Monday, October 27, 2008

Lobbying Against Lobbyists.

Okay, so I was driving home from school today, and wound up listening to the umpteenth radio ad urging me to vote NO on Amendment 58 this election year in Colorado. WTF?

First, these ads are unbelievably smarmy and condescending--so much so that I actually wrote the people behind them a strongly worded e-mail to ask them to knock it off, and to let them know that no matter how intelligent their ideas may be, talking to me like you're my best buddy and I'm special are no way to garner my favor. At any rate, I went through the amendments myself this morning, in order to get a grasp on what I will actually be voting for a week from tomorrow. While I was doing this, these advertisements failed to enter my head. I made my decisions based on what I thought was best for me (first) and the state (second). So, as I happened to hear these two upper-class twits blathering on on the radio this afternoon I had my newly created cheat sheet in my pocket. It turns out that I [as a wildly opinionated and misanthropic individual] had decided that I was, in fact, in favor of the Amendment that they so maligned. Whaddya know?!

At any rate, I thought it was worth a second glance, since they seemed so intent on stopping this measure. Sure enough, when I got home and re-read the proposed amendment I knew exactly why it was opposed and by whom. (For those unfamiliar: this amendment proposes to cut tax credits to companies that are removing non-renewable resources from Colorado--imagine the gall of the government for making companies pay FULL taxes--and directing any new tax revenue from this change into schools and infrastructure.) So, the first light that went off in my head this afternoon whilst I was grumping about having to hear this ad again was, I suppose that if they are trying this hard, and using good ol' folksy talkin', that they must be fighting against something that makes a decent amount of sense for the common man. And sure enough, the only people who would truly suffer would be the energy people who are making a killing right now anyway. Boo-hoo for them.

Of course, these ads make sure to frame the argument that those increased taxes would be passed back through to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

Which is probably so.

However, and this is my favorite part--and coincidentally one of my platforms for my upcoming campaign, consumers have the right to choose who they buy things from. This, ultimately, is the beauty of a free market. Am I going to keep buying a product from a company who keeps raising their prices to maintain record profits? I sure don't plan on it. I hope you don't either. The long and the short of it is, if we are to maintain a self-regulated economy we have to stop supporting businesses that keep sticking it to us. If you know a company is sending all of its money overseas to pay someone less than they would pay an American to do the job, while still making a hefty profit for their executives, don't give them any more of your American Dollars. One of two things will happen:

1. They will man up and bring back jobs and help the economy of the country where they are based, or;
2. They will become a Mexican [or Vietnamese, Chilean, Korean] company that is going to have a lot of trouble getting back their U.S. market-share.

The choice will be theirs, and I hope that they will make the right one by 'Merica. Which reminds me, I would also label those companies, and the people in charge of them, as extremely un-patriotic. They don't give a crap about you. So make them pay for it. There is nothing more American than sticking it to the man purely for revenge. Hell, there is an entire movie genre based on it. (Here I would be referring to the screwball/underdog comedy; e.g. Revenge of the Nerds, Meatballs, etc.)

I guess the general thrust [which, by the way, would be an awesome name for a character in a space-themed adult film] of my argument here is that you should consider what motives someone might have for trying to get you to vote one way or the other. As far as I'm concerned, the more someone has to try and convince you that something is the right way to think, the less likely it is to be the right way to think. Trust your gut to cut through the B.S. before you even have a chance to mull something over. The trick is to know when you are through the B.S. and down to what you truly believe, not what you think you should think, or have been told to think.

-A.R. Leith

Suggested reading to accompany this blog entry: Civil Disobedience by Thoreau, Self Reliance by Emerson, The Colorado 2008 Ballot Information Packet (for those of you who live here), and Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart (Not because it has anything to do with this, just because it's incredibly funny.)

Quote: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son." - Dean Wormer

1 comment:

Lindsey Willis-Leith said...

Dear General Thrust-

It is quite clear throughout the introduction of your entry here that you are unhappy with the political ads being played on the radio. However, while reading this entry I did have an epiphany in regards to the marketing tool that did indeed work on you.

Though you were initially unaware as to the content of the amendment you were being urged to vote against, the political advertisement on the radio intrigued you enough to research it. In the end, you did not agree with the political stance of the advertisement but the commercial you heard did have enough effect on you to do your own research and become an informed citizen. However, there are plenty of voters out there who had an identical reaction to the commercial, researched it for themselves and now will in fact vote no to the amendment as the commerical has asked them to do.

Not only do radio and TV political advertisements urge you to vote a certain way - they also serve as an invitation to create your own opinion. The fifteenth amendment gave you the right to vote and the nineteenth amendment gave me the right to vote. However, how would we know what we're voting for and what it's all about if we don't have TV and radio commercials telling us what's out there? Those ads are serving as small fires under our asses urging us to create an informed and intelligent opinion of our own.

All in all, it was a marketing strategy that worked on you. That annoying radio commercial inspired you - maybe not in the way they intended it to but at least it got you to read about it. That's more than a lot of people can say (myself included). Congratulations on being an informed and active citizen in your community.

Mrs. Thrust