Unless you’ve been under a rock or hiding out in your cave, you’re by now all too familiar with the recent ruling by the supreme court that says Corporations have the right to contribute freely to campaign advertisements. The riff in the media contains all the usual sound bytes we’ve become accustomed to hearing at every political twist and turn. Rarely is much insight given into what any of these politically charged incidents actually mean. Ok, so big money gets to spend loads on getting someone elected who is friendly to their interests or vice versa. Got it.
But why does it work? You would think that no amount of money could buy away the public’s common sense, or its rationality. Well, actually, it apparently can. Not only can it buy it, it can keep it. In the Jan 22nd issue of USA Today a small piece on the psychology of political advertising appeared that is absolutely unsettling in its implications. It’s common knowledge that political advertisements have an effect.
But what is perhaps not so common knowledge, is just how strong that effect can be, and lasting.
Even confronted with irrefutable evidence after the fact, voters swayed by political advertisements will STILL accept the erroneous claims as truthful. Worse, psychologist’s state there is a tendency for refuting evidence to amplify the bad.
Add into the mix, an influx of corporate cash not seen in decades, and this misleading type of advertising is almost guaranteed to reach unprecedented levels as corporate decision makers seek to install their candidates of choice based on how favorable they are to their business, and not the best interests of the public.
Read for yourself, and try not to shudder.