Total Propaganda: From Mass Culture to Popular Culture

By Alex S. Edelstein | Go to book overview

21
LOBBYPROP The NRA and the Environment

The popular culture has facilitated the emergence of an increasingly diverse and active lobbyprop, but it is straining the bounds of access and equity and has brought about an oldprop that threatens our safety and well-being. Nowhere was this more evident than in the antiguncontrolprop of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the oldprop of the antienvironmental movement.


EVERYONE DOES IT

Lobbyprop is pervasive as a force for good as well as for evil, but it became so pervasive in the federal government that 1992 presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Ross Perot made election promises to prohibit former government officials from becoming instant lobbyists. Perot said former government and White House officials who turned around to serve foreign interests were like generals switching armies in the middle of a war.

However, even the presidential role is, at its best and its worst, that of a lobbyist. President Clinton exploited oldprop on a visit to Seattle to condemn subsidies to Airbus, the European consortium that competes with Boeing, the Northwest aeronautical giant, and he lobbied passionately on behalf of his trade, environmental, health, and gun control policies. Airbus had doubled its share of the market to 30% in a decade, while McDonnell-Douglas had all but lost its commercial market and Boeing was losing big sales to United Airlines and Northwest in head-to-head bidding against Airbus.

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