Posted by: inforodeo | September 5, 2008

Why is it “Senator John McCain” but only “Barack Obama”?

i was kind of grouchy to hear parts of the latest McCain speech where he *does* talk a little smack (still not as much as Obama, but that doesn’t make it “ok”) …
but in listening to the panelists debate the speech on Anderson Cooper, i realised something incredibly clever/misleading/sneaky/brilliant on the part of the Obama campaign:
those reporters with an ‘in’ to the campaign seem to have taken some oath to always refer to Obama without his political title “Senator”. 

while technically this is probably more accurate (and, technically, he is “Junior Senator”), it is quite clever to have dropped the title of his current (still neglected) office, because to say “Senator McCain” and “Senator Obama” puts them on an equal playing field, which is dangerous for Obama, because then too much attention is drawn to his work as Senator, and in all unbiased and unanimous honesty, McCain is soooooo far beyond Obama in having a solid record in that area.  (you can’t argue that without looking like an ignorant idiot, though you could probably argue that “it’s not fair to compare a 4-term Senator’s record to that of a Junior Senator who has been campaigning since he took office.)

Dropping the title also streamlines Obama’s name, much like “Madonna” or “Tiffany” or “Hitler”, turning him into a pop culture icon.  If you think about it, “Singer Michael Jackson” sounds tiny, like “singer/songwriter Hazel Johnston”, where “Michael Jackson” promotes an image of strength, a stand-alone sturdiness that doesn’t need the crutches of a title or description.  read the following, and determine for yourself (without thinking about issues or your political indoctrination) which name in each example feels more “powerful”, “respected”, “easy to say”, or “likely to win”:

1) Obama vs McCain
2) Senator Barack Obama vs John McCain
3) Jr. Senator Obama vs Senator John McCain
4) Barack vs John
5) Obama vs Senator John McCain

see what i mean?  the way the name is presented in each example above is truthful and accurate, yet there is a bias one way or the other in each.  this technique is used in all sorts of propaganda.  I don’t know what it’s called, but they use it in presenting statistics, too:

“6 out of 10 dentists prefer toothpaste”
“60% of dentists prefer toothpaste”
“40% of dentists don’t prefer toothpaste”
“just under 50% of dentists don’t prefer toothpaste”

it’s all the same thing, but some versions carry more weight. 

anyway, i will never cease to be fascinated by propaganda artists, corrupt subcultures and big production, so it’s likely that regardless of my political views, i will always have an uneasy fascination with the Democrat party.


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