Election season is officially in full swing. The candidates for the Democratic Party will be sharing the stage on two nights this week making their pitch to you, the viewing audience. Donald Trump has officially announced his plans to run for re-election. There may be one or two challengers on the Republican side who think they have a chance of securing the parties nomination. Everyone has the right to run if they want. With a booming economy, low unemployment and rising wages across every income bracket I don’t see how Trump will not be the person representing the Republican Party on the ballot next November but, stranger things have happened. To that I say may the best person win and let the political games begin.
If you’ve lived long enough and paid even the slightest attention to politicians on the campaign trail you will hear them promise you just about anything to get your vote. Do they actually deliver on those promises when they win? Hardly ever! When they fail to deliver it’s usually due to lack of political consensus and will power. That is what they will tell you and sadly more often than not the truth. When you listen to the candidates speak you will be excited by the charm, charisma and lofty goals. The realistic side of your brain knows the promises most likely will never happen. The hope that it may is what attracts you to the message. It’s similar to playing the lotto. The slogan used to be a dollar and a dream. That was until the lotto doubled the buy-in. Double the price equals larger jackpots. It’s still a dream, which is why we play. We play for the hope of a better future. We know the odds are against us, kind of like the chances of a politician doing what they say they are going to. When we don’t win and it’s politics, as usual, we are disappointed but in our hearts expected those results. After all, we know somebody has to win the lotto and eventually we’ll have a president who will accomplish what he or she said they would. That is why we play the game and believe the hype, even if it’s just a dream.
This leads me to the title of this post: Tell Me I’m Pretty. It’s a subsection in my book The War For The Middle under chapter two, Good vs. Evil. I’ve included it to remind you that when a politician speaks and makes certain promises that are unrealistic or financially untenable it all sounds good even though we know better. I’m not saying they’re wrong for making promises that sound good. They just need to be realistic with their goals. I was watching a movie recently that repeated the phrase ‘beware of Greeks bearing gifts.’ It’s apropos for some of the politicians you will hear on the debate stage who will promise you free everything. If you’ve never heard of that expression or are unclear of it’s meaning do a search on the Internet and you will learn its origin. Essentially what it means is that some gifts are a nightmare in disguise and can bring about a nation’s demise. With that being said I hope you enjoy the chapter.
“I know he’s lying to me but, he makes me feel good and tells me I’m pretty.” All women can relate to that. Sometimes they hear those words from their significant other or from someone who is just trying to be nice. They don’t feel pretty that day for any number of reasons and really don’t believe it when they hear it but they take the compliment and it makes them smile.
Women and men are built with natural instincts. Those instincts are what help us watch out for people that are looking to do us harm and to alert us when something doesn’t look and feel right. It’s kind of a sixth sense. In my experience women are born with a stronger intuition and are able to use it as a defense mechanism. Since men are typically larger in size and strength the increased intuition serves as an added benefit to help them make better decisions.
We all like to be told what we want to hear even when we know it’s not true. It goes against every rational thought we have as people that have lived long enough to know reality from fantasy, what’s realistic and what’s a pipe dream. There’s a four letter word that makes us feel pretty when we’re not and believe in those pipe dreams that once reality sets in goes up in smoke. That word is HOPE.
People need to have hope! Hope for a better future, for love, peace, health, wealth. Without hope mankind along with this and other prosperous countries would not have achieved the economic and technological advancements that our modern day society is benefiting from. It is what drives us to dream bigger than we can ever believe and shoot for the moon on our way to Mars. Hope is powerful!
Every campaign speech uses hope to motivate the base. Former President Obama said, “A hope and change we can believe in.” President Clinton was actually born in a town called Hope, Arkansas and mentioned it many times when he was running for office. Invoking the word hope tells the people that I know things are tough right now and I feel your pain. If you nominate me I will do my best to make that hope a reality and make all your problems go away. The crowd cheers with a background chorus of uplifting music and people are left leaving the rally with optimism for the future.
Energizing the base is great and is a necessary function of getting the word out and especially fundraising. The cost of running a campaign has gone up exponentially since the days this country was formed and especially over the past 50 years. The cause for that…color TV. According to Wikipedia, it was not until the mid-1960s that color sets started selling in large numbers, due in part to the color transition of 1965 in which it was announced that over half of all network prime-time programming would be broadcast in color that autumn. The first all-color prime-time season came just one year later.
Why is that important and how did it impact how candidates ran their elections? Image. Prior to color TV, everything was in black and white and the majority of households could not afford a TV. Most of their in home entertainment came in the form of radio. Now that TV was the new medium how a candidate looked was equally as important as how they spoke. The cost of running commercials from 1965 till now has gone up tremendously. This results in the ever-increasing need to fundraise.
The 2016 presidential election saw fundraising efforts reach over a billion dollars. You are smart. Wealthy people don’t donate millions of dollars to campaigns unless they think it will benefit them and their business. As the ultimate winner of that campaign stated when he was on the campaign trail, “As a businessman and a very substantial donor to very important people, when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July 2015. “As a businessman, I need that.” Trump, a very successful real estate developer made it a point to donate to politicians across the aisle to make sure he could have access to whoever was in office. He didn’t care about being complimented; just answer the phone when he calls if they want another donation. Money talks.