Total Propaganda: From Mass Culture to Popular Culture

By Alex S. Edelstein | Go to book overview
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25
POLITICAL PROP 1994 and 1995: Restoring Presidentialprop

President Clinton won applause for his rhetoric as he described the state of the nation on January 23, 1996. The address came at a defining moment. The deadlock over the budget and social policies between the two parties had brought on an avalanche of rhetoric. The question was raised as to whether a calculated rhetoric of newprop as contrasted to oldprop would determine which party would prevail.


FIRST STAGES

A Republican oldprop had dominated the first stages of what became the cultural and propaganda wars of 1994 and 1995. But Clinton's state-of-the-nation address suggested that the propaganda field would be leveled by 1996. He would not again feel it necessary to insist on his relevancy, for Republican tactics had transformed him from onlooker to undisputed party leader and titular custodian of the popular culture.

Almost all of the themes in Clinton's address were couched in newprop inclusiveness: He praised the political opposition and asked for their future cooperation; all would work together for change, accept responsibilities for peace and security at home and abroad, enhance education, ensure health and well-being, address the causes of crime, cherish and protect children and families, raise standards of personal conduct, preserve the environment, and ensure the unimpeded workings of government.

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Total Propaganda: From Mass Culture to Popular Culture
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