The (Propaganda) Road We’ve Traveled

Unlike a lot of liberals, I don’t just tolerate President Obama. I don’t just like him better than the dismal alternatives. I admire him more than any other President in my lifetime. Not because he is black, a Democrat and articulate, as I my conservative friends charge. I admire him because he had a breathtakingly difficult economic, political and foreign policy assignment that he has done better than I imagined anyone could. Not perfectly by any stretch, but, given the difficulty of the tasks, very well.

So because of my man crush, I recognize I’m not an objective observer. But trying my best to judge it as a communications professional rather than an Obama admirer, I have to say the video the Obama campaign released yesterday tells the story of the Obama first term better than any communications tactic I’ve seen from Team Obama.

Love Obama or hate him, this is extremely good story telling, or propagandizing, depending on your point-of-view. It sets a context that makes an objective swing voter feel better about only having 8.5% unemployment and one sunsetting war.

Seeing this took me down another road I’ve traveled. I vividly remember despising every second of President Reagan’s masterful Morning in America ad, because it was so effective. Twenty-eight years later, I still hate watching the propaganda film that cemented President Reagan’s reelection, and his version of history.

President Obama’s film isn’t nearly as good as Reagan’s, mostly because it is 16-minutes longer, which severely limits the audience that will see it. But if I were a conservative, I would hate watching this film as much I hated watching “Morning in America” back in the day.

Maybe this isn’t saying much, but Obama’s film is the best political storytelling I’ve seen a Democrat do in a very long time. Base, if this won’t rally you, I don’t know what will.

– Loveland

3 thoughts on “The (Propaganda) Road We’ve Traveled

  1. Joe Loveland says:

    I love ads like these, because they boil the election down to its essence. The dueling mega-narratives.

    GOP Narrative: The economy remains weak. Obama policies are making the economy worse. We understand what job creators need to get us out of this economic mess. Obama had his chance, and he blew it. More o the same failed Obamanomics won’t work. Dem policies will bring us back to Carter Times. GOP policies will bring us back to Reagan times.

    Obama Narrative: The economy is getting better. Obama policies are making the economy better. We aren’t in bed with the corporations that got us into this economic mess. The GOP had its under W chance, and it blew it. We can’t stray from the Obama approach that is working. GOP policies will bring us back to “W” Times. Our policies will bring us back to Clinton times.

    Note, though, there is no mention of his biggest failure, the Afghanistan surge.

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