Slate describes Applebee's food as "well-slathered" and the same might be said of this sorry bit of "analysis" from NPR and the land of capitalism gone wild. I thought I was having auditory hallucinations when NPR promised an "Applebee's" look at how national campaigns are won in the United States (you'd have to have a sick mind to make this stuff up). Linda Wertheimer opens up by telling us that in the past three presidential elections "each [winning] campaign reached potential voters by using many of the same strategies and tactics used by businesses like Applebee's restaurant." Wertheimer interviews the former Republican and Democratic campaign strategists, Dowd and Sosnik, who have written a book called Applebee's America.
In the NPR report we are told such nonsense as how the important elements of the campaigns were "establishing a connection...at a gut-values level" and delivering "information in a tactical level" (Dowd). Sosnik, meanwhile, tells us that the candidate who will be successful is the one who can reach "opinion leaders" and can "arm them with information as the Bush campaign did very effectively in 2004." Linda Wertheimer chimes in with "the techniques in 2004 that worked so well for the Bush administration...many voters recognized some gut level connection with President Bush."
I just hope that this kind of disinformation ticks people off as much as it should. Even the stupidest voter knows that it is money that runs campaigns--huge sums of money. NPR might also have mentioned how this money is corrupting and undermining our political system. And this isn't even touching on the ugly truths of the Bush campaign success which was based on police-state tactics of clamping down on "information," smearing the opposition, preventing minorities from voting, and outright fraud.
Frankly, I'm steamed...and worried about how the vote may be subverted next month. I hope Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are wrong in their grim prognosis for what's left of our democracy, but either way this type of NPR fast-food news only helps those who want to keep people ignorant and steal elections.