I rarely write about politics because I get irritated too easily, and I prefer to write about business. Now this article points out that in many ways, they are the same.
We all descended on Boston last week—Democratic delegates, party consultants, political junkies and journalists—for what often seemed more a sales convention than a political convention. If you doubt the analogy, consider this: in the 2000 election, Americans were showered with 245,743 TV spots for George W. Bush and Al Gore, says the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project. Spending on TV spots this year will likely be double the 2000 level or higher.
Politics has adopted all the tools of modern merchandising—advertising, polling, telemarketing and demographic targeting. Conventions, which once selected a party's candidate, are now part of the marketing plan. Deliberately drained of controversy, they aim to sharpen the campaign's message and to reward fund-raisers and the party faithful. By one count, the Democratic convention had more than 200 parties, receptions, seminars and golf tournaments. "This is a way to fire up your troops," Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, says.
It is funny that politicians would attack "Big Business," because ultimately politics is big business too. How about taking all the millions raised in a campaign and donating it to the poor? That would be much more beneficial to society, and it would save us the headache of watching all the dumb commercials.