Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Miss Him Yet?

Thumbnail image for Miss Me Yet.jpgAlong I-35, near Wyoming, Minn., one finds a billboard of George W. Bush - and the question: "Miss me yet?"

Liberals are apparently steaming mad and on a witch-hunt to find the anonymous sponsor. Such a humorless lot, those liberals.

Yet it may be a relevant question, given that Obama has just hit the lowest approval rating of his presidency. (44% approval, 47% disapproval, with crucial independents breaking heavily against him by 29%-57%).

The answer, by the way, is 44% of Americans say "yes."

Categories > Presidency

Discussions - 4 Comments

Take note of this story and pay close attention to how the liberal at the end of it tries to spin the thing so as to pretend that this ad is pro-Obama or, at any rate, that it is taken by the majority of people who see it to be pro-Obama.

Speaking as a person who knows a little bit about politics and more than she sometimes wishes she knew about effective outdoor advertising, I'd say that the spin this liberal tries to give to the appearance of this billboard demonstrates the problem of trying to turn our politics into billboard-like slogans. If a billboard is not simply providing answers to questions you're already asking (e.g., such as "McDonald's--Next Right") or enticing you with things you might desire (e.g., pictures of cold beer on a hot day) then it can only be effective if it operates on the basis of assumptions about public opinion that are demonstrably true. They can appeal to existing public opinion, but they really cannot move it. Billboards and slogans do not persuade--they only reinforce existing public opinion.

I know these observations are not exactly a revelation to most readers of this blog . . . but on the other hand, it seems to me that there are an awful lot of people out there who seem to think that if the GOP or conservatives could just find the right slogan or a pithy and clever way to encapsulate our views and get them out in front of enough people, then the voters would wake up and flock to us. I wish it were that easy sometimes . . . but then, not really. Then we'd be on an eternal see-saw of public opinion. I'm afraid that the hard work of shaping public opinion will require much more patience and thought than anything in the best of political billboards . . . and it's not at all in my interest to say these things . . . sorry Dad.

Sure . . . but the photo is "goofy".

Your "goofy" is another man's "teasing" . . . it depends upon what you're bringing to it. It looks more to me like he's saying "I told you so" and, apparently, it was taken that way by most people who saw it (except, of course, for this liberal woman and her friends). But again, that's the problem with slogans. It's not that there's no use for them . . . it's just that they're not enough.

Ah. I didn't think about that. Whoever put this thing up is a genius.

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