There is no question that despite the obvious liberal Democratic tilt that mainstream media is taking in Campaign 2016, one unavoidable vulnerability for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is her questionable health readiness for the job. Granted, both presidential nominees are senior citizens eligible for Social Security. But Clinton’s health is a meme touchdown for Donald Trump.
The video of Hillary Clinton being carried into her Scooby Van security vehicle at the 9/11 15th anniversary ceremony is enough to make every American citizen wonder about her physical fitness readiness for one of the most stressful jobs in the world. She’s 68 now and turns 69 on October 26th, just two weeks before Election Day. Donald Trump turned 70 on June 14th. He has his own vulnerabilities, including his birther comments about Barack Obama, reluctance to release his full tax returns, Trump University, etc., but he seems like a political and persuasive mega machine compared to Hillary Clinton. (See my Trump talk from May 2016).
Trump’s supporters call themselves the centipedes–they just keep crawling along, slow and steady, and they are solidly behind Trump. Whatever he says, whatever he does, he isn’t going to lose his core centipede supporters. The ground underneath Hillary Clinton isn’t so solid. She is still favored in the election, but my political friends and news junkies, we have never seen an election in American political history quite like this one. I know that I haven’t seen one in my lifetime. This state of politics in America, partial hat tip to Thomas Hobbes, is nasty, brutish but long. Much too long.
Hold onto your sanity. It’s going to be a bumpy autumn.
Hillary’s campaign slogan: I’m with her.
Trump’s campaign slogan: Make America great again.
Does a presidential election increasingly come down to a slogan or catchy phrase put to music? Yes, indeed. But not just this year. It’s been part of the American political landscape in the modern mass media era for over sixty years.
In 1952, Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower was helped by his catchy I Like Ike campaign commercial. Or consider this repetitive jingle about Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy from 1960. Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy! In 1972, we had Nixon Now.
What do all these slogans and campaign songs have in common? They use a propaganda technique called glittering generalities, identified by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis in 1938 as one of the 7 main propaganda techniques. Something that glitters is like gold. It connotes something positive or ideal, even if the particular policies attached to these words are never explained.
I’m with her connotes attachment to potentially the first woman president of the United States. Get on board. Be a part of history making. Make America Great Again is a direct focus on nationalism and America first principles and ideals.
A GG (glittering generality) uses attractive but unspecific words that appeal to values and emotions. The more general and less specific a candidate can be, the better off s/he is with voters. Your goal is to appeal across a wide spectrum. Let the voters fill in the blanks as to the meaning of your GG. All you want is their support. Being too specific loses support.
Public presentation, “Japan: The Super Nation Brand,” at Temple University Japan on Monday, November 11, 2013.
In this video message, the new ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, delivers a personal “Ohayo Gozaimasu” from her home in New York. She studied Japanese history in college, traveled to Hiroshima with her Uncle Ted when she was 20, and spent part of her honeymoon in Nara and Kyoto. I welcome her as America’s newest ambassador and believe that she will be an excellent cultural mediator between the U.S. and Japan.
No Sex Please, We’re Japanese
Thank you, BBC, for reinforcing cultural stereotypes. Isn’t low fertility a phenomenon happening in quite a few other countries? Joshua Keating makes this point in Slate: “A number of Eastern European countries have lower fertility rates than Japan, but we don’t often see articles portraying Czechs and Poles as sexless nerds.”
Excellent introduction to how PR operates in Japan. The high-tech country is very low-tech and traditional when it comes to some of its global and domestic communications. Relationship building is king, press clubs still rule, and old habits die hard.