Marketing and Politics

Do you know when you’re being sold? I’m sure images of a used car salesman come to mind as I ask this question. The moment we set foot on a car lot, we expect to be sold. But we are being marketed to and sold everyday in a way much more subtle than the typical sales scenario. Think about it … we can barely open our computers or phones without being inundated with ads. Gosh, even my simple little blog here has ads.game of life via chess

How about that cruise ship brochure depicting images of a Caribbean island with its immaculate white sand beaches? The marketing brochures never share the poverty-stricken areas that the shore excursion bus needs to drive through to get to that beach. And once we get to said beautiful beach, what we envisioned as somewhat secluded, we find ourselves sharing with hoards of other cruise ship tourists. So much for pristine!

Steamboat Lake Colorado

When most of us first start RVing, we have illusions of being camped along some beautiful lake or river in a quiet setting surrounded by nature. After all, isn’t that what we see in all the RV brochures? The brochures never share images of the typical RV park, many of which pack RV’s into sites so tight that you can reach out your window and touch your neighbor. Al and I do our best to stay clear of those sardine kind of RV parks, but sometimes it’s the only option when we have our heart set on visiting some cool city or event.

I know we all believe the ad about buying that macho 4×4 pick-up truck that can drive straight up the side of a mountain, or maybe you should buy that shiny little sports car so gorgeous models will hang all over you.

Those diet pills will guarantee a six-pack stomach in just 30 days without exercising. Add in that wrinkle cream, and you too will look 20 years younger (I want some of that).

These idyllic pictures are marketing fantasy created to sell

Politicians paint those same marketing fantasies in their ads, and I for one can’t wait for Wednesday when the inundation of political ads will come to an end …. temporarily. The pandering for votes seems endless and the promises made aren’t attainable.

Unwritten rules

In the RVing world, there’s an unspoken rule to avoid talking about religion or politics, especially at large social gatherings or when meeting new RVers for the first time. Obviously, these are two subjects which incite strong emotion and opinion. Al and I aren’t good at following unwritten rules and have never shied away from a thought-provoking conversation especially one’s that are enlightening and educational. It’s okay to agree to disagree without slinging expletives or fists.

I remember one in particular social gathering when a few RVers were gathered around a toasty campfire.

No subject was off-limits with this group, or so we thought!

My husband appeared to be having an engaging conversation with the gentleman sitting next to him when all of a sudden, the man covered his ears with both hands and mouthed, “Lalalah, I can’t hear you”. Yep, this grown man was acting like a child.

Once he removed his hands from his ears, he angrily commented “My minister warned me about people like you who would try to make me question my beliefs”. A shocked and apologetic Al responded by saying, “I’m sorry. That was never my intent. I thought we were having an educational conversation about theology”. You see, Al has lived all over the world and spent time in the Middle East and Asia. Therefore, he has been exposed to nearly all faiths and has been educated in religious theology, a subject he finds fascinating. Most historians understand the correlation between religion and war, and since Al is most definitely a history buff, he enjoys talking about the subject.

Was that man insecure about his faith? Did he lack the intellect or desire to understand other faiths? Was he so ingrained in what he had been taught, that he felt his faith was right and others wrong? Or was he merely uncomfortable talking about religion?

Political conversations

I see similar situations in today’s political climate. People’s emotions are running rampant and opinions strong. Logical and intellectual conversation is difficult. The rhetoric and mud-slinging has stooped to new levels on both sides of the fence.

I wonder, do we recognize when our emotions are being manipulated?

Can we tell when we are being sold and marketed to in an effort to inflame emotions? Is one politician better at marketing rhetoric than another? Do we only read articles that reinforce what we already believe, or are we open-minded? Are we able to see and understand both sides of a coin? When we see an advertisement, an article, a newscast, do we take it as truth or do research? After all, we all know the internet never lies and everything on Facebook is real 🙄

Are we all pawns in the political arena as we watch the constant game of power struggle, vendettas, and payback? (Term limits?) And does the media play a role in the game and stir the pot resulting in more emotional outrage?

I recently started watching a PBS series called Jamestown. It takes place in 1619, and follows the first English settlers as they establish a community in the New World. I can’t help but see a similarity in the scenarios that took place then that are taking place now.

One would think that after 400 years, American’s would’ve learned from past mistakes. Instead, I see the same things happening today that happened in the 1600’s. Power always corrupts and accusations, whether real or false, are used against people.

Someone accuses someone of being a witch, so it must be true. Guilty! Burn her at the stake. Same thing is happening today. People are being used as pawns and are being deemed guilty until proven innocent causing the loss of jobs and reputations. What about due process … fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen’s entitlement?

I wouldn’t want to be comedian these days and actually feel badly for them. They can’t say half the sh*t that was said in the 70’s and 80’s. I wonder if George Carlin could survive in today’s sensitive climate.

What a great entertainer. Here’s some fun quotes he made –  “Find the line, and cross it“. “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.” “Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” “Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.”

Just a little more and I think I snagged him!

I don’t have the answers

But I do understand marketing and these politicians hire some of the best marketers around. I also feel progress can’t be made until emotions are shelved and logic rules. Emotions are what incites violence. Smart people know this and know exactly how to stir up conflict. It’s important we not be sold, not believe everything we hear or read, and to embrace tolerance. Try and find humor in our current cast of characters and find solace in knowing everything is temporary. This too shall pass!

Diane Feinstein needs to retire

Some politicians won’t be around forever!

Don’t be sold

Did you vote? Is it Wednesday yet? Are those dang political ads over? Did that wrinkle cream make me look 20 years younger? 🤣🤣🤣

“While men inhabiting different parts of this vast continent cannot be expected to hold the same opinions, they can unite in a common objective and sustain common principles.” – Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the U.S.

Nameste!

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President

Thanks for listening to my little rant. I’ve never posted about politics before and I doubt I will in the future. Remember, I’m not picking sides. So, if you decide to comment, please be nice!

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68 thoughts on “Marketing and Politics

  1. “I also feel progress can’t be made until emotions are shelved and logic rules.”
    … I couldn’t agree more. Nice post, Ingrid. We need sane voices speaking these days instead of the hyper emotional ones.

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  2. You and I have quite similar rants…except I would add my disgust over the amount of money that is spent/wasted on electing candidates. If we could take all the money that politicians spend on promoting and persuading votes and put it to better use, perhaps to help better the lives of citizens who actually do vote…then the world might just be a better place.

    In general, the us against them attitude needs to end…we’re killing ourselves in the processes.

    And, I would absolutely love talking to Al about religion and history…love both subjects and can look at both multidemensionally…yeah, I made that one up, kind of like better Er! 😁

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  3. During this campaign season, we had visited 8 states and have watched all kinds of local political ads and have seen how reprehensible they are! This is a great post for a topic we rarely touched or talked about between us or with anyone else, too touchy!
    It is like what we just experienced last stormy night and can’t wait for the blue skies in the morning.

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    • Great analogy! Yes, you have been experiencing some troublesome weather and I’m sure the political ads across the states has been interesting as well. Hopefully, it’ll be fair sailing for you here on and your east coast excursion will be a fun one.

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  4. Having intelligent and civil conversations appear to be the things of the past – that is if they ever really existed – and these ads are sickening. People have no filter when they talk or post things far too often as I’ve personally (and horrifyingly) experienced recently.

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  5. I loved this post. From the pumpkin cartoons, to the fantastic quotes, to the diplomatic handling of what can be a sensitive subject. Our political system is very different in Australia to yours in the US, but the advertising bombardment lead up to an election sounds much the same. Tell Al I can sympathise with what he obviously thought was an intelligent theological discussion between two level headed inlligent people. I’d love to meet you two one day – I think I’d enjoy learning from you both of you, and rest assured you would have no need for such diplomacy with me. Polictical Correctness seems to have become something with which to gag the people rather than something to safeguard the people. I suspect you would have loved to have said more in this post, but you felt gagged by the constraints of political correctness. I would have loved to have read what was unsaid.

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    • I’m so tired of Political Correctness. People seem so overly sensitive these days that one needs to be very careful how and what they say. Where’s the fun in that? I don’t dare share some of the humor that flies around our campsite 🙊

      I have no doubt we would get along famously. Now how to make that distance shorter 😏 Beam me up Scotty!!! 😆

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  6. My thoughts exactly, and I think we spent a summer workamping at a christian camp with the RV’er that put his hands over his ears and sang lalalalala….he did the same thing to us, although it was because of a little joke that was innocent enough….he once told us that he was so far right that he was hanging by his fingertips! Poor Bob was single his entire life, and for good reason.

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  7. Is it the mass media who creates audience or is it the audience actually creates mass media? Maybe we have the same question in the political world – are we buyers, are we sellers, or are we actually nothing more than commodities?

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  8. Ingrid, I can’t find the words to compliment you enough on this post. It’s simply excellent, and your delightful sense of humor tempers the sting of such disheartening thoughts and critical points. I’m wishing that I had some professional connection that would get you on the national talk show circuit – although I suspect that’s the last thing you’d want! A round of applause for a stellar post – in both content and delivery!

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    • Awe, thank you Mary. You are always so kind with your comments. I really struggled with whether or not I wanted to send out this post and it was important to me that I come across as neutral even though I have my leanings.

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  9. I’m with gonewiththediogs but I may be more negative. IMHO it is already too late. I have no faith that either our leaders or the population at large will take the necessary actions to save our planet from the catastrophes of climate chaos. I don’t think even the scientists realize how bad things already are. It seems each successive analysis and prediction is more dire yet the conversation of climate which should be dominating the news is too seldom heard and the actions needed are too distant and will be taken too late if at all. All great civilizations rise and fall and fail to recognize when the fall has begun or to reverse it. We are no different except to the extent to which we fall will be greater as we lay waste not only to one small part of the planet but the entire planet itself. At the risk of ridicule I say I believe it’s true, that the end is nearer than we think, yet we do little more than Nero did as Rome burned.

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  10. Ingrid, great post. I am in total agreement, the political noise is constant and feels out of control. It is to the point that it is hard to truly express ones self without some sort of PC backlash. Thankfully, in Colorado we have early voting via mailed ballots. Mailed mine back last week but the ads keep coming! You made some Excellent points. I loved the images you chose for this post!!!

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  11. Ingrid what a well written post this is. Here in Canada we can’t wait for your election to be over and we don’t even get the ads. The media however is relentless.
    I am a firm believer in agreeing to disagree as long as those I’m disagreeing are respectful. I find it fascinating when people don’t want to even hear another opinion.

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  12. Hi Ingrid, Another great post. I like your guts for posting a topic most people don’t want to think about let alone talk about. I enjoyed reading the responses to the post because i’m always interested in knowing what people think. When I was in elementary school I had a math teacher that was trying to teach me fractions he told me ” I had to reduce the numbers to their lowest common denominator so they were all the same number so I could deal with them properly”. So in my life I have unknowingly adopted this principle. Random thoughts;

    Lowest common denominator: Human Beings
    Freedom is a balancing act; My freedom can’t cost you your freedom.
    Does our government reflect our society or does our society reflect our Government?

    Being a full-time RV’er means I’m willing to trade a society for a community that is more inline with my values.

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    • Enjoyed your story about your math teacher – enlightening. And I agree with your last sentence … love the RV community and lifestyle. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tumultuous subject.

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  13. Al made the mistake of thinking he could have an educational discussion on theology. I’ve had trouble carrying on educational discussions on theology with ministers in recent years. Generally you will not get very far with people discussing theology. I heard Catherine Austin Fitts on Coast to Coast AM explain that if you want to know what a government program or agency really does, take the opposite of its name. Locally, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy conserves nothing, but instead destroys everything it touches. The Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable, and so on. Her mantra can be applied to most, but not all, politicians, as well — what ever they campaign on they will probably do the opposite once they are in office.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very enlightening comment Tim …. thanks, I think you’re on to something. Some of these politicians have no thoughts on how to implement what they’re talking about and can’t even answer a simple question like “how do you intend to fund your platform?” The term ‘verbal diarrhea’ comes to mind 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes we have become a sad society in which it is now common place for politicians (on both sides) to flagrantly lie and expect their followers to believe in the greater good of the “party”, I am only slightly hopeful we can get through this in my remaining lifetime…

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  15. These political ads are down right nasty! I can’t stand it! Wednesday will be a great day on the air waves but then every lawyer commercial in Arizona comes back!!!

    Great post!

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  16. Great post Ingrid but one major difference between early America and today is the condition of our planet, 7 billion and counting.

    The reality is that this globe is only so big with limited resources covered by with a thin layer of breathable air. In the long/short term nothing else will matter if we don’t take care of it.

    At some point in the near future it will not matter what we believe left or right. The world must come together and agree to put aside differences and beliefs both religious and political and stand as one for our planet.

    Unfortunately the old protest banner “the end is near” now may have some reality to it. I am normally a very optimistic person but lately it seems America with the rest of the world following has turned a corner and is now headed in the wrong direction. The future is not as bright as it could be especially for our children and their children.

    In the end voting for the planet is ultimately the only vote that matters!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Between political power and religion, I don’t see countries coming together for the greater good … unfortunately. Hopefully, I’m wrong.

      I’ve missed your posts. How’s the build going?

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  17. The ads have come so fast and furious, they’ve exposed a trend that they all have…on both sides. First, talk bad about the opponent while showing them with a grimace on their face…in high-resolution black and white. Make sure that every imperfection on their face is exposed. Toss in some gloomy music and a narrator talking in a ‘baaaad dog’ voice. Now, switch to the canidate. Happy music, full color, hugging family while all smiles. Ridiculously hilarious.

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  18. As I read your thoughts about marketing I thought of the line “Merchandising!” from the Mel Brooks movie Spaceballs. Your thoughts about discussing politics and religion also apply to friends and neighbors in a sticks and bricks neighborhood. The ads don’t bother me so much but don’t get me started on political robocalls! I’m even getting unsolicited text messages.

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    • I totally agree with you on robocalls and text messages. I’ve given my personal cell phone number to only my family and close friends. It makes my blood boil when I receive unsolicited texts that start out, “Hi, Mary! I’m a supporter of . . . ” I’ve been deleting every one of them without reading them and as fast as I can simply because I’m afraid my anger at the invasion of privacy will impact my voting choices.

      Liked by 1 person

    • At least living in an RV, if we don’t like our neighbors, we can easily move and quite often do. No can do in a sticks and bricks, therefore, even more important to be careful of political correctness. Have solace in knowing those robocalls will stop soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. First of all, love all the pumpkin pictures! You are right about the political topics being discussed around the campfire, they seem to be taboo. We have a lot of friends on both sides aisle and until the past couple of years it has never been an issue. In the past year or two some have become so polarized that “they just can’t understand our views” or something like that. It is an interesting time we live in but it is temporary and this too shall pass. Great post!

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    • Thanks Jim. I had so much fun photographing those pumpkins and then using the images in this post … seemed fitting. Political correctness has reached new levels and it has become difficult to joke about anything without upsetting someone. I guess that’s another subject 😆

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  20. Another reason I’m glad we don’t have TV. The only ads I see are those signs on the side of the road. Politics has gotten ugly, it’s never been pretty, but now it’s ridiculous.

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