Author Topic: The Fourth Wall -Elections a Broadway Play  (Read 80 times)

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Offline Ken Gigliotti

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The Fourth Wall -Elections a Broadway Play
« on: September 26, 2017, 01:44 PM »
Every election can be seen as a play that for a time suspends reality by the voter. The candidates presents to the voter a rushed ,reflection of their perceived aspirations for the next four years. A theatrical play suspends reality , on a stage where everyone knows and sees a stage with actors. At some point the viewing public is drawn into to drama , the actors break through this Fourth Wall. The drama becomes real to the audience. This time the theme was anger and new media one of the main messengers.

Evolution in thought is evolving even faster. In less than a year, political correctness has opened up new avenues for old ignored problems. Like it or not.
Ignore NO More. 

Anger, gender, race, all friends of liberalism, were all turned against it during the election. It was all very clever and short term tactical. Strategically it was a gamble for those who did not think they could win. So who was going to win in the event Trump lost? Media would be carved up , and portions would be redistributed. New , untouchable subjects could be talked about. A revolution of thought and expression is evolving.

NFL player taking a knee spreads. Transgender issues clarified. Racism and gender, the middle class, and jobs jump to the front in a way that should move the dial in a permanent positive way. The  papering over of uncomfortable subjects for media emerges.

Like it or not, journalism must come to the realization that something has changed at the core of basic communication. Not realizing the threat closes the door on  reporting of politics to the point of being irrelevant.

This threat flows directly to the basic unit of democracy, the single vote. The vote can be influenced at a combination of many points during a relatively short duration of any election campaign. These short election campaigns have weak points that can be exploited by political parties or outside actors.  Note campaign donors have already had their say, their message has been stated during early stages.
Politics becomes a tragic play/campaign when a metaphorical fatal spear is placed by the winner into the non-winner. The short presentation to the public is narrow like a spear.  At it's tang or widest point is not much larger than spear blade tapering to it's smallest and most fatal spear tip in the final days. It is thrown from a distance early in the campaign but as the enemy gets closer it can be thrust. Campaign stages like acts of a play. The next four years of power and influence is the big high stakes prize in every democracy in the world. It is more than a story line for a day in media, as we know see.

The leadership of entire countries both big and small can be greatly manipulated during the short and vulnerable election process. Political messaging has become too sophisticated for journalists to ignore, the trap is getting too big not to fall into. The constant messaging directly to a voting base by Twitter, polls conflict ,a four minute  daily attacks by comedians on late night talks shows, or weekly SNL skits may trap liberal bias ,expose the fool, as well as betray over confidence of the opposing candidate. Outside players offset each others message.

Liberal media trapped itself for the first time and played into a new media “fake news”narrative that muddled intentional political messages in the past. The Trump vs Clinton presidential campaign should be  a high water mark for communication specialists ,political strategists, and special interest groups. It should be a one off event, except for  more intense , results based second stage reprise.
Liberal Hollywood, liberal media, simply showed a bias that could not be defeated  in the past. Just add “liberal” to any word to create bias just as media adds “right wing” to any words to influence readers\viewers. The game is on.
Obama used aspiration messaging on digital media first, Trump's communicators created counter measures by promising immediate action over aspirations and long time lines. Liberalism's over promising and under delivering was the first act of many campaigns the sixty million plus Trump voters have seen before. Voters had nothing to lose.
Is this good for newspapers, HELL YEAH. The newspaper business says that it hold power to account, but never does, it has become part of the “elite,” it plays the game of aspirations and has lots of time. Good intentions might be slow horse to ride if the newspaper business is to transition to the digital media.   

There are many aspects to this theatrical drama about the individual aspirations of the single voter. Picking a leader involves a now destructive campaign  and the leader vs leader is phase two of the next destructive campaign. Both campaigns have become increasingly dramatic, destructive, a demolition derby of politics where the public becomes more skeptical ,confused and open to be driven down a narrow and small list of issues issues with simple promises on shorter time lines. The “also ran's” get eliminated ,possibly for ever in a digital ,forever shaming loop. New player emerge, less polished, and less safe. Gladiators of television, the unemployed. This is play of conflict , the actors fight it out , the public gets drawn in slowly ,but with purpose. The winner takes all, with a big reveal in the days before the vote and the loser leaves the stage forever. Every election should change and complacency should end.

Liberals will have to practicing liberals and conservatives , practicing conservatives with  all the voter in mind. Some how both will move toward each other a few steps. Ironically socialism may be the last refuge of the digital revolution. Non-practicing is not an option.
Voters ultimately decide if they are better off with one party or another.

The US election warned voters of outside actors influencing the narrative in European elections in the Netherlands , France  and German elections, but the far right wings were still able to be a factor. The liberal world view has to readjust because voters still have a say. Politics is moving but still local. News media is stagnant and still local.

The thing is that new narratives are being created. Political narratives. Dogma of parties is shifting.   

This is the first stage of a campaigns where journalism can fail. The narrowing of issues needs only to be spoken so that journalism repeats and repeats and repeats. The table begins to be set for the voter. The play begins, an opening act. A narrative is created.

The issues are tested ,there is the unleashing of a broad appeal advertising culture of persuasion. Selected abbreviated facts are magnified. Truth,half, partial or alternate become the background music. When ever this music is played the actor is about to enter,the issue is queued and the associations are made with the leader and the villain.  This is a broad based introduction of the actors and issues. The story unfolds according to a series of short daily soliloquies.

Talking points are repeated and the leanings of the message and  journalists are tested. Is journalism for or against the candidate, are there issues to be polled and measured, avoided or embraced. How is it all being take in. The play is on  and within the bounds of the stage , the audience watches skeptically but is open to be drawn in. So many political parties employ people who have written television scripts, made movies or documentaries and understand visual persuasion. It is in the background of the players. They know how to evoke emotion in short time frames. They carry narratives over a many week season. This is a point seldom taken seriously because journalistic media employs the same techniques. Fiction writing, and advertising have much more latitude in persuasion. News media has less tools but needs to be much smarter to survive.

Personality flaws become a virtue suspended, if backed up with results , sooner than later.

Voters in elections, readers of newspapers and watchers of cable news will decide if they are better off  with one or another . They shall be thanked for their service and move on.  Opinion by Ken Gigliotti