Political Noise

Several of my friends and acquaintances on the American side of the pond have remarked recently that they are fervently wishing for a break from the endless barrage of election coverage and the increasingly strident rhetoric emanating from each camp. In case closing eyes and clamping hands over ears isn’t enough, the following may serve as some solace: it’s not meant to be seen or heard in any reasonable sense anyway. As a letter-writer in the 25th August edition of The Economist remarks,

“This election will be very close and more voters than usual seem to have made up their minds already. The surest path to victory for either candidate is to motivate their core supporters.”

Put another way, it’s no longer about turning independent voters into Democratic-leaning or Republican-leaning ones (let alone flipping votes entirely!), but simply about keeping the emotions of the appropriately-inclined voters sufficiently inflamed that they actually go to the trouble of expressing their inclination at the polling booth in November. So, if the torrent of propaganda seems purely designed to irritate instead of persuade… that’s because it is! Knowing that, good luck to you all in tuning out the noise.

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