Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do not vote for fear!

In today’s “modern” world we spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with new theories, new models to explain how things work, and new models to use for economics, or business…and sometimes even science.

Unfortunately models or theories that defy natural laws don’t last….and theories that defy man’s nature don’t work.

It is very simple. No matter how clever scientists are they have never been able to change the laws of physics. Gravity still works. Water flows downhill (if unaided). A combination of lift and thrust is needed to fly.

And I don’t care much people wish these laws did not exist, it is never likely to change. Scientists can create whatever new models they want to explain it…but at the end of the day, water (if unaided) will continue to flow downhill.

There are also several laws for businesses…that have never changed and never will change, no matter how much we wish they didn’t exist. If a business sells its product for less than it costs to make it, the business will eventually fail. You don’t have to be too smart to figure that out. Likewise, if a business does not pass ALL it’s costs onto the ultimate consumer in the form of price for its product, it will eventually fail. Those costs include labor costs and future costs as a result of labor contracts entered into today etc.

And economics…what of that? Well, again, there are many laws that simply do not change. The easiest to understand is the law of supply and demand. This law states that prices increase as demand increases and reduce as demand reduces. If you don’t believe me, just go to an auction. If multiple people want the same product, the price will be bid up…if only one person wants it, the price will stagnate. This will never change…

And finally we come to human nature. The laws of human nature are very complex as we have the ability to make choices that can change the actions we take in response to stimuli. For example…when one is threatened we can choose “fight or flight”…some will stay and hold their ground, others will flee…and still others will take a myriad of possible actions that lie on that continuum between fight and flight.
It is because of this complexity that psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals can make a good living…after all trying to decipher why people do what they do is valuable in many ways. It can help protect society by identifying the traits of serial killers as an example…and applying those traits to identify potential dangers before they happen. Law enforcement can achieve a significant advantage as a result of profiling based on the understanding of the human psyche.

Another group that can use this information profitably is the marketer (and his poor cousin, the salesman). Marketers try to understand what drives the market…what appeals to the target market…and how to position their product to take advantage of that. Salesman (at least the good ones) understands what it is that will impact the “buy/don’t buy” decision. Their understanding of the human psyche allows them to identify at an early time what the impediments are to the buyer, and the salesman overcomes them before the buyer even knows he had them!

A good salesman does not need to use high pressure tactics, or twist your arm…a good salesman knows how to guide you along the decision spectrum so that you eventually have no choice but to buy…after all, not only are your fears negated, but the decision was always remarkably obvious…you are so grateful that you made the right decision!

So what are the motivators that drive human decision making?

Money is an important one…but not by any means high on the list. If a product is priced higher than a competing product (but not a lot higher) the buyer starts looking for reasons for the difference. The clever salesman can point out things like a better warranty, better performance, greater color range, more red buttons…anything that gives the perception of better value.

But most major decisions are not based on money.

Status is often an important driver. Many folk believe that their worth as a person is measured by what they choose to buy. Some find status in buying American, or “green”…or foreign. Others find status by buying “high priced” or “bargain”. You see, status is a purely subjective measure. It aligns 100% with what people WANT to portray of themselves…they WANT their choices to line up with “who” they see themselves as. This is not to be mistaken with who are they really are…it is how they WANT to see themselves.
Money and status are not the real driver of the buy/don’t buy decision.

The biggest driver is emotion.

If a guy falls in love with a particular vehicle, he will be hard pressed to ignore the emotional response and buy a vehicle that is more practical, or less expensive, or a different color, or smaller, or bigger or…whatever. If a woman loves a particular car…she will respond the same way. There is little difference between genders when it comes to the part that emotion plays in the purchase decision.

And nobody knows this better than political campaign managers.

And they also know which emotion will garner the most votes…which emotion will get the result they want.

The emotion they will use…the one that will guarantee success…the emotion that is the most powerful in the human psyche is….


Fear that when standing in the polling booth, you will vote for the wrong man.

Fear that if you don’t vote for the right guy, you will be destroying the world as we know it.

Fear that the wrong decision will be disastrous.


The only emotion that is capable of galvanizing incredible heroic action…or paralysis.

The Obama campaign understands this better than anyone…

Since they are unable to run on their record, a record that is mediocre at best, and downright destructive, they have to set their sights on another angle. I don’t believe for a minute that they were ever going to campaign based on what they have achieved or even hope to achieve in the next 4 years. These platforms speak to money and status….not the biggest motivators for selling their programs.

No, the biggest motivation is the motivation of fear.

By scaring the elderly with false claims about medicare and SS, they hope to plant a seed of fear…a seed that they expect to grow…and if it does grow, will result in one of two actions….either a vote for Obama at the polls…or a decision NOT to vote for fear of being wrong. Either way, the elderly conservative vote is impacted.

By scaring the welfare queens with claims that government spending will be cut and they will no longer get any money.

By scaring women with claims that contraceptives will be banned.

By scaring any interest group they can think of. Their claims do not have to be verified or even verifiable. Their lies will work equally as well. You see, fear is not the product of logic. It is an emotion…it does not need logic…in fact it cannot be defeated with logic.

The campaigning is yet to hit full stride….but we know where it is heading.

Ryan will continue to throw granny off the cliff…Romney will continue to cause cancer and kill people….Romney/Ryan will put the blacks back in chains…and these are just the polite attacks!!
Obama cannot win without engendering fear.

His last 4 years has been directing us that way with his divisiveness.

Do you really think it was accidental that he has divided the country by race, by wealth, by employment? Of course not…these are the divisions that allow him to leverage fear into the hearts of as many people as he can…fear.

Do not be afraid.

Stand up to the bullies…call them out when they lie.

Do not be afraid.

Do not allow yourself to be filled with the paralysis of fear…that which prevents you from taking action.

If you allow fear to drive your decisions, you WILL make the wrong one.

Live in freedom, not fear. A vote for Obama is a vote for fear…not freedom!


1 comment:

  1. Divide and conquer, old as life. We have a responsibility to call it out whenever and wherever they try to pull it.