Political Conventions, Images, and Spin
Hoffmann, Gregg, ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
September 2, 2004
THE POLITICAL CONVENTIONS have not served any real substantive purpose in the democratic process for years.
By the time they roll around, we already know who the candidates of the two parties will be. The platforms of the parties often are made public before the events.
The conventions primarily serve two purposes: 1) to provide delegates with a big party, often on the dime of those companies and organizations that would like to buy influence and 2) to provide an opportunity on television to spin certain images and establish dominant themes.
Many general semanticists would consider most of these images and themes higher order abstractions, playing off the viewers' fears, assumptions, and projections.
This summer, the main imagery of both parties' conventions centered on which party best could provide strong leadership in the War on Terrorism. Both parties created spin intended to convince those in the middle of the political spectrum--wherever that might be--that their candidate could better fight that war. TV coverage not only bought into the imagery; it helped establish the images.
The Democrats put on a convention that looked like it could have been a VFW gathering. Military veterans were everywhere. They accompanied John Kerry to the …
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Publication information: Article title: Political Conventions, Images, and Spin. Contributors: Hoffmann, Gregg - Author. Journal title: ETC.: A Review of General Semantics. Volume: 62. Issue: 1 Publication date: January 2005. Page number: 67+. © 1999 International Society for General Semantics. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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