This is why we can’t have nice things

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the fall of America. Our great country, the greatest on the planet, is in a downward spiral, and here’s why:


Well, I sort of believe that. It isn’t really marketing that is destroying us, but marketing is being used to destroy us. Let me explain.

First off, marketing itself isn’t bad. I’ve done it a lot myself. Marketing is simply getting the word out about your product, service or idea. Promotion. In and of itself it is morally neutral.

If you are marketing from an ethical standpoint, you will promote your product, service or idea from an honest standpoint. You will highlight the benefits, the positives, and the advantages of what you want others buy or buy into. In marketing, you are trying to create need or desire for what you are marketing.

But, if you are marketing from an unethical standpoint, you will be willing to lie, cheat, manipulate, and twist any facts and perception to get your desired outcome.

America is being lied to.

Case in point: the Minneapolis ‘defund the police’ movement.

August 3, 2020, : “Poll finds majority of Minneapolis residents favor replacing police department”. Seems clear, except I don’t believe it. Let’s look at the poll.

It was commissioned by the ACLU and The Fairness Project, two organizations with clear ideological lines, and conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group. The first question worth asking: why are political nonprofits commissioning a poll? Next question, what is the Benenson Strategy Group. Answer:

We help leaders connect with, persuade and activate the audiences you need to win…

BSG’s reputation as a premier consulting and strategic research firm is built on our relentless pursuit of the right answers. 

In today’s world, cutting through the clutter and noise is harder than it has ever been. That means to connect and achieve your goals, you need more than a message. Our unique approach is built on collaboration with our clients to develop their durable narrative, rooted in their values. We leverage our language expertise with innovative qualitative and quantitative methods to uncover the “Hidden Architecture of Opinion” that shapes your audiences’ decision frames.

So, this group conducted a poll, why? To “persuade and activate the audience [that the ACLU and The Fairness Project] needs to win”

How? By building a poll to “relentlessly pursue the right answers.” What are the right answers? The developed “durable narrative, rooted in [the ACLU and The Fairness Project]’s values” using “language expertise.”

In other words, they’re going to do marketing gymnastics in order to get you to believe what they want you to believe by claiming that it’s already widely believed, accepted and supported. This isn’t a poll; it is marketing that is, at best, morally questionable, being disguised as legitimate, objective news.

Another brief example: according to Gallup, the average American believes the percent of our population that identifies as gay or lesbian to be approximately 25%. The real number? 4.5% – less than 1 in 20, rather than 1 in 4. Why is there such a disparity in perception? Because of the concerted effort by media companies to push the LGBTQ narrative, especially on television and in movies. Over the 2019-2020 television season, 10% of all prime time characters on broadcast TV (ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, and NBC) are identified as LGBTQ, with the teen/young adult focused CW tallying 15.4% of its characters as LGBTQ (TV stats from GLAAD).

Here’s the problem: we are presented with information like these examples a dozen times a day, and most of us simply accept it. We don’t challenge, we don’t ask questions, we don’t push back. Why? Because that would require time and effort.

And this isn’t even about the ‘defund the police’ or LGBTQ movements. It’s about thinking for ourselves in a reasoned, educated way, rather than just parroting back what we are told to believe by the people we have chosen to listen to.

There are some that claim to be pushing back. A few truly are, but many are simply pushing back on the manipulation from those they disagree with, but they’re fully drinking the Kool-Aide from the side that they want to believe.

For example, many have been eager to point out some of the media manipulation of the COVID-19 epidemic that has inflated a very serious situation into a perceived apocalypse, but then they’re quick to put up a Facebook post saying masks don’t have any value (seriously, doctors have worn mask for 100+ years-there’s at least some value to them).

I fear for the future of our nation. It isn’t because there are evil people trying to manipulate others; there will always be evil people trying to manipulate others. I fear for our future because I’m not sure there are enough good, thoughtful, reasoned people willing to push back and lead.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

-Edmund Burke

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