Comments on: Candidates as consumer products http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/ Wed, 07 Oct 2015 17:23:32 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: JL4 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-938 Mon, 26 Nov 2012 17:23:01 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-938 The American public is under-educated about history, past elections, and decisions our politicians have made. We are begging to be lied to, and so we are.

I don’t think the campaign that was better at data collection won this election, true or not. I think there simply were more voters who recognized the dangers of the right-wing fringe elbowing their way into power.

The Republicans went insane this election, and sent a message of hate, social reforms that were largely out of touch with reality, and a bizarre, radical economic policy. Now they’re chicken-scratching to find something – anything – to blame to save face. They just don’t want to admit they were wrong, and outnumbered because of their craziness, and the freak show that led up to the elections.

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By: Samrch http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-937 Sun, 25 Nov 2012 09:42:24 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-937 PS I am not sick and have a job.

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By: Samrch http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-936 Sun, 25 Nov 2012 09:40:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-936 I never gave to a political contribution before. But the stated positions of Romney and the pre-election positions of ryan and the Tea Party, scared me enough to give several contributions totaling about $700.

The idea of a austerity program at time high unemployment is ridiculous (at such one defaults on debts not pay it off). Wanting to go to a health insurance program that does not cover the sick (they have hard time working and their conditions will be pre-existing soon)is fraud becuase it does not cover the sick. It was stupid because we pay more for it than other nations on real health care.

I admit that both parties have not did any thing about making sure more people go to medical school to get the doctors that will be needed if we have real health care, or build more hospitals. No doctors means high costs and shortages and rationing.

This recession is long enough to be structural both parties do not want to fix the problems.

Most of debt to other nations comes from buying more than we sell. Both parties ignore the problem. The free trade rules make little sense and has not worked for the USA for decades. Should not a nation who imports more than it can pay for (only exports will pay in the long run) not tax imports. Should a nation without much export industries not try to build them (which would be export subsidies in some way). Why should we not buy dumped goods when available after all we could charge higher tariffs on them. The WTO rules prevent nations with trade problems from solving them.

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By: paintcan http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-933 Fri, 23 Nov 2012 11:43:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-933 Maybe the reason candidates are a kind of consumer product is that modern American life and retailing seem to have made the art of bargaining and negotiating prices with merchants, like they still are is souks in some ME countries, a lost art. I have never been there, have never had to try to do that and frankly wouldn’t know how.

It takes being more than a consumer to do that and one has to be able to judge character, have a sense of the merchants creds and be able to talk back so as not to be taken for a sucker. One has to be able to recognize value and bargains etc. You, apparently, almost have to earn the proprietor’s respect to get the best deal. And it needs a stable population of long term residents, I suspect, to understand the intricacies of the place.

And yet, ironically, issues like consumer protection against defective merchandise and sharp business practice weren’t even mentioned in the debates or seem to be reported as much as even 20 years ago and not in this state.

In many ways, world wide, consumers are pampered sheep deluged with so much merchandise it is mind numbing. We like predictability and established ways of doing business and aren’t really at all creative. Our living and buying patterns are becoming as easy to watch and study as watching an ant farm. We buy our “creativity” in some ways.

The only times where the need to negotiate prices still seems to live in American consumerism seems to be when buying a house or car or in the process of buying the companies that produce the goods.

This country is fed a constant diet of beautiful people and very well managed public images, that looking for any public figures who might not meet media standards (except in local politics where they don’t have to be very good looking) is pointless. The debates seem well screened as though the audience members were potential jurors. Special effects are so good in movies today that it seems, even politics knows how to simulate the look of “reality”. They know so many voters are somewhat challenged in the ability to understand abstractions, that the safest thing to do is never speak specifically enough for the public to really be able to pin them down. Everything in the show is very self conscious.

Candidates are required to spend so much money for campaigns that they won’t say much specifically because the moment they do, the ideas they propose will be sliced and diced and quite possibly killed, before they even get into office. They can’t afford to be authentic when they have to seduce over a hundred million voters to “pick me”. If they are the sum total of all the data they “ate” to become the candidate of their own design, then the country sees an image in that person of all the data he or she metabolized and are seeing a mirror image of themselves in one skin. What the voters really want is for the candidate to vacate his body and let them occupy his position. He almost has to be “the state” like Louis XIV claimed he was, but he has to be more photogenic.

So we get about as deep an understanding of them as their data miners get of the voters. And all the voters ever really see is they as an abstract. It has become a self-reinforcing game of abstractions voting for abstractions. Romney’s great fault was he was still a bit too human and said what he liked and pandered too baldly and didn’t seem to have much consistency. It is seen as obnoxious in a world where so much in the consumer’s life is sanitized, idealized and designed to please an artificial consumer who is an abstraction of millions of other passive and observable consumers. Obama is a slicker chameleon is some ways. Kennedy was a pretty face – Reagan was an actor and his approach has been more the rule. Now the presidential candidates have to be actors more than anything else and Romney wasn’t slick enough to conceal the fact that people were rewriting his lines as he went along. Nixon was homely and we aren’t likely to see a homely president again. A man who looked like Lincoln would scare the audience.

I wonder how easy it would be to assemble such data and analyze patterns in a real souk or more informal market place where people weren’t all quite acting as predictably or as easily observed? It might be much too difficult for a customer in a less predictable and already thoroughly analyzed setting like a grocery or big box store to answer questions about a less self conscious and thought through setting. The products may not all be on the same shelves they usually are or the services and prices may vary so they are not so easily reduced to discrete data. That the consumer is expected to work a bit to get the deal they want. Maybe the country is becoming too efficient and organized to be comfortable to live in and may even be creating far to passive a population.?

Not a system I’d be very well equipped to live in actually. I am so used to the safety and predictability of the modern American mall and commercial strip.

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By: OneOfTheSheep http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-932 Fri, 23 Nov 2012 06:14:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-932 Actually, what needs to be done is adopt a system to present alternate “proposals” to run the country for the next four years comprised of specific goals and their proposed priority for available government revenue. The same could be done on the state, county and municipal levels.

Since this would entail pretty much “starting over again” in terms of “political parties” and lobbying, the “field might actually be level again for a while. Let “candidate program administrators” compete for the privilege of serving their country UNPAID for ONE term, with the finalists and winner(s) selected by professional placement firms who would donate such “services to the country, et al. Oh, yea and require that those selected also devote a reasonable amount of their attention to LONG TERM GOALS which would be possible to tweak to some degree by each new administrator but not to radically change established “direction” absent “national emergency” or “supermajority rejection” of same by the electorate.

Naaaa. Too many sacred cows would have to be sacrificed.

That might get this country back to the idea of genuine citizen interest and participation in the present and future of the country.

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By: matthewslyman http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-931 Thu, 22 Nov 2012 22:49:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-931 Unfortunately, BOTH candidates were marketed in this way!

So in the final reckoning, the election came down to which team (based on which ideology and execution) did a better job of it.

In the end, the blue team did a better job of the data analysis, communication and coordination… They proved themselves more worthy to govern… Take for example:

http://arstechnica.com/information-techn ology/2012/11/inside-team-romneys-whale- of-an-it-meltdown/
vs.
http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/07/ins ide-the-secret-world-of-quants-and-data- crunchers-who-helped-obama-win/

Why is this contest of data analysts relevant to the leadership of the free world?

===Government is all about analysis, decision-making, communication, persuasion and coordination. Proving you’re good at winning elections goes a long way toward proving you’re good at governing (though I admit, the two things are not quite the same thing).===

While the data tools of political campaigns have improved over the last 50 years, the fact-checking tools of journalists have grown symmetrically. So, Mr. Hadas; people like you can tame the downside of these voter-manipulation-techniques (by showing the voters in Georgia what the candidates are saying to the voters in New Hampshire); whilst we continue to enjoy the up-side from this new technology. Our politicians can be directed to more effectively take the wishes of the people into account; and journalists like you can help to tame the lunacy of the polling-led messages by showing us the candidates, “warts and all”.

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By: capinfergie http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-930 Thu, 22 Nov 2012 15:02:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-930 Would it be possible to raise the intellectual level of the discussion a little? Those that disagree with the “opinion” article would do their cause some good if they presented the areas they disagree with and some facts as to why the article is wrong. Name calling does not convince anyone of your position. In fact, this simply shows other readers your bias, that your position is probably weak and therefore irrelevant. Please do yourself a favor and try harder with your next post to present your case with factual data.

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By: Tombeomogga http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-929 Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:05:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-929 It is actually the input within the house which finalizes the result for all the members of that particular house, I agreed with your idea that: “Choosing the Leader of the Free world has become akin to buying a bag of chips and a soda”. As you said: campaigns smartly should be stopped!
The whole ground tune into one direction; when come the process of selecting or deciding the best choice or decision. To win an election like Barack did was actually due to the general inputs which already developed by the campaign Manager and the other responsible members who worked the whole process before time.
Just like when a food is testy, people ask about where the food was cooked. Edward, you are now confirming back to the world: Who prepared and contributed for the winner of the United States of America’ Presidential Candidate.
In another hand “it is the family which makes the child sound and acceptable by many”.
During Presidential Elections, Mitt and Barack were the highest world products.

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By: Tombeomogga http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-928 Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:01:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-928 It is actually the input within the house which finalizes the result for all the members of that particular house, I agreed with your idea that: “Choosing the Leader of the Free world has become akin to buying a bag of chips and a soda”. As you said: campaigns smartly should be stopped!
The whole ground tune into one direction; when come the process of selecting or deciding the best choice or decision.To win an election like Barack did was actually due to the general inputs which already developed by the campaign Manager and the other responsible members who worked the whole process before time .
Just like when a food is testy, people ask about where the food was cooked. Edward, you are now confirming back to the world: Who prepared and contributed for the winner of the United States of America’ Presidential Candidate.
In another hand “it is the family which makes the child sound and acceptable by many”.
During Presidential Elections, Mitt and Barack were the highest world products.

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By: BidnisMan http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/2012/11/21/candidates-as-consumer-products/comment-page-1/#comment-927 Thu, 22 Nov 2012 08:35:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/edward-hadas/?p=347#comment-927 This article is long on opinion and short on facts. So – running political campaigns smartly should be stopped. No more data mining, advertising, free publicity, phoning voters, polls, rallies, conferences, donations ad infinitum. Rather, each caniditate should simply present a philosphy document. Did it ever occur to anyone that there are parrallels between running a campaign and running a country – that being the ability to do things better than the best competitor availble from 150 million Americans.

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