversations with my neighbors. I check my facts and preconceived notions if I expect to really hear anyone else’s perspective.

My campaign insurance has me feeling pretty secure in the face of this upcoming storm. 

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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