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  • There are three types of people in the world, those who don't know what's happening, those who wonder what's happening and those on the streets that make things happen.

Political campaigns and the inane mainstream news media

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 23, 2012

One of my several roles in life is that of a political campaign consultant. I took on this field because it is one of the very few domains out there that combine logical thinking, statistical studies, psychology, emotional manipulation, power, adrenalin rush,money and greed. Having experienced campaigning in the dirtiest and meanest places, I have gained an understanding that I thought I could never ever attain. And with this, my respect for politicians fighting it out for people’s votes has grown tremendously. It is not easy to be a politician. Especially not when you are fighting elections. The process drains you physically, emotionally, monetarily and forces you to shed every pound of ego from your mind. And the worst, there is no second position in politics. Winner takes it all!

There is one institution that has disappointed me to no end. Media. I hold it solely responsible for ruining the political campaigning process and stripping it of any sense, logic and relevance. The TRP driven, sensationalism espousing news broadcasters have absolutely no interest in the interests of the electorate. At the cost of relevant concerns, only those issues are highlighted that tend to generate “noise”. Self proclaimed political gurus and analysts ask questions that are as dumb as their minds. Honestly, these analysts could not be farther away from ground reality. Yet they dominate discussions and do their bit to increasing the “noise”.

Also, the media loses no chance to pounce upon an error by a candidate and turn it overnight into a scandal. Give me a break! Candidates are human too. While the harm caused by this may not be apparent to the electorate, but it is one of the most injurious acts that weaken our democracy and in fact make  irrelevant. Under constant media glare, which is not necessarily public glare, the candidates become actors. The most honest individuals are forced to become choreographed dummies driven by campaign strategists such as myself. I too transform into a puppet who’s strings are being pulled by an illusory world created by the media.

Why is it that the media (and not the people) refuses to believe that a candidate can change his belief or stand? Why is it that a candidate is held responsible for what he may have said thirty years back and a change of heart is considered a sin? I don’t mind if a candidate has transgressed in his past,we all have. Why can we not elect a representative who is more like us, more human.

Yes we can. But the media does not let us. It fills our minds with attributes that we would never use naturally to elect our representatives. And why does the media do this? Because it, like all of us, needs to survive and prosper. Nothing wrong with that, only that prosperity in media has been replaced by greed and zealousness.

We need to recognize the difference between expert opinion and truth. Many times the latter is what emanates from our heart. Trust that opinion over any broadcasting attempt to sabotage your thinking. In Democracy, we are the experts. Realize this truth and cast your vote.

But I cannot wrap this post without expressing my utter dismay at the end of today’s presidential debate. It was the first debate that I saw live at 5:30 am local time. Under normal circumstances, I would have never woken up that early to waste an hour of my life, but this morning at 5:00 am I got a call from my logistics company saying that my car had arrived outside my house. What!Who in this world delivers a shipment at 5 am! Nevertheless, I dragged myself out of bed and once the car was safely parked in the garage, it hit me that it was debate time. So I watched. I cringed. And then these lines by DMX ran in my mind in response to what the leaders were saying:

Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind up in HERE, up in here 
Y’all gon’ make me go all out up in here, up in here 
Y’all gon’ make me act a FOOL up in HERE, up in here 
Y’all gon’ make me lose my cool up in here, up in here

That’s it.I’m done.

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15 Responses to “Political campaigns and the inane mainstream news media”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m so frustrated. America is being fed a steady diet of sound bites, gossip and spin. We’ve become removed from the real issues, the truth, and all that is relevant. I’d like to think our citizens are smart enough to see through all the lies, but I know deep down they’re not. I think our media, in their quest for ratings and money, has done great harm to our society. They are interfering with the democratic process. It both angers and saddens me.

    • Raunak said

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I am glad to know that I’m not alone in this opinion.
      I wish I could share how I have used the media for my own good but I feel it would be equivalent to acknowledging a punishable offense 🙂 maybe in person someday!

  2. emmawolf said

    If it’s my side, they are changing their belief or stance. If it’s the other side, they are flip flopping. 😉

    Seriously though, I think the difference between the two is when a candidate can explain the change. I think it’s important for someone to admit that he is wrong, so I’ll respect a politician who admits a change. But when a politician says different things in quick succession or without an explanation, that’s a different story.

  3. I agree with you – from inside the system… but would offer that the system is what is (the basic) wrong and until we start looking at it from outside, we’ll continue to (inadvertantly at best) make the wrong ‘choice’.
    …just a thought

  4. Why is it that the media (and not the people) refuses to believe that a candidate can change his belief or stand? Why is it that a candidate is held responsible for what he may have said thirty years back and a change of heart is considered a sin? I don’t mind if a candidate has transgressed in his past,we all have. Why can we not elect a representative who is more like us, more human.

    Humans can definitely change their stand. Usually over a period of years. Those who do it within a matter of weeks or during a 90 minute debate are chameleons. I shouldn’t insult chameleons, though. Opportunistic jerks who will say anything to get elected and stand for nothing…that’s more accurate. Sorry. I’m feeling especially pissy tonight.

  5. Good Deed said

    Great post, I don’t want to comment nothing or say that will relate to the post, because there is no sense when you said all, I just want to know will you vote for candidate you are running campaign for?? Be careful, this is public… 🙂

  6. Great post!!

  7. Kathleen Breault said

    Great post, Raunak. I agree totallyl. This has become something separate from issues and more about character assasination, which is not what about electing a president should be about. I admire your stand.

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