2009-10-02

Turn, turn, turn

Dimwitted coyote I may be, but there's nothing wrong with my efficiently pointy snout. Lately, the whiffy scent near this burg's sundry halls of power has smelled powerfully like, well, crap.

I keep hearing politicos make these sorts of claims:

  • "It's a terrific idea! It died because we didn't explain it right!
  • "The public is far too dumb to understood this idea. If they really got it, they'd love it!"
  • "Only a vocal minority is against us. The Silent Majority is on our side!"
Et cetera. But is it coincidence that the guy who used that Silent Majority argument most famously was an utter scoundrel...?

Actual, you know, good ideas, seem to be irrelevant. Now, the game is all spin.

Political guys in the last few decades have turned increasingly to spin doctors to help them sell their agendas. Mind numbing repetition, bad propaganda worthy only of tinpot tyrannies, slung mud, outright lies, and stifled democratic debate are all in the toolkit. Screw honest debate in a democracy! The public needs what's good for it, even if it doesn't know what that is. And spin doctors are happy to supply their dubious commodities. It brings in a very nice buck or six.

Problem seems to be that spin doctors by any other name totally drive the bus these days. And, sadly, lotsa politicians', ummm, wonderful ideas are, ummm, unsupported by facts. Or repugnant to the majority, silent and otherwise. Take your pick of recent federal sales jobs. Or city ones. Check the spin. Comfortable?

If you aren't, many politicians apparently are. Bathed in the lush suds of their own spin cycles ever more often, they don't seem to see that, pretty often, the public understands what they're on about just fine. And hates it. Spin may sway people some of the time. It does not, cannot, make shitty ideas brilliant.

The spin technique I spot most often in the public discourse of late is called, I believe, "putting lipstick on a pig". If you've ever gotten close enough to a pig to contemplate putting lipstick on it, ya have an idea of what anybody with that job smells like... and we're all downwind.

2 comments:

XUP said...

Spin continues to thrive and grow because the silent majority likes to be told what to think in nice simple sound bites. The process of actually developing a well-informed opinion is quite onerous and makes people's heads hurt.

coyote said...

What about the ones who dutifully got headaches, concluded their elected representatives were a pack of poltroons, and opted out?